13 November 2010

Chicken Soup for the Ambitious Soul

And I really mean chicken soup, because it's what I made tonight for dinner.  There wasn't a printed recipe I followed anywhere, so I quickly wrote one up to share with the world.  I can also be a bit of an annoying and inept cook when it comes to reading recipes, so I added a few questions I would have asked if I had read one. 

Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup:
Serves 2-4

- 1 package gnocchi noodles
- 2 cans creamy chicken soup
- 1 chicken breast
- 4 mushrooms (small size)
- 1 stick of celery
- 1 giant carrot
- Italian herbs
(additional ingredients*: onion, lentils, bok choy, bean sprouts, peas, herbs that go nicely with chicken, a glass of white wine as you cook and while you eat)

Boil the gnocchi noodles in a large enough pot.  While you're waiting, chop the chicken breast and fry it until it's cooked.  Also slice the mushrooms, chop the celery, and slice the carrot.  Once the chicken is cooked, add the vegetables to the frying pan and cook them as well.  When the gnocchi is done, drain the water out of the pan.  Add the creamy chicken soup to a large pot.  Right away, add the gnocchi, chicken, and vegetables.  Stir around until it's heated.  Add the Italian herbs for flavor.  Let it cook until it's really hot when you taste it. 

Annoying questions I might have if I had read a recipe:

- Exactly HOW MUCH of the Italian Herbs should I add?
If you can barely see the herbs mixed in the stuff, then you've added to little.  If you see giant clumps of it, then you've added too much.  Add enough where you see a reasonable amount mixed in with everything.  

- What do you mean by Italian Herbs?
I mean a small container with a label "Italian Herbs".  I found my container at a Tesco in the UK.  Hopefully there's something akin to it in the US.  Otherwise, ask to see which herb would go nice with chicken or just omit the herbs entirely.

- How small should I dice everything?
Small enough to be bite size.  If you have to eat it in two bites, it's too big.  Take a fun size candy bar and cut it in half.  That's the size the chicken and vegetables should be (roughly).

-How do you know gnocchi is done?
Gnocchi floats when it's done (which suggests that it sinks when it's not).  I added a lot of water when I boiled them so this would be obvious.  Make sure to stir them around a bit once a bunch of them start floating, just to make sure everything is floating and ready to be consumed.

*Ingredients I did not have in my own soup but they sound nice enough to be added in another attempt.

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