Tuscan Chicken Vegetables and Gnocchi Soup

This is a great soup to use up some of your garden harvest and to warm you up on a chilly Fall day.

2 skin-on and bone-in split chicken breasts
olive oil
black pepper
3 heads garlic
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, finely diced
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
2 parsnips, peeled and finely diced
2 ribs celery, finely diced
2 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced into small, bite-size cubes
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
4 – 4 ½ cups hot chicken stock (homemade if possible)
Small piece of Parmesan rind
2 cups Tuscan kale, chopped into small pieces
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, julienned
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, 1 tablespoon minced rosemary
grated fresh Parmesan, for garnish


-Preheat oven to 400°, and line a baking sheet with foil.

-Place the split chicken breasts on the baking sheet, and drizzle them with a little oil, and a couple   pinches of salt and pepper.
-Cut the tops off of the heads of garlic, drizzle each head with a little oil, plus a pinch of salt and pepper, and wrap each head in a small piece of foil; place on the baking sheet next to the chicken.
-Roast the chicken, along with the garlic, for 45 minutes; then allow both to cool until they can be handled.
-Once they are cooled, shred the chicken, and set it aside; then, squeeze the roasted garlic from the papers, and using your knife or a fork, make the cloves into a paste; set the paste aside for a moment.
-Place a medium-large pot over medium to medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 2-3 tablespoons of the oil, plus add in the tablespoon of butter; once melted together, add in the onion and allow it sweat for about 3-4 minutes, until translucent and softened.
-To the onion add the roasted garlic paste and stir it in to combine.
-Next, add in the diced carrots, parsnips, celery and butternut squash and stir to combine; add in the Italian seasoning, plus a pinch or two of salt and black pepper, and the red pepper flakes, and stir to incorporate.
-Add in the tomato paste and stir, and allow it to cook with the vegetables for about 2-3 minutes, or until the raw flavor is cooked out of it.
-Next, add in the chicken stock and stir, followed by the piece of Parmesan rind, if using; cover with a lid and simmer very gently on low for about 20-22 minutes, stirring occasionally or until the veggies are tender.
-Turn off the heat, and remove the Parmesan rind, add in the kale and stir to incorporate it, and allow it wilt into the soup for a few minutes; then, finish the soup by adding in the shredded chicken, the fresh herbs (also, check your seasoning at this point to see if any additional salt/pepper is needed).
-To serve, add about ¼ cup or so of cooked gnocchi to your bowl, and ladle some of the stew over top; garnish with some grated Parmesan.

 Using homemade chicken stock is really the key to this recipe though store bought can also be used.

 You can use just about any vegetables you have on hand.

 Cooking the broth with the Parmesan rind gives the soup a rich, deep flavor.

 I always cook my tomato paste ahead of using it.

 It adds a nice roasted tomato flavor to recipes rather than overwhelming it with tomato flavor.

 You can add the gnocchi to the pot right before serving.

 Stir in the herbs right at the end for fresh flavor.

 I added lots of kale because kale is good!

Serve with crusty bread and sprinkle on more grated cheese for a hearty meal.


Susan said…
I can almost smell this - I cannot wait for soup weather! Of course, it was 46 degrees this morning, so I suppose it IS soup weather. In August?
Rain said…
I can't wait until soup and stew weather too! My slow cooker is whispering to me on a daily basis lol...actually one of those little cookbooks that Alex ordered for me is called "Snow Country Cooking"...it should arrive this week! Woo hoo! I love the look of your soup! A good soup with veggies is so comforting. Btw, I showed Alex your Tian posts and he wants me to make it, so that'll be in the fall menu too! Thanks for all the inspiration!! :)
Soup season is coming. Oh, My Goodness! I dearly love soup season. David hates soup but I can't wait for it. I live on veggie soups all autumn and winter long. I just make David stews and chilis and he's happy.
1st Man said…
No cool crisp evenings here yet but hey, we just crank down the a/c and make it nice and cool, ha. It looks WONDERFUL!!!
I love Gnocchi Soup. This looks like the perfect autumn comfort food.