November 24, 2014

Gluten Free Cream of Celery Soup

One of my all time favorite casseroles is called, Vegetable Casserole. It is one that I feel like I MUST have at Thanksgiving. I can not tell you how amazingly delicious it is. The ingredients seem a little strange, but do not let that hinder you from creating one of the tastiest casseroles you have ever had!!! I am hoping to get that recipe posted soon, but for now, the "cream of" soup that you need in Vegetable Casserole is Cream of Celery. 

Cream of Celery Soup

6 Stalks of Celery, Diced (Aprox 2 1/2c.)
1/2c. Yellow Onion, Diced
1/2T Salt
1/2T Garlic
1t. Pepper
1T Olive Oil
-Combine above ingredients into a large stock pot. Sweat out celery and onions until they are soft. 

-Add in:
3T Butter or Olive Oil
1/4c. Gluten Free Flour
-Combine all with a spatula and let cook for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally so that it does not burn. 

-1c. At a time, with a spatula, add in:
6c. Milk (Coconut Milk, Almond Milk, Cows Milk all work)
Before you add anything beyond the first cup of milk, make sure all the lumps of roux are smoothed out and all is combined well. 

Let cook for approximately 30 minutes on medium heat. If you are unhappy with the thickness, add in a mixture of cornstarch and water. Allow soup to set for at least 24 hours so flavors can "marry" and the soup can thicken more. 

Side Note:
The Vegetable Casserole is a combination of green beans, corn, cream of celery soup, diced green bell pepper, and cheddar cheese. I top mine with a crumbled biscuit and slivered almond mixture, drizzled with olive oil or melted butter. Exact measurements coming soon!!! 

Holiday Turkey Compound Butter

If you are looking for an easy way to get flavor and crispiness onto your Holiday Turkey, look no further. This recipe is absolutely delicious! I really have nothing else to say about it. It is SO GOOD!

Holiday Turkey Compound Butter

2 Sticks of Unsalted Butter (Make sure it is unsalted)
1T Salt
1/2t. White Pepper
2t. Garlic Powder
1 1/2t. Thyme
2t. Sage
1T. Parsley
1T. Dried, Minced Onion

Combine all together and put in a covered/sealed container for at least 24 hours. Rinse your turkey and dry it off. Separate the skin from the turkey and apply some of the compound butter up under the skin, between the skin and the meat. Apply liberally. Use the remaining butter to cover the outside of your turkey. Follow the instructions from your turkey's manufacturer to make sure you cook it on the proper temperature and for the correct amount of time, per pound. Make sure to cook your turkey to 165 degrees. Use a meat thermometer and stick it into the thickest part of the turkey breast. Let your turkey "rest" under a tent of aluminum foil, for thirty minutes before "trimming". 

Gluten Free Cream of Mushroom Soup

When I was growing up, Thanksgiving wasn't "Thanksgiving", without my Mom's Green Bean Casserole. I'm sure it is just like your Mom's recipe, cream of mushroom soup, green beans, a boiled egg, and French's fried onions on top. When I was diagnosed with Celiac, I really thought my days of a delicious Thanksgiving meal was over. I discovered the canned cream of mushroom soup at Whole Foods, but honestly, who can really afford that stuff? That is when I was inspired to write my own recipe for cream of mushroom soup. Not only is it dairy free, gluten free, and nut free, but it's healthier than the canned stuff. 

This recipe makes nine cups, yes, NINE! You can always cut it in half, if you need less, or you can make the full recipe, use half of it at Thanksgiving, then freeze and save the other half for Christmas. If you have a gluten free flour, salt, garlic powder, butter or olive oil, and an onion already on hand, then this recipe will cost you less than $10. I've found that an 8-10oz container of Gluten Free Cream of Mushroom soup is approximately $3.00, depending on where you live and where you are shopping. In order to get nine cups of GF cream of mushroom soup, you would have to buy 7-8 containers. That is a total cost of $21-$25 and with the cost of the Thanksgiving meal, I like to save wherever I can! 

Even if you aren't gluten intolerant, this recipe is easily made with normal flours and milk. Just substitute it all out! This recipe is healthier and contains less sodium than the leading can or container of cream of mushroom soup. The sodium and calories alone is a good enough reason to make your own. My cream of mushroom soup, contains 960mg of sodium per cup. A leading brand can of cream of mushroom soup contains 1740mg of sodium per cup. My homemade cream of mushroom soup is also 45 calories per cup, compared to 200 calories per cup of the leading brand. We consume so many empty calories at Thanksgiving, this is a good place to fix that! 

Cream of Mushroom Soup

2, 8oz Containers of Mushrooms, diced
1/2c. Yellow Onion, diced
1/2T. Salt
1/2T. Garlic
1T Olive Oil
-Combine ingredients above in a large stock pot and cook down the mushrooms and onions until soft. 

-Add in:
3T. Butter or Olive Oil (Let butter melt before adding in the flour)
1/4c. Gluten Free Flour
-Combine with a spatula and let cook for about ten minutes. Stir occasionally so that it doesn't burn.

-Begin to add in Milk, using a whisk, one cup at a time. 
Half Gallon of Milk (I used coconut. You can also use Almond or Cow's Milk)

Let the soup cook and thicken on medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally so it does not burn. If you have not reached your desired thickness, use cornstarch and water mixture to thicken. 

I like to make this a couple of days ahead of time, that way, the soup has enough time for the flavors to "marry", and it will also thicken as it stands in the refrigerator. 

Use this soup in any of your favorite casseroles that call for "Cream of Mushroom Soup" and you will forget that you were ever diagnosed with Celiac Disease!!!