Monday, December 28, 2015

Soup is the Perfect Comfort Food On A Snowy Night

It's December 28th, 2015.  I believe winter has finally arrived to our part of Wisconsin.  We are having a snowstorm.  It is the first snow we have had in our area this season.  It is blowing in every direction and starting to accumulate.  We won't know the total accumulation until it ends tomorrow, but I think it will be substantial.  It is the perfect night to snuggle in with the warm fires burning.  We are so lucky to be able to be warm and safe.  So many people in the country are having a very bad time, and my heart goes out to them.

In my last blog I mentioned overeating during the holidays.  I said I was getting rid of everything and could not imagine ever feeling hungry again.  Well, that only lasted a couple hours.  I did get rid of most of the sweets, but fortunately I kept the soups I made.  I made the Pot Roast soup I posted quite a while ago.

I love this Pot Roast soup but I have a lot leftover.  The broccoli slaw I bought had long pieces, and I should have chopped it up a little before putting it in the soup pot.  I also forgot the peas, but overall it was very good.  I may have that tonight.

My husband's favorite was a soup I hadn't made before.  When we were Christmas shopping a couple weeks ago, we stopped at the Olive Garden for lunch.  We had the unlimited soup and salad.  The soup we chose was called Chicken Gnocchi soup.  It was very good.   I wanted to duplicate this soup for Christmas so I searched the internet.  I came up with a Copy Kat recipe which was delicious.

Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup

1/2 stick butter
1 T. olive oil
1 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup finely diced celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup flour
1 quart half and half
1 quart box of chicken broth (32 oz)
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. dried thyme
1/2 t.dried parsley flakes
1 cup finely shredded carrots
1 cup chopped fresh spinach leaves
1 cup diced cooked chicken breast
1 16 oz. package of ready to use gnocchi

Melt the butter into the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion, celery and garlic and cook, stirring until the onion becomes translucent.  Whisk in the flour and cook for about a minute.  Whisk in the half and half.  Simmer until thickened. Add the chicken broth and stir until it thickens again.  Stir in the salt, thyme, parsley, carrots, spinach, chicken and the gnocchi.  Simmer until the soup is heated through.

When the soup sits in the refrigerator it gets quite thick.  If you like a chowder like consistency it is perfect.  If you like it a little thinner, just add a little milk when you reheat it.

Both soups are the perfect comfort food on this blustery winter night.  I put a few home made croutons on top.  In case you missed that blog, here is the link for them along with a recipe for stuffed pepper soup.

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