Homemade soup recipes are an easy introduction to gluten free cooking.
There is a misconception that homemade soup recipes take a long time to prepare. But with a little forward planning you could have one on the table in under half an hour! This could include chopping the vegetables or meat before leaving for work in the morning.
Canned soups often use wheat flour as the thickener, but there are alternatives available. Let's look at some of the methods we can use to create gluten free soups.
Pureed - 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.
Creamed - 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.
Broths - 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.
Consommés - 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.
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.