Food For the Soul- Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Food for the Soul-Chicken Gnocchi
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Here’s Brandi Carson, one of HCFM’s Meal Masters with this week’s Food For the Soul!

 

As a stay at home mom of five, my family adheres to a tight grocery budget. I am constantly looking for ways to make delicious, filling, healthy meals that don’t break the bank. Beans and rice are a staple in our family, but sometimes it’s nice to find a recipe that will bring dinnertime up a notch.  

Homemade Chicken Gnocchi soup is just that recipe! It’s so impressive, you would never imagine how inexpensive it is to make. I will warn you, though, this isn’t a 30-minute meal. It is a bit laborious, making stock from scratch and homemade gnocchi, but the result is well worth the time invested.

When thinking about this recipe, I am reminded of the Proverbs 31 woman.  We are told that she “works with eager hands,” “provides food for her family,” and has arms that “are strong for her tasks.” As women of Christ, we strive daily to fill these roles. By being a good steward of our family’s budget and blessing our family with a meal infused with love, we are serving Christ as a modern day Proverbs 31 woman. Proverbs 31:27,30-31a says “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Charm is deceptive, beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done.”

Chicken Broth:                      Print Recipe:

Ingredients

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3-4 pounds Chicken Drumsticks and/ thighs and wings
1 large or 2 small onions, coarsely chopped
3-4 carrots, coarsely chopped
3-4 stalks of celery, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1.       Place all ingredients in a stockpot and cover with a couple extra inches of water.
2.       Boil for 20-30 minutes until chicken is done.
3.       Remove chicken and let cool until able to handle, turn down heat.
4.       Remove chicken from the bone and shred.
5.       Add bones back into the stock pot and bring to a boil.
6.       Simmer on med-low heat with lid off for several hours. Add water if needed.
7.       Strain broth and let cool.

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Coarsely chop onions, carrots, and celery (not pictured, oops I ran out! It will still taste great!) Add veggies and chicken to a large stockpot and cover with a couple inches of water over the top. Boil for 20 to thirty minutes, until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Mom Tip: A great time to make stock is when you can get chicken on sale. I usually wait until it’s on sale for 99 cents/lb.

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Remove chicken and let cool, turn heat down to medium.

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Remove meat from the bones and shred chicken.

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There is more chicken than you need for this recipe so save half and freeze in a Ziploc bag for the next time you want to make this soup or another meal!

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Return bones to the broth and veggie mixture and bring to a boil. Simmer for several hours with the lid off. Add water if needed.

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Strain broth. Now you have a nice yummy broth ready for soup.

Disclaimer: You can totally use store-bought broth for this recipe, but this is just an effective way to get the most bang for your buck.

Gnocchi

Ingredients:

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3-4 large russet potatoes, peeled but left whole
1 egg
2-3 cups all-purpose flour
¼- 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)
3-4 cups homemade chicken stock

Directions:

1.       In a medium pot, boil whole potatoes for 30-45 minutes or until you can stick a fork in them.
2.       Drain potatoes.
3.       Place potatoes back in the pot, without water, and put back on medium heat for a couple minutes to evaporate any excess water.
4.       Remove potatoes and let cool.
5.       While potatoes cool, finely grate the cheese in a medium bowl.
6.       On a fine grater, grate potatoes.  They will be light and fluffy.
7.       Add egg, mix lightly with a fork.
8.       Add flour a little at a time and mix with a fork until it forms a dough consistency. If sticky add more flour.
9.       Slightly knead into a ball.
10.   Working in small sections, roll dough into a rope about half-inch thick.
11.   Cut into half-inch pieces and dust lightly with flour to keep from sticking, repeat.
12.   In a medium saucepan bring chicken stock to a boil.
13.   Drop gnocchi into boiling stock a handful at a time, and boil for a few minutes until they float.
14.   Using a strainer spoon, remove gnocchi from chicken stock and place onto a sheet pan, repeat.

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Peel potatoes and boil whole 30-45 minutes or until you can stick a fork into them. Drain and place potatoes back in the pot and cook on medium heat for a couple minutes to evaporate any excess water. Let cool.

Mom Tip: a great time to make gnocchi it to check when potatoes are on sale. I got these on sale for 99 cents for a 10 lb. bag!

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Finely grate cheese in a medium bowl.

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With a fine grater, grate potatoes. They will be light and fluffy.

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Add salt, pepper and egg.

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Mix lightly with a fork.

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Slowly add flour a little at a time while mixing until a dough consistency forms.

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Should look something like this.

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Dust countertop with flour and turn dough out onto it. Knead a couple times to make sure the dough is well mixed.

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Divide in smaller sections to make it easier to work with.

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Roll into a rope that is about half an inch in thickness.  Then cut into about half inch sections.

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They will look like this. Dust them or roll them in the flour a bit to keep them from sticking to each other.

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In a medium saucepot bring to boil your homemade stock ( or store bought) and gently drop a handful in at a time. You know they are done when they pop up and float!

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When they are floating use a slotted spoon to scoop them out of the broth and just place onto a sheet pan. This will make more than you need so you can just freeze them on the sheet pan. When they are frozen solid transfer them to a freezer bag until your next soup day! At this point, you are halfway to making a second pot of soup for the future. You just made homemade gnocchi, way to go!

Chicken Gnocchi Soup

 

Ingredients:

 

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1 recipe of homemade chicken stock
1-2 cups of shredded chicken
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 small or 1 large onion, diced
1 ½ cup shredded carrots
1 ½ cup celery, diced
½ cup frozen spinach, diced
1-pint half and half
2-3 tsp. dried rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
A couple tbsps. of flour

Directions:

1.       On medium heat, add a couple tablespoons of olive oil, add garlic and onion and sauté until softened, add carrots and celery and sauté until softened.
2.       Add a couple more tbsps. of oil, heat through.  Add 2-3 tbsps. of flour to make a roux. Cook for a minute or two, stirring frequently. Add salt, pepper, and rosemary.
3.       Add stock, stirring the bottom well to mix thoroughly.
4.       Bring to a boil until thickened. Add chicken, spinach, and cooked gnocchi.
5.       Turn down heat and add half and half, don’t let boil.
6.       Simmer for another 15-20 minutes, season to taste with salt and pepper.

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On medium heat, in olive oil saute onions and garlic until soft. Add celery and carrots and continue cooking until softened.

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Add celery and carrots and continue cooking until softened.

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Next, you may need to add a little extra oil, or even butter, then add flour and stir well.

Add broth and stir well getting all the bits off the bottom. Add salt, pepper, and rosemary. Stir well and bring to a boil, stirring frequently so nothing sticks to the bottom. This is when it will thicken.

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Once soup starts thickening add chicken, spinach, gnocchi and half and half.

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Continue to simmer for another 20 minutes or so but don’t let it come to a boil. Always double check the salt and pepper before serving!

Mom Tip: With this recipe you have made extra chicken and gnocchi so you have most of the ingredients in the freezer ready to go.  The next time you want to make it just buy boxed broth and veggies and you are ready to go!

Brandi Carson

Brandi Carson

Hey mamas, My name is Brandi Carson, and I am a homeschooling mama to 5 littles, first generation Christian, lover of food, friends, and dark chocolate, frugal thrift shopper who loves to find a good deal or a new project to work on and create. I am a mama that became a Christian after I started having babies.

My husband and I got married very young and started a family right away. Life has been a series of many trials that we have had to work through, like having a daughter with severe ADHD, moving to 4 different states in 2 years, health problems and just life in general. Through the years the Lord has shown me so much grace and love and has taught me so much about how to be humble, show love and grace.

Each day I strive to be the best mama and wife I can be and fulfill the calling the Lord has placed in my life. I have a passion to help other mamas in any way I can. I am still a work in progress and make mistakes like everyone else and am nowhere near perfect but I am learning to pick myself up, forgive myself and keep seeking the Lord in all I do.

We are finally settled in beautiful Colorado Springs, Colorado for the past few years where the Lord has allowed us to build a house and grow roots. He brought me the Help Club for Moms and the amazing community I get to be a part of.
Brandi Carson

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