Saturday, February 9, 2019

Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

This soup is a big hit with my kids! I'm so glad because it's easy to make. The fresh rosemary is so fragrant. I use store bought gnocchi for a quick meal. I've added a note at the bottom to make this without the cream. Both versions are wonderful. You can even make the soup with leftover baked chicken which is easy peasy. We love kale but if you prefer spinach that can be used also. It's a great weeknight dinner and I make extra for lunches the next day. Just heat it up and put them in a container for school.

You can also make this soup on the stove top if you don't want to use a pressure cooker. I use and Instant Pot. For the stove top, just saute everything like the recipe says. Add the chicken and stock. Bring to a boil. Then simmer until the chicken is done. Remove the chicken, and continue with the recipe as directed.

Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

6 slices bacon, chopped or 1/3 cup chopped pancetta
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 carrots, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 bay leaf
3 inch (approximate) rind of Parmesan (optional) or add 1/2 cup grated Parmesan before serving soup
2 Sprigs of fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
4 cups chicken stock or broth, low sodium
2 raw bone in chicken breasts, or 4 thighs, or 2 leg quarters, all bone in*
4 cups of kale leaves, chopped
16 ounces gnocchi, homemade or from the refrigerator section at the store
1 cup heavy cream**

  1. SAUTE bacon/pancetta in the pressure cooker until almost crispy.
  2. Add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, cook until onions begin to soften.
  3. Add carrots, celery, bay leaf, and basil cook 2 minutes.
  4. Add  about a cup of chicken stock. Scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits at the bottom of the pot.
  5. Add remaining stock, Parmesan rind, and chicken. Cancel SAUTE function.
  6. Place lid on pressure cooker and cook on HIGH pressure for 5 minutes, 7 minutes for leg quarters.
  7. Once cooking is complete let the pot naturally release pressure for 20 minutes. Then slowly release the pressure manually.
  8. Remove chicken, bay leaf, Parmesan rind, and rosemary stem (most of the leaves will have fallen off).
  9. Shred chicken and set it aside. Discard the bones. 
  10. Turn on SAUTE. Bring the soup to a boil and add the kale. Cook for 3-5 minutes.***
  11. Add gnocchi, and cook until done about 3 minutes.
  12. Turn off SAUTE mode. Stir in grated Parmesan cheese (if the rind was not used), shredded chicken, and heavy cream.

* If using cooked shredded chicken do not add it while cooking the soup, just stir it in at the end with the gnocchi and kale.
**To make this soup creamy without the heavy cream you can puree a peeled baked potato with a little chicken stock and stir it into the soup OR You can also puree a half a  can of cannellini beans for the same effect.
*** If you like your kale more well done, you can put it in the pot with the carrots in step 3.
Note about chicken-
I dislike overdone chicken that falls off the bone. I've never had my bone in chicken not cook through at 5-7 minutes and still be easily shredded.  I know many recipes call for 10+ minutes. If you feel your chicken is not done to your liking, shred it and cook it more with the kale and gnocchi at the end. But I have never had to do this.
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