Cook the chicken: In a large soup pot or Dutch oven set over medium heat add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add chicken thighs and cover with a lid. Cook on one side for 4 minutes. Remove the lid, flip the chicken over and cook for an additional 4 minutes, or until the thighs are completely cooked. Remove the chicken and place on a cutting board.
Cook the vegetables: To the Dutch oven, add the carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves and salt and pepper. Let it sit without stirring for about 8 minutes. You want to develop a little color on those vegetables and some fond (brown stuff) on the bottom of the pan.
Deglaze the pan: Add the white wine, thyme and rosemary. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the fond off the bottom of the pan, while the wine reduces. Add the garlic and quartered mushrooms. Stir to combine. Cook everything together for about 5 to 10 minutes, until the carrots are soft and the mushrooms have shrunken in size.
Finish the soup: Add the stock and simmer for 15 minutes, giving the flavors a chance to meld. While everything simmers, use two forks to shred the chicken thighs.
Add the gnocchi and the shredded chicken to the simmering soup. Cook for 5 minutes until the chicken is warmed through and the gnocchi is cooked. Remove the bay leaves and rosemary sprig. Stir in the spinach, if using until wilted.
Serve: Ladle the soup into bowls, and serve with crusty bread and a simple salad.
I use thighs but you can use whatever cut of chicken you'd like.
To make this soup creamy, stir in ¾ cup of heavy whipping cream 5 minutes before you finish cooking the soup. For more options, check out the section, "To Make Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi Soup (Olive Garden Style)” above.