A couple of weeks ago, we sat down at an Olive Garden for the first time in six years. Bubba and I both ordered the endless soup, salad, and bread sticks to follow our ice water. The disappointed waitress brought me my chicken and gnocchi soup with a dismal look that servers reserve for only the cheapest customers. I didn't mind her dirty look once I tasted the delicious soup. I have wanted to try gnocchi since I started watching Top Chef. The chefs make it a lot, and I've always been curious. The salty, creamy goodness soon melted my resentment at the server's dirty looks.
"I know that salt is the main ingredient in this soup, but it is delicious!" I joked.
Our closest Olive garden is more than fifty miles away in Richmond. One of the disadvantages to living in as rural of an area as we do is that we don't have much choice in eating out cuisine. We don't go out to eat often, anyway, maybe once a month when we're having a family Day of Fun. I have been trying to figure out the best items from local restaurants and copycat them. If you dig around on-line, you can find a copycat recipe for just about any restaurant.
Last night, I made chicken and gnocchi soup from this website http://www.copykat.com/2010/02/28/olive-garden-chicken-and-gnocchi-soup/. (yay to a fellow blogger!)
I modified it a tiny bit, partially because I couldn't find my thyme. I used my easily accessible oregano instead. I used less spinach because I didn't have enough. I used a bit more garlic than the recipe called for and a bit less celery too. I love garlic and dislike celery. I got to use some of the pink, homemade stock from the previous post.
I made the gnocchi from scratch! (It was surprisingly easy, in fact.) Although mine were cut way too big, my soup was every big as delicious as the Olive Garden recipe. I'm glad we won't have to drive fifty miles away to be able to eat it again!