Quick chicken, gnocchi, spinach & courgette soup
Soup is one of the most wonderful things about the weather getting colder. I want to share with you one of my family’s favourite – Quick Chicken, gnocchi, spinach and Courgette Soup! And if you are wondering what courgette is… it is just another name for zucchini.
Courgettes remind me of my mum… she had (and still has) a very large and bountiful vegetable garden which feed our family. Whatever was in season, we ate it… and plenty of it. Anybody who has ever grown courgette, would know that one day it is a courgette and the next day a huge tasteless marrow… it literally grows before your eyes.
Every day Mum would go and pick the courgettes before they got too big and would look for new ways to use them up. You can make them into cakes, fritters, instead of onions… but fresh from the garden, sauteed in some salted butter still is one of my favourite ways to eat them.
So to this day, I still always choose the smaller and darkest green courgette from the market, as that is usually the most tastiest!
This recipe is quick to prepare and requires just a few kitchen staples and plenty of ways to take extra shortcuts. (And anyone who has ever eaten with me, or seen me cook… I am not big on the measuring).
This is what you need to have sorted on the bench:
- a decent knob of butter
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2-3 small and fresh courgette/zucchini
- dash of sugar
- salt & pepper to taste
- about a litre of chicken stock (I make my own using my thermomix, but store bought works fine!)
- spinach (the biggest bag you can buy or frozen, or both)
- a pre-cooked chicken, skin removed and shredded
- good quality gnocchi (I like the wholemeal one as it is slightly more robust) – cook this as per the instructions – but basically as soon as it pops to the top of the boiling water, drain in a colander and toss with some olive oil to prevent from sticking to one another. Eat one. They are yum.
- Parmesan cheese to grate over to serve
What to do:
- Finely slice the garlic into slivers and the same thing with the courgette
- Melt the butter in your soup pot over a low heat and be careful not to let it go brown.
- Add 1/2 cup of your stock and add your pinch of sugar
- Saute off the garlic for a minute or so and then turn up the heat and toss through the courgette. Cook until they are soft – about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the big bag of spinach. You can never have too much spinach. That’s what I think anyway…
- As soon as it starts to wilt, add the pre-cooked shredded chicken and the stock and gently bring to a simmer to cook through
- Lastly, add the cooked gnocchi. Be careful not to over cook (as your gnocchi will disintegrate!)
- Gently stir through and season with salt and pepper to taste
- Don’t forget some good quality Parmesan for serving!
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