Finding gluten free soup on the supermarket shelves can be tricky. More often than not, wheat flour has been used to thicken tinned soup. Commercial recipes can also include noodles or pearl barley, both off limits for those of us on a gluten free diet.
Why not consider making your own gluten free soup? Even if you haven't done much cooking, they are easy to make and don't need to take hours to prepare and cook. Let's take a look at some of the methods used in soup making and then I'll share some of my favourite recipes including...
Do you have a food processor or blender? If so, you can create a simple pureed soup.
Root vegetables release starch during cooking, thickening your soup without needing flour. Pulses, such as beans and lentils, do the same. Then blitzing the hot mixture in your food processor creates a smooth soup. If you like a little texture, don't put all the soup in the processor.
Made too much? Most pureed homemade soup recipes will freeze well for later.
Don't despair if you over-puree your soup. You can thicken it up again by adding a little cream. If freezing the soup, leave the cream to add after you defrost it.
If you are starting a creamed soup from scratch you will need to make a roux. This is a paste made from fat, liquid and flour. Of course we need to use gluten free flour here.
Simmer vegetables, fish or meat in liquid and you have a broth. This is again a simple method of soup making! The only downside is it needs long, slow cooking.
The budding gluten free chef can then clarify this broth to make a consomme. This results in a crystal clear liquid.
Again it requires slow simmering, not boiling, to intensify the flavor. After this the broth will need straining to remove any impurities. A raft of whipped egg whites is then floated on top to catch any remaining particles.
Heat a little oil in a heavy based saucepan. Add the vegetables and stir them around so they are coated. Cook for about 5 minutes.
Pour in one and a half pints of stock and bring the pan to the boil. Then turn down the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, which will take about 25 minutes. Season with a little freshly ground sea salt and black pepper to taste.
Let it cool down slightly, then pour into a blender or liquidizer and puree for a couple of minutes.
Serve and enjoy!
I like to pop in any left over rice or millet from the day before, just before the vegetables are cooked. The grains are already cooked they just need heating through. This adds a little more filling power to this already nutritious, sweet potato soup.
The lentils act as a thickener in this pureed homemade soup recipe.
Prepare the vegetables, by chopping the onion and dicing the carrots into small pieces. Peel, seed and chop the squash into small cubes.
Heat the oil or butter in a large pan or wok. Add the onions and squash to the pan and cook until softened and slightly browned.
Add the chopped carrot and 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, then continue to cook for a few minutes.
Stir in the spices and ensure they are lightly toasted before adding in the lentils. Cover with about 1 liter of water then add the stock cube and tomato puree. Bring to the boil and simmer on a low heat for about 15-30 minutes. The lentils will absorb a lot of the water during this time.
Once cooked, blend in a food processor (or use a stick blender) until it is a nice smooth, creamy consistency.
Either serve, or cool and store it at this point.
This gluten free soup is best served with a nice dollop of crème fraiche or double cream.
Prepare the cauliflower, onion and garlic, saving the outside leaves and heart for stock making. Save a few florets of cauliflower for garnishing the top of your gluten free soup.
Sauté the vegetables in the butter on a low heat for about 15 minutes, until soft, then remove the vegetables from the pan and keep to one side.
Form a rocux by combining the butter and the gluten free flour. Add the stock, slowly, allowing the roux to combine in between each addition. Cook gently for one to two minutes.
Remove from the heat, add the vegetables and stir throughly. Return the pan to the heat, and add the milk. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes then taste and adjust. Place a reserved cauliflower floret on top of each portion.
Cauliflower cheese is a favorite so why not make a cheesy cauliflower soup? You can use cheddar, or a blue cheese such as Stilton if you want a little more flavor. Grate the cheese and add it when you add the milk. Continue simmering until the cheese melts into the soup. Ummmmm!
You might also like to add a pinch of cayenne pepper to your soup, to give it a little bite.