If you've ever visited a place that begins with Olive and ends with Garden, you may have come across this soup. It's well-loved by fans of the Italian chain, which means that copycat recipes are all over the internet. This take on the soup, however, is a little different. It relies on rotisserie chicken to make it weeknight-friendly, but skips the heavy cream that's found in the restaurant version to lighten it up. Don't fret, though — it's still full of creamy comfort, thanks to tender, starchy potato gnocchi.
Chicken and Dumplings, Italian-Style
This is the kind of soup that puts you at ease — think of it as an Italian version of the Southern comfort food classic, chicken and dumplings, with fresh potato gnocchi replacing the usual flour dumplings. What makes this soup particularly special, however, is how it utilizes rotisserie chicken. Not only is the meat tossed in, but the carcass is also simmered in the pot with a simple soffritto of diced onion, carrot, and celery along with plenty of garlic, herbs, and water to make a quick chicken stock. And since the gnocchi are cooked right in the pot, they release some of their starch, thickening and adding creaminess to the soup, eliminating the need for any actual cream — not that you couldn't tip in a bit for a final flourish!
Weeknight Rotisserie Chicken and Gnocchi Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
3 celery stalks, diced
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups water
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh parsley
1 (2-pound) plain rotisserie chicken, meat shredded (about 4 1/2 cups) and carcass reserved
1 pound fresh potato gnocchi
1 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion, carrots, and celery, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
Add the water, bay leaf, parsley, and chicken carcass. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Place the lid on the pot so it is slightly ajar; simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove and discard the chicken carcass, bay leaf, and parsley. Add the shredded chicken and gnocchi. Continue to simmer until the gnocchi is al dente, about 3 minutes, or according to package instructions.
Add the spinach and cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper as needed.
- Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.