Chicken and Sausage Gnocchi Soup

I love fall.  It is soup weather.  The leaves are changing and it is soup weather. There is a nip in the air and it is soup weather.
This is one of my family's favorite soups.  It started out by me trying to copy Olive Garden's Chicken Gnocchi soup.  I got it really close...and went a little farther.  What can I say?  It's what I do.
This makes a big pot of soup - probably enough for 10 as a main course.  Feel free to cut it in half.  When I make it, we usually have company (it's that good) and I like a little for lunch the next day.
Chicken and Sausage Gnocchi Soup
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 pound chicken breast or tenders, diced
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, loose
2 cups onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
2 cups carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 quart chicken broth
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 - 1 teaspoon herbes de provence (I like it, so I use 1 full teaspoon)
2 quarts half and half (you can probably use "fat free", but I don't know how it would taste)
2 cups chopped spinach, packed fresh OR frozen
salt and pepper
2 pounds potato gnocchi (Target has it for a good price)
In a large soup pot, saute the sausage and chicken in the olive oil.
Add the onion (Did you know that the flatter the onion, the sweeter it is.  The rounder the onion the more pungent it is?  Use whichever flavor you want.  I like the sweeter.), celery, carrots and garlic, and butter.  Cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. 
Add the flour and cook for 1 minute more.
Add the chicken broth and stir until the liquid starts to thicken.
Throw in the herbs and the half and half.
At this point, taste the soup.  Add salt and pepper until you are satisfied - it probably won't need much.
Once the soup starts to simmer again, add the spinach and the gnocchi. 
Simmer until the gnocchi is cooked and the soup is hot. Don't let it boil.

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