4 ribs celery from the heart, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
1 1/2 cups store-bought shredded carrots, (3 generous handfuls)
1 fresh bay leaf
Salt and pepper
6 cups chicken stock
1 pound ground chicken
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
A little freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs (a couple of handfuls)
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a couple of handfuls)
1 package gnocchi, available in market refrigerated aisle with fresh pastas
1 cup frozen peas
A handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Crusty bread for mopping
Heat a soup pot over medium to medium-high heat with EVOO. Add celery, onions, carrots and bay leaf, season with salt and pepper, and cook 5 minutes. Add stock to the pot, cover and bring to a boil.
Place chicken in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add garlic, nutmeg, egg, bread crumbs and cheese.
Combine the chicken mixture with your hands then roll into walnut-sized meat balls and add to the soup. Wash up, then add the gnocchi to the pot and cook for 5 minutes.
Add peas and parsley, and cook 2 minutes more. Turn heat off under the stoup and allow it to cool for 5 minutes on the stovetop before serving with crusty bread.