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Roasted Carrot Soup

2 Mar

Roasted carrots, onion and garlic pureed into a creamy delicious soup. It really can’t get much simpler!
roasted_carrot_soupYou will need:

7 large carrots peeled, halved crosswise, and cut lengthwise
1 Large Onion, quartered
1 head of Garlic
2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 stick of margarine
1 tsp Garlic salt
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400

Mix room temperature margarine with parsley and garlic salt in a small bowl until combined. Line a baking sheet with foil and spread the butter mixture all over the foil. Place the carrots and onions on the foil lined baking sheet and mix around so they are coated in the butter. Place in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes- turning at least once.

For the garlic, cut 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves. Drizzle about a tbsp of oil on the cloves and wrap in tin foil. Place the garlic in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Once cooled, turn the clove upside down and squeeze the cloves out. You could also use  a fork and knife but if find the squeezing method to be faster.

Using a food processor or emulsion blender puree the vegetables until smooth and transfer the mixture to a pot. Add chicken stock until the desired thickness and simmer for 30 minutes.   It would be great as a first course or light main dish. Serve with crusty bread

roasted_carrot_soup2

Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

14 Feb

Like Olive Garden's Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

This is my version of the ever-popular Olive Garden Chicken and Gnocchi soup. Since the first time I had it I was determined to recreate it. 10+  tries later I think I’ve finally got it. I’ve tried using different combinations of chicken stock, cream and milk but the broth was either too watery or too creamy and lacked the chicken flavor. The secret is the Knorr Condensed Stock packets! They flavor the cream with out adding too much water!

.5 cup Shredded carrot
3 stalks of celery chopped
.5 medium onion chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cup fresh spinach leaves with out stems, chopped
2 cups chopped chicken. (I roasted some chicken thighs, but to make it easier consider buying a cooked rotisserie chicken at your local grocery store)
4 tbsp margarine
4 tbsp flour
2 Knorr Home-style Condensed Chicken Stock packages
¾ gallon whole milk
.5 package frozen gnocchi

Start by sautéing the carrot, celery,  and onion in a large pot until tender. In the last 3 minutes add the spinach and continue to sauté. Once cooked through, remove from the pot and reserve for later.

In a second medium size pan, cover the gnocchi with water and bring to a light boil.  The gnocchi are ready when they begin to rise to the top and are tender. Drain and set aside for later

While the gnocchi are cooking, melt 4 tbsp of butter in the pot we cooked the vegetables in. Add in the flour. Stir well for about three minutes. Next add about half a cup of milk. Stir until there are no lumps. Add one cup of milk and stir until there are no lumps. After all of the lumps are removed, cover and let simmer for two minutes or until it thickens. From that point, add the rest of the milk in, stirring continually for about three minutes. The soup should start to thicken at this point.  Add the two stock packets,  chopped chicken, gnocchi, and the vegetables. Allow the soup to simmer for at least 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

Serve with salad and bread.

Enjoy!