1 Stick (1/2 C) Butter
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1 Med-Large Yellow Onion, diced
1 lb Carrots (or small bag baby carrots), diced
1 bunch Celery hearts (around 4 cups), diced
2 TBSP Minced Garlic
1 cup Flour
8 cups chicken broth (reserved from boiling)
3 cups half & half
1 whole chicken
2 packages potato gnocchi
1 tray (or large bag) fresh spinach
3 tbsp Parsley
Parmesan or other white cheese of choice.
In a large pot, cover whole chicken with water and boil/simmer for an hour or until done. Pull chicken out of water and let cool a bit before pulling meat off the bones. Strain and reserve broth. Discard bones & skin and set cooked chicken aside.
In same large pot, melt butter and oil. Add the diced onion, carrots, celery and minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until carrots are tender and onions are translucent. Watch closely and stir often.
Pour 1/2 the flour into the pot and stir into the vegetables, then the other half and stir again. The flour will start to form a slight paste around the veggies. Cook for a few minutes, then a few cups at a time, start adding the chicken broth. Let all come to a simmer, then add the half & half.
Add the cooked chicken. Simmer for 20-30 minutes stirring often so that nothing burns or curdles on the bottom of the pot.
Cook the gnocchi separately by dropping into boiling water and then skimming them out of the water once they float (about 2-3 minutes). Add them to the soup along with all the spinach. Simmer on very low until spinach is cooked in. Add parsley and more salt & pepper to taste.
Serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
*For healthier option, substitute milk for half & half and oil for butter.