SLOW COOKER CREAMY CHICKEN GNOCCHI SOUP
Using a slow cooker is currently my favorite way to make soups. Even this Olive Garden copycat can be made in one with ease.
I wouldn’t consider this a super easy soup to throw together but the slow cooker breaks up the steps and makes it seem so much more effortless.
I really prefer to make my soups with a bone broth, so for this one you start with bone in, skinless chicken thighs and cook them for several hours on high. When they’re done cooking you remove them and run the broth through a strainer to get rid of any debris left over from the chicken. Cooking the chicken, bone-in, in the liquid this way makes for a very rich, flavorful broth. Much better than just throwing canned broth and pre-cooked chicken together.
After the broth is strained the vegetables are put in and left to cook for an hour. The soup is then thickened with a roux, chicken is shredded and added back in along with the gnocchi and left to cook for another hour.
Just before serving, the spinach is added. It may seem like a lot of spinach at first, and you will sort of have to “fold” it in, but it will quickly wilt down.
So, yes, it is a little more work than your average slow cooker soup, but preparing it this way will give you one of the most luxurious, flavorful soups you can make.
- 6 Chicken Thighs, bone in, skin removed
- 10 C. Chicken Broth
- 1 t. Pepper
- 1 T. Coarse Salt
- 1 large Onion, chopped
- 4 Carrots, grated
- 5 stalks Celery, Chopped
- 2 T. Fresh Thyme
- 1 T. Garlic, minced
- 1 stick(8 T. or ½ C.) Butter
- ¾ C. Flour
- 1 lb. Gnocchi(dried or fresh)
- 6 oz. fresh Spinach
- Place the chicken, chicken broth, pepper, and salt in a slow cooker.
- Cook on high for 4 hours.
- Remove the chicken from the broth and set aside to cool.
- Run the broth through a fine mesh sieve and pour back into the slow cooker set to high. Add the onion, carrots, celery, thyme, and garlic. Let cook for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, make a roux by melting the butter in a small saute pan. When the butter is melted, add the flour and stir to make a thick paste(will be very thick). Cook the roux for 30 seconds, stirring constantly as to not let it brown.
- Add the roux to the slow cooker. Whisk it into the liquid until there are no lumps left. Soup will thicken slightly and continue to thicken as it cooks.
- Shred the cooled chicken(make sure to remove all bones and debris first) and add it to the soup.
- Add the gnocchi to the soup and let cook for another 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Taste the soup and add salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
- Just before serving, add the spinach. It will seem very bulky at first, but as you fold it into the soup it will wilt significantly.