Creamy shredded chicken and pumpkin gnocchi soup filled with sweet carrots, diced onions, and fresh parsley. Seasoned with the aromatic flavor of thyme, this soup is simple and delicious with a fall twist.
My favorite soup of all time has to be chicken and gnocchi.
I remember the first time I ever had this soup. It was summer vacation years ago; my friend and I had plans to meet for lunch, and we decided to go to the Olive Garden. Looking through the menu, I decided to order Chicken and Gnocchi Soup as a starter. Never having gnocchi before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It did not disappoint.
That first bite made an impression on me: the creaminess of the soup, the delicious tenderness of the chicken, the fluffiness of gnocchi. Have you ever tasted something so memorable that you still remember it years later?
So of course, I have to create a version of this soup, except with a fall twist.
A few weeks ago, I stumbled across a recipe for pumpkin gnocchi created by The Gold Lining Girl. I was so excited to give this recipe a try, and I was not disappointed by those pumpkin gnocchi! Simple to make with just a few ingredients (and pumpkin!), how could I resist?
The only change I would make to the recipe is the size of the gnocchi. I recommend making smaller sized ones, about the size of the tip of your pinky finger to the first knuckle. The reason for this is because if the gnocchi is too big, it’ll overpower the soup. You want the ingredients to be a perfect balance so that no ingredient stands out too much.
To save time, you can always use store bought potato gnocchi.
My favorite way of eating chicken is shredded. I just love the texture of shredded chicken. But that means you’ll have to cook your chicken beforehand.
There are two ways you can cook chicken: roasted or on a skillet.
Roasted chicken does take awhile to make, but there’s not much that you need to do. First, line a baking pan with foil and spray it with nonstick cooking spray. Place the chicken breasts on top, cover with foil, and roast them at 350oF for about 40-45 minutes. The chicken should be thoroughly cooked but check the temperature to be safe. Simple, right? And no need to season them since it’s going into the soup.
If you would like more detailed directions on roasting chicken breast, check out my Roasted Chicken and Strawberry Salad post.
The skillet version is simple and faster and doesn’t require too much attention either. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil into the skillet over medium to high heat. Once the oil is heated, add the chicken breast and allow the chicken to sear for about a minute. The bottom side would appear a light golden brown. Flip the chicken breasts over, cover the skillet with a lid, lower the heat, and allow the chicken to cook for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn off the heat and let the chicken sit for another 10 minutes with the lid still on. Do not remove the lid. Just let the chicken sit for those 10 minutes. Lift the lid and allow the chicken to cool until it’s comfortable to touch. This tip from The Kitchn seriously works each time for juicy tender chicken breast. Shred the chicken with your fingers or with a fork.
Of course, you can always use leftover chicken to save time. =)
Are you excited for the soup? I promise you it’ll be delicious!
Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to a medium sized pot over medium heat. Allow the oil to heat for a minute, then add the onions and the carrots. The longer the onions cook, the more flavorful they are. Carrots take longer to cook, so it needs to be added early on. Cook the onions and carrots until they’ve softened, then pour in the chicken broth.
Add the gnocchi to the soup, thyme, and salt for flavor. The flavor of thyme grows stronger over time so it’s important to add it early.
Lower the heat to a simmer, and pour in the half and half, heavy whipping cream, or milk. If you want your soup to be creamy, it’s important to use half and half or heavy whipping cream. But for a healthier version, add in the milk. It just won’t be as creamy.
Mix together the flour and water until the flour has dissolved. Slowly pour this mixture into the soup until it thickens to the desired consistency. I didn’t use all of it. And if you’re looking for a gluten free version, use tapioca flour or cornstarch instead of all-purpose flour.
Once you’re about ready to serve, add the shredded chicken, spinach, and parsley. You want to add the chicken at the end so that it doesn’t become dry and overcooked. Allow the soup to simmer until the spinach has wilted.
Serve the soup warm.
I’ll be sharing this at Fiesta Friday over at the Novice Gardener.
Did you know that if you’re not ready to print a recipe, you can save the recipe into an online recipe box through Ziplist? It’s completely free to sign up and easy to use to organize your recipes as well as your grocery list.