I’m on quite the gnocchi kick lately. Can you tell? I go through obsessive phases, and this is just one of them. I’m sure it will dwindle out in a couple of weeks, but for the time being, I’m embracing all kinds of new ways to prepare gnocchi. Besides the normal douse gnocchi in sauce and treat it as pasta type of recipe, I’ve decided to throw it in a soup…a slow cooker soup at that. It has been a long weekend (I will get into it in a moment), and I wanted something simple and easy for Sunday supper. If you can even call it supper, I think we ate dinner yesterday at 4 pm. I know, I’m totally 95 when it comes to dinner. This slow cooker parmesan and tomato soup with gnocchi and chicken is the perfect meal for autumn months!
To break things down just a bit for ya, just imagine over 700 breweries packed into one of Denver’s largest venues, and then imagine these 700 breweries pouring 3000+ different types of beer. That about sums it up. This year we embraced the whole weekend and attended the Farm to Table Pavilion, where they specialize in pairing food and beer…foie gras and oysters on the half shell anyone? Yes, there was foie gras…and duck…and octopus…etc…It was amazing, and I’m still having dreams about it. If you are a new reader and this is confusing to you, just check out the name of my website. ;)
I’m still recovering. I’m still extremely tired, and I need a detox BADLY. It was totally worth it though, and I’m sure I’ll put myself through it again, year after year, as long as I live in the area.
I wouldn’t go ahead and say that this soup is my way of detoxing. It was delicious of course, but I’m sure there are more efficient ways out there to detoxify. I will start that today…
…Don’t hold me to that…but I’m sure as heck going to try…
I wanted some bitterness from a double IPA to compliment this soup. It’s slightly sweet, and that bitter kick is just what you need to even things out. A double IPA’s subtle earthiness also really compliments that fresh basil that lingers with each and every bite. If you are not a crazy hophead, then feel free to substitute an IPA or pale ale if you wish.
Here are some examples of Double IPAs that would be the perfect match for this soup:
1 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes (sauce included)
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped finely
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup half and half
3 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 16-ounce package gnocchi, cooked per manufacturer's instructions
2 cups fully-cooked chicken breasted, shredded
shaved parmesan and chopped basil, for garnish
To your slow cooker, add yellow onion, garlic, tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, granulated sugar, salt, pepper, half and half, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours, stirring every hour or so.
Once cooked, transfer the soup to a blender and blend until completely smooth. Be careful, as the soup will be hot. Cover the blender with a towel and hold as you blend. Transfer back to the slow cooker. Keep the heat set on low.
Prepare a roux, by melting the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Sprinkle on the flour and whisk until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Whisk in the milk and continue to whisk until no lumps of flour remain and the mixture is thick.
Add the roux to the slow cooker, and whisk until fully incorporated. Add the grated parmesan cheese, and cover. Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
Add the cooked gnocchi and chicken and stir to combine. Serve immediately with shaved parmesan and chopped basil.
Note: If you plan on reheating the soup, I suggest serving the gnocchi individually by placing a small amount in each bowl and then pouring the soup over top. The gnocchi tends to get gummy if it sits in the soup and will not reheat as well. You may still add the chicken to the entire pot of soup.