Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Olive Garden Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

Olive Garden Chicken and Gnocchi Soup
serves 8

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
4 Tablespoons Butter
1/2 Cup Celery, Diced
1 Cup Onion, Diced
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
4 Tablespoons Flour
1 Quart (4 Cups) Half-and-Half
1 Cup Carrots, Shredded
1 Cup Chicken, Cooked and Shredded or Diced
2 (14) Oz. Cans Chicken Broth
1 Package Gnocchi
1 Cup Fresh Spinach
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Thyme, Dried
1/2 Teaspoon Parsley, Dried

In a large pot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Add celery, onions, and garlic and saute until onions become translucent.  Add flour to make a roux.  Let the butter and flour mixture cook for about a minute then add the half-and-half.
In a separate pot, cook gnocchi according to package directions.  Set aside.
To the half-and-half add the carrots and chicken.  Once the mixture is thick, add the chicken broth.  Once the mixture thickens again, add the gnocchi, spinach and seasonings.  Serve when spinach is wilted and gnocchi is heated through.

My husband loves this soup from the Olive Garden.  So I had to make it for him right away when I found this recipe!  I served it with Italian Olive Oil Balsamic Bread Dip and french bread; however, if you wanted to, I bet you could Google an Olive Garden bread stick recipe.  The soup came together really fast because I used cooked rotisserie chicken from the store, used preshredded carrots, and used diced onions and celery from my freezer.  

Friday, September 14, 2012

Porcupine Meatballs

Porcupine Meatballs
family recipe
serves about 6

2 Pounds Ground Hamburger
1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
1/2 Cup Rice, Uncooked
1 Package Dry Onion Soup Mix, Divided
1 Small Can Tomato Sauce
1 Teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet or Worcestershire  Sauce

Mix together hamburger, pepper, rice, and half of the onion soup mix (about 2 teaspoons).  Shape into 1 1/2 inch balls.  Brown the meatballs in a frying pan, but don't cook all the way through.  Place browned meatballs in a casserole dish.  In a separate small bowl mix together the tomato sauce, 1/2 can of water, the rest of the onion soup mix, and the kitchen bouquet.  Pour sauce over meatballs and bake at 350 for 1 hour, covered.  Serve with mashed potatoes.

I was talking with my sister a few weeks ago and these meatballs came up in the conversation.  My mom use to make them for us all the time when we were growing up.  I had totally forgot about porcupine meatballs and I decided I needed to make them ASAP.  I have to say, they are as good as I remember.  Perfect weather-is-getting-cold-and-I-need-some-comfort-food!