Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I Did It All For The Gnocchi Soup

I came to a realization tonight.

I am an impractical cook. Or at least inefficient. Who else could make and "easy" dinner using leftovers and still mess up 2 pans, 1 pot, 1 baking sheet, and a meat slicer? But in my defense it was worth it.

I took the last little bit of our prime rib and shaved it thin on the slicer.

Then made mini sandwiches with caramelized onions and a demi-glace mayonnaise (2 tsp demi-glace to 1/2 cup mayo).

But as good as the sandwiches were, this post isn't about them it was all about the soup, because it was phenomenally good. I enjoy thick, creamy, hearty soups in the winter and this one does my bidding. I had it for dinner last night, lunch today, and dinner tonight. I hope I came close in writing it all down the way we made it because Alexis and I both said this was one of the best things we have eaten in all of 2010.

I Did It All For The Gnocchi Soup
Inspired by's clone of Olive Garden Chicken And Gnocchi soup

4 Tbsp butter
1 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup celery, finely diced
1 large clove garlic, chopped
4 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 cups half and half
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup carrots, shredded and then chopped
2 cup beef stock
2 cups fresh spinach, rinsed, stemmed and chopped
1 ea poblano chile, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped (sub one can diced chilies)
1 lb potato gnocchi
3 sprigs thyme
1/2 t black pepper
1 t salt
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup potato starch (substitute corn starch if needed)

Garnish: Homemade croutons

  1. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat and saute the onions and celery for about 5 minutes until they are starting to turn semi-opaque...ummm clear...uhh..awww screw it, TRANSLUCENT.
  2. Add garlic and cook another minute.
  3. Sprinkle in the flour while stirring and cook for a few minutes to make into a light roux.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the half & half/cream/milk mixture. The recipe called for a quart of half & half, I used what I had on hand to make a quart so don't get hung up on the proportions.
  5. Return to heat and simmer until thickened and starting to reduce (about 15-20 minutes). Make sure to keep your heat at a simmer at most from this point on.
  6. Add the carrot, stock, spinach , poblano, and seasonings. Simmer and stir until reduced (Another 30 or more minutes)
  7. Remove 1-2 cups of the mixture and liquify in a food processor, blender, or Magic Bullet (yes I actually have one for just this kind of thing). Whisk in the starch and return to the soup.
  8. Add the cooked gnocchi and 1 Tbsp butter. Stir and let warm through.
  9. Serve topped with homemade croutons.

  • I already told you that the soup was a magnificent dish, enough said.
  • But this was the first time I ever taken the time to really caramelize onions, taking 1 1/2 hours. I didn't get them as brown in the end that I should but ding dang nabbit, their tender sweetness made them good enough to snack on.
  • The "demi glace mayo" which started as a joke because of the "Creme Fraiche" episode of South Park added a nice beefy depth, I can see using that with burgers in the summer.


  1. For a gnocchi soup like that, I can repeat all the "inefficient" procedure!

    Hey I'm hungry and it's late - incredible the power of the words and pictures! :)

    Happy New Year 2011!!


  2. LOL, we gotta stop this! I posted a soup on Wed. too, garnished with croutons. Funny.

    I make a mess in the kitchen too, but I guess that's probably never gonna change so I've accepted it. You meal looks wonderful!! Happy New Year Chris.

  3. Why do your leftovers always look so much better than anything I make the first time??

  4. I'm all over this soup. I've eaten at Olive Garden about once in my life and have never been back, but I'm seeing some wonderful copy cat soups from their menu. I might just have to make this recipe this weekend. Aren't caramelized onions wonderful. I think the longest I've cooked them have been just under an hour.South Park had a Creme Fraiche episode??? Have I ever told you I live next door to Kenny. No really, the real Kenny. He went to school and is friends with Trey Parker.

  5. Wow. Looks amazing! I am always in the mood for a new soup recipe! I have a copycat recipe for OG's Zuppa Toscana and can;t wait to try that, either!!

  6. Isn't this soup fabulous? We loved it when I made it a few weeks ago but I think I'd love it even more with the addition of the poblano chile - what a great idea!!!

  7. If this is the best thing you ate in all of 2010 then it's going on my list today...that's high praise considering all of the mouth-watering dishes you've served up! Happy New Year! xo, Nan

  8. LOL.. I seem to have the same problem as you when it comes to can I mess up so many pots and pans with a simple dish?? Glad I'm in good company at least!
    I wish I could get my Chris to eat gnocchi because I would make this soup tonight!!! YUM!

  9. This whole plates has me drooling, Lovely dinner. Have a great New year

  10. Wow, you have a meat slicer! I am so jealous. As we gear up for a move back to our long time home, DC, cooking has largely become about foraging in the freezer and the pantry. Fear not, I'll get back to poaching from my blogging buddies' recipes in February. Happy New Year.

  11. Chris - Your plate is to kill for. When a dish plays second fiddle to a prime rib sandwich and gets the "best I'v eaten this year label", I can't wait to try it.

  12. Ha! I do the same thing. Somehow over the course of making a sandwich I can dirty up 3 mixing bowls and a cake pan that I never normally use. It's nuts.

    The soup and sandwich look awesome, I miss having my dads meat slicer. They're a lot of fun.

  13. I am going to have to start watching South Park; I didn't know it could help inspire such a great meal!

    Wishing you and Alexis a very Blessed New Year!

  14. It looks like it was worth the mess to me. Have a Happy New Year!

  15. Now I know what to do with that extra package of gnocchi I had leftover from the 4-ingredient challenge meal... ;)

  16. "Who else could make and "easy" dinner using leftovers and still mess up 2 pans, 1 pot, 1 baking sheet, and a meat slicer?"

    What in the HELL are you talking about? To use that minimal number of dishes, and create a menu as awesome-looking as this...

    Just shut up and accept that you have a gift!

    Can't wait to make this combo!


  17. I am going to make this, Chris. Sounds great!

    I gave you a shout out on my personal blog:

  18. I usually dirty three dishes at LEAST merely making a salad. So in my opinion, you are completely normal in every way. Well. Maybe not EVERY way.

    I would love a big bowl of gnocchi soup. Gnocchi are my faves. Little potato nuggets of deliciousness.

  19. Chris, I'm on my way to the store to pick up the fixin's for this weekends cooks...adding this recipe to that list when I noticed; the Olive Garden dish says "Chicken" and the recipe has NOTHING chicken in it at all? We don't eat at OG so looking at this recipe, chicken sounds like it would go well. I'm thinking a can of pre-cooked white meat chicken added later in the simmmering process, what do you think?

  20. I can easily compete with you as to who can make a bigger mess in the kitchen :-)

    I wanted to stop by and wish you and your family a very Happy New Year! I want you to know I really enjoy blog and look forward to continuing to enjoy in 2011.

    I am amazed everyday at the world that blogging has opened up for me. Wow.


  21. Um, delicious!! How I have not found your blog until now??

    (PS: Dr. Zibbs sent me. He's good for something after all).

    Happy New Year!

  22. Demi-glace mayonnaise?!? That sounds absolutely wonderful. Great looking recipe, as always.

    Have a happy new year!

  23. hi chris, found your blog through sippitysup... nice recipe, interesting method- cream first then the veges..sandwiches sound delicious as well. happy new year

  24. I bought prime rib today, since I had never made it before...I will have to follow your recipe...things are always looking good over here!

    Happy New Year to you and your family, oh and the green egg!

  25. This is seriously one of the best recipe names in history. Loved it!

  26. The soup looks amazing. I'm still trying to find gnocchi in my little corner of the world, but it's out there somewhere. Roast beef sandwiches - especially ones with rare thinly sliced roast are my absolute FAVORITE food on the planet. Even though yours took second seat in this post, it made me drool. LMAO about the mess, too - I need a keeper when I get going.

  27. I totally loved what you did with that chicken gnocchi soup! I would love to try out your recipe!

  28. I am totally smitten with this soup Chris! It looks insanely good! I definitely see it in my future - my very near future.

  29. While I've been catching up did I happen to mention that you are amazing? :-)


Comments are moderated and won't appear immediately.