Chicken gnocchi soup
Yesterday, I stopped by my friend Jessica's house to see her and her son. I played with her little boy while she chopped veggies for a meal she was bringing to a friend that night. Whereas I prefer to follow a recipe, since I'm nervous that my kitchen experiments won't turn out, Jessica is naturally good at using up all the food in the fridge, coming up with new combinations and just "throwing together" a meal, or following a recipe with modifications, based on what she has on hand.
I happened to be at her home over the lunch hour, and she offered me some yummy zucchini bread and some soup she just "made up," the previous day. And guys, this soup is so good. I tried it and then got seconds. It's so simple but the flavors and the textured work so well. I asked her for her ingredients list and what she did to prepare it so I could make it for supper for us last night. As we were eating it, Nicholas said, You should text Jessica and tell her this soup is really good. I did text her, and I also asked if I could share it on the blog, which she graciously said I could!
It's like chicken noodle, but with gnocchi instead. It's simple and warm, and packed with flavor. And since the chicken is added when it's already cooked, the soup doesn't take long at all to prepare. Jessica also mentioned that if the soup tastes bland, add salt. Add more salt than you would expect to, and that brings out all the other flavors in soup.
I was going to wait until fall to post this recipe, but it's a rainy, wonderfully cozy day here in Austin, and I'm always up for a good soup recipe, year-round, so here you go!
Chicken Gnocchi Soup by Jessica Lincoln
- 1/2 large white onion, diced
- 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/4"-1/2" pieces
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded*
- approximately 18 oz gnocchi (typically made with potato, but make sure to check the ingredient list to make sure it's gf, if that's important to you)
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 T avocado or olive oil
- 1 tsp dried oregano, or to taste
- salt and pepper to taste (probably more than you would expect, but be mindful of how much salt your chicken stock has in it)
Cook chicken, if not already done (see below)
- Prepare veggies, including garlic, and set aside
- Heat a large stock pot over medium heat, adding oil. Once oil looks "shimmery," add veggies. Season with a few cracks of black pepper, salt, and oregano. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until onions look translucent.
- Pour in chicken stock, add in cooked, shredded chicken. Bring entire pot to a low boil/simmer.
- Add in gnocchi, stirring occasionally, cook for about two minutes, or until gnocchi floats to the top (indicating it's cooked. This happens fast!)
- Remove from heat, taste to see if soup needs additional seasoning, and adjust accordingly.
- Serve immediately, and enjoy!
Easy cooked chicken
You can use a rotisserie chicken, or here are the two methods I use:
- Oven-roasted chicken: best for thawed chicken breasts. I do this all the time.
- Instant pot chicken breasts: for either thawed or frozen chicken breasts. I did this yesterday, since I didn't plan ahead enough to thaw the meat, per usual. Take 2 frozen chicken breasts, places them in the IP with about 1/2-3/4 cup chicken broth, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover and set IP to high pressure for 12 minutes. When 12 minutes are complete, do a quick release. Allow to cool slightly and shred for use in basically any recipe. If using thawed chicken breasts, decrease time in IP to about 8 minutes. Thank you to Jessica's mom for this easy method! :)
Hearty Beef and Vegetable Stew (Slow Cooker recipe)
I am certainly not a food blogger, and it has been some time since I shared a recipe on the blog. However, I wanted to share a "recipe" or method, if you will, for our very favorite beef roast in the crockpot.
I love the cooler months for the feel of them, in every way. I love cold-weather clothing, and candles, and the idea of slower, soothing months, where life doesn't feel so hectic. I love the anticipation of Thanksgiving and Christmas. And I love a good comfort food meal, that you can start in the afternoon, and let it simmer while doing laundry or a pre-dinner tidy of your home. This chili is that food for me. It's not altogether pretty, but you could always add some color by way of green pepper or jalepenos, etc. It's very mix-and-matchable and well-suited to whatever you have in your pantry. For us, that's chickpeas and lentils, since Nicholas isn't a huge fan of pinto/navy beans, etc. These ingredients afford a "traditional" enough chili for me, with a texture he enjoys as well.
Baked peanut butter oatmeal (our favorite breakfast)
Baked PB oatmeal or just "PB oatmeal" as we fondly call it, serves as our breakfast at least 300 mornings of the year. I've mentioned it about one million times on the blog, since I've been making is for us ever since Summer posted the recipe almost exactly five years ago, but I've never actually shared the recipe and how I make it. Over time, I've adjusted a few things and tweaked it to it's current state. I adore recipes like this that I can make again and again. We eat a lot of eggs for any meal of the day, and so it's nice to have an egg-free breakfast option. And I really love the idea of a make-ahead breakfast that will reheat easily and fill us up with both protein and carbs.