Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Chicken, Kale & Gnocchi Soup - Low Carb & Grain Free

Happy National Kale Day! Who knew? It kept popping up (National Kale Day) in my newsfeed today so I decided to adapt tonight's chicken soup and toss in some baby kale (as well as make a few other tweaks). I really love kale or spinach added to chicken soup. Last night, I made a pot of homemade chicken stock so I could make chicken noodle soup for dinner this evening. It isn't necessary to make it from scratch though and to shorten the prep time, particularly on weeknights, simply purchase your favorite chicken stock (I like Kitchen Basics Chicken Stock or Pacific Organic Free Range Chicken Broth). I added the usual celery and carrots to my soup as well as fresh baby kale (it seemed like the right thing to do on National Kale Day)...LOL. To give my soup a little more body and oomph, I added a bit of heavy cream and grated Parmesan cheese to make a light cream soup (which you can easily omit to keep it dairy free and more "traditional"). It's good either way.

The big difference in tonight's soup is that there was homemade grain free gnocchi in the soup. I usually like to use my grain free noodles that I make by cutting my grain free tortillas into strips (you need to try it, it's so yummy), but this evening I decided to add more heartiness by adding homemade gnocchi. I've been experimenting with making grain free gnocchi on and off for a while now and they look good but tend to fall apart and disintegrate as they cook. So, I gave it another try (and still may tweak it further to make them a bit lighter)...but this time I succeeded in making them where they didn't fall apart at all. I am "pleased" with how they turned out, but if you know me...I'm looking for ECSTATIC!  LOL If you prefer light softer noodles in your soup, use my recipe here for: Grain Free Chicken Noodle Soup that's made with my grain free tortillas (it's delicious). If you want more "solid and hearty" soup, give this gnocchi version a try. If you aren't sure, cut my gnocchi recipe in half and make a test batch first. After dinner, I allowed the leftover soup to cool down a bit on the stovetop (for about an hour or so) before refrigerating it. I tested the gnocchi before putting it away to see how they held up after sitting in the soup for a while; they softened (in a good way) but stayed intact. I'm curious to see how they hold when I have it again for lunch tomorrow after they've sat in the soup overnight. Check out my photos below as well as the recipe for my Chicken, Kale & Gnocchi Soup. Enjoy!

I used homemade stock, but store bought works fine too.

The larger white oblong objects are the cooked gnocchi (they get bigger when cooked)
Grain-Free Gnocchi

Chicken Noodle Soup - Grain Free


8 to 10 cups chicken stock
2 celery stalks, diced
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
2 cups diced cooked chicken
2 cups fresh baby kale (about 3 ounces)
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream, optional
6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese, optional
1 cup grain free gnocchi (recipe below)

For the grain free gnocchi:
2 cups blanched almond flour
1-1/2 teaspoons xanthum gum
5 tablespoons plain unflavored whey protein powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon water


To make gnocchi, whisk almond flour, xanthum gum, whey protein powder and salt together in a medium bowl. Beat eggs with tablespoon of water. Make a well in the center of flour and pour egg mixture into the well. Using a fork, stir egg mixture, gradually pulling the flour mixture into the eggs until a stiff and somewhat sticky dough is formed. If necessary, add a little more flour if needed to shape it into a ball. Knead a couple of times by pressing your fist down in the center. Form into a ball and press down into a thick patty shaped disk. Wrap and refrigerate until chilled or overnight. Cut lengthwise into 4 pieces and roll into logs about 1 inch in diameter. Slice logs approximately 1/4-inch thick into small pieces. 

Bring chicken stock to a boil. Carefully add gnocchi to the pot, several at a time to keep them from sticking together. Cook in boiling stock for 5 to 6 minutes (gnocchi will sink first and then float to the top). Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl and set aside while preparing the soup. 

Add celery and carrots to pot of chicken stock; bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium heat. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add parsley, chicken, and baby kale; season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in optional cream and Parmesan. Return cooked gnocchi to pot. Simmer on low for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. 



CyberSis said...


WOW! Grain-free gnocchi! Outstanding!
Can matzo balls be far behind? ;-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis, never know! ;-)

Maryann said...

Oh, the days that I made gnocchi, but I would rather be thin!! Do you think egg protein would work or does it have to be whey? You are so creative!!! I wonder if it is possible to make grain free ravioli? To answer your question about my dehydrator, I just got it so I haven't used it that much. But being able to make my own dried cranberries is worth it to me. I want to make more of them this weekend. I also want to make vegetable chips. It does take up a lot of room but fortunately I have a large counter, but it is getting smaller if you know what I mean. I am off to make your pistachio cranberry biscotti recipe.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Maryann,

I don't see why egg protein wouldn't work as well as whey protein. I was looking for an ingredient to help bind it so it wouldn't fall apart when cooked. When I've tried gnocchi with almond flour alone, it fell apart into lots of little pieces. I still have a couple ideas that I would like to try to make it a little less dense. These are very filling but they stayed together and intact perfectly and even the next day after sitting in the soup overnight.

When you made gnocchi in the past, did you make the flour version or the potato version? Hope you enjoy the biscotti! :-)

Maryann said...

I made the potato version and the ricotta version. The biscotti are delicious. I have them sitting on the counter and my dog keeps bugging me because she wants them. I have to push everything way back because she has been known to steal food from the counter. By the way our dog is also grain free.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Maryann,

LOL on your dog wanting the biscotti! My dog actually loves biscotti (always has) and when i used to buy DeLallo's cranberry-pistachio version, he always begged the most. Thankfully, since he is so short he could never reach the counter or I might be in trouble! We transitioned our dog to grain free food as well but can't seem to get him off his "cookies" that have grain. We are working on that too though. I'm wondering how the gnocchi would be with ricotta added and if it would lighten them up a bit but still stay together. I am going to continue experimenting with the recipe. :-)