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.