Since the cooler evenings are here, many will be serving soups for the main dish. Soups are a personal favorite of mine and I love that you can use a slow cooker or let it simmer on the stove while you work.
I am including a great creamy soup with gnocchi, a tasty Italian dish. However, gnocchi is not a form of pasta. It is actually a dumpling made out of potatoes. You can serve gnocchi with a variety of sauces and toppings such as cheese, tomato sauce, cream or pesto, just like pasta. Or in this case, a soup.
What's soup without a nice bread to go with it? Keeping with the Italian theme, the garlic knots today couldn’t be any easier or quicker to turn out since the knots are made from canned buttermilk biscuits. It's a simple and affordable solution for a warm dinner bread.
Before winter hits, try the soft ginger cookies with cream cheese frosting. It’s a simple but tasty recipe, and I’m sure you’ll have the spices in your cabinet to complete them.
Slow Cooker Chicken Gnocchi Soup
1 cup chicken breasts, diced and cooked (can use canned chicken or turkey)
4 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 quart half and half, can use evaporated milk
1 14 ounce can chicken broth
1/2 cup celery, sliced
1/4 cup flour
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup carrots, shredded
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
16 ounce package gnocchi
In a large stockpot, saute the onion, celery and garlic in the butter and olive oil.
When the onion is clear, add the flour and form a roux.
Stir and cook a minute. Add the half and half.
Meanwhile, in another pan, cook the gnocchi.
Add the carrots and chicken to the stockpot with the roux. Stir often.
When it gets thicker, add the chicken broth, gnocchi, spinach and seasonings. Cover and heat through.
Garlic Parmesan Knots
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (16-ounce) tube refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
In a small bowl, whisk together butter, Parmesan, garlic powder, oregano, parsley and salt; set aside.
Halve each of the 8 biscuits, making 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a 5-inch rope, about 1/2-inch thick, and tie into a knot, tucking the ends.
Place knots onto the prepared baking sheet and brush each knot with half of the butter mixture. Place into oven and bake until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.
Serve immediately, brushed with remaining butter mixture.
Soft Ginger Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
1½ cups soft butter
2 cups sugar
½ cup molasses or honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
additional sugar for rolling dough in
1/2 cup butter, soft
8 oz. soft cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk
4-5 cups of powdered sugar
In large bowl mix butter and sugar on high until well combined, then add in molasses, eggs and vanilla and mix.
In medium bowl mix flour, soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. Slowly add this mixture to the big bowl and mix until combined.
Put dough in refrigerator and preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Keep the dough in the refrigerator for 15-30 mins. Put about ½ cup sugar in a bowl, then roll the dough into 1 inch balls and roll in the sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 mins. Don't over cook or they will be crunchy. Let cool completely then frost.
Frosting: Put cream cheese in medium bowl and mix on medium for 30 seconds. Add all the other ingredients and mix until combined and fluffy.
This article originally appeared on The Reporter Times: Gnocchi soup brings a taste of Italy into cooler temperatures