This Crockpot Chicken Gnocchi Soup – it’s a simple, velvety, back-to-basics meal.
In honor of this recipe, and the first day of fall, I’m putting the brakes on. ???
Which means a short post today. (I just looked at this block of text ? and realized that my perception of short is way off. Thank you for not judging.)
This recipe embodies a cozy, slow, fall-ish dinner that doesn’t involve scrambling or striving or hurrying up to get on to the next thing that probably doesn’t even matter in the big picture of life. We need more of this rich, delicious slowness in our lives.
Crockpot Chicken Gnocchi Soup. It’s the one you want to make when it’s starting to get dark earlier and earlier, and you’re on your way home after a long day, wondering how it can already be dark at 6pm and where in the world did summer go so fast, and all that sounds right in the world is being and home and in your thick wooly socks and your cat pajamas – WHAT? – and unplugging (I’m looking at you, phone-at-mealtimes-self) with an intentionally slow, rustic, back-to-basics meal.
You’ll put the chicken and celery, onions, and carrots in early in the day. Before work, after your morning workout, or once you put the kids down for a nap. Help it out with some earthy dried spices and get it all going and let it get wonderful together for a few hours. Thank you, chicken, for being fast to cook when we need it and flexible enough to sit in the crockpot all day when we can’t get back to you for a while.
When you (and the soup) are good and ready, head back into the kitchen to slowly and zen-ly finish making this by adding the gnocchi and the creamy milk to the soup base, frying up that bacon to salty, crispy perfection, and sautéing the garlic and spinach. The smells, though. ♨︎ Please stop rushing around to go nowhere and just soak up all the smells.
Stir it all together and sit down with your people and pass that warm and crusty loaf of roasted garlic bread around. Annnnd pass it around one more time, because that roasted garlic bread is everything.
And when you have a fleeting self-judgement thought about whether or not you’re ruining this lovely scene with your store-bought roasted garlic bread – stop it. None of that now. Enjoy your soup and your bread and just… just chill out. Slow down. Savor.
Me personally – I’m just waiting for the clock to strike 6pm.
This recipe was adapted from my friend Jessica’s version of Chicken Gnocchi Soup! ?? Hers is made with canned chicken, frozen spinach, and not in the crockpot. She introduced me to the genius of using evaporated milk!
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 cups mirepoix (just a simple mixture of chopped onions, celery, and carrots)
- 1-2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1-2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
- 2 12 ounce cans evaporated milk
- 2 1lb. packages mini potato gnocchi (about 4 cups - we use DeLallo brand)
- 6 slices bacon
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 5 ounces fresh baby spinach
- Place the chicken, mirepoix, basil, Italian seasoning, poultry seasoning, salt, and broth in a crockpot or slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Shred the chicken directly in the crockpot.
- Add the cornstarch mixture, evaporated milk, and gnocchi. Stir and replace cover.
- Cut the bacon into small pieces and fry until crispy. Drain on paper towels and wipe most of the bacon grease out of the pan, leaving just a little bit for the spinach/garlic. Add the garlic and saute for one minute. Add the spinach and stir until wilted. Remove from heat. Add the bacon and spinach to the crockpot. Stir to combine.
- Add any additional liquid as needed (I added about a cup of water) and season again with salt and pepper as needed.
You can use something other than evaporated milk, but I found that evaporated milk has the creaminess of half and half or heavy whipping cream without actually needing to use up all my good half and half in the soup. :)
The leftovers do soak up a lot of the moisture, so you might need to add more evaporated milk depending on how soupy you want it and/or how long you'll be keeping it around.