I love cooking. Even more I love to feed people. I’m not a big dinner party person, I just enjoy keeping the people at my house well fed. My sister (who is also my best friend) is at my house a lot. She went dairy free recently. Thus a new challenge was presented, creating yummy meals that were both gluten free and dairy free.
Now, I love a challenge almost as much as I like feeding the strays that wander into my house. But this one is hard for me! I can do without milk and cream, but cheese is a must.
The easiest solution, of course, is soup. I can make soup out of anything! Brothy soups with rice, thick lentil soup, chicken and corn- Anything!
Really, though, sticking to broth soups is not enough. Sometimes I like to mix it up and do a creamy soup. Doing this without cream or flour can be a challenge, but it is not impossible. Here are a few tips for your gluten free and dairy free cream soups that were born of my trial and error. I’m not claiming that these are culinarily correct tips, they are cheats at best, but they work!
We’ve been using corn starch to thicken soups for years, but by bumping up the amount you use you can achieve a creamy soup without cream. Prepare the soup as if it were a broth based soup. Ten minutes before serving, increase the heat to medium high. Mix 1/4 cup corn starch into 1 cup cold water. Slowly stir the cornstarch mixture into your soup. Continue stirring until soup boils. The corn starch will thicken as it boils. Use more or less depending on how much soup you are making.
Adding brown rice to soup can create a thick and creamy texture without adding any thickener. This happens because brown rice requires a long cooking time. The whole time it is cooking, the rice will be releasing it’s starch into the broth. These soups are very low maintenance and easy to make. The key to a nice thickness is to add 1 cup of brown rice for every eight cups of liquid. Choose the broth, vegetables and meat that will go into your soup. Put all of your ingredients into a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes to one hour.
Coconut Cream Concentrate
I discovered this gem while doing a review for Tropical Traditions. It gives soup the thick, creamy consistency of heavy cream, without any dairy. Mix one part Coconut Cream Concentrate with two parts stock and you will have cream soup immediately. I used this to make a dairy free and gluten free tomato soup that was delicious!
Enjoy your soup creations this winter!
Thought for the Day: The more I have to eliminate from my diet, the more adventurous eating becomes!