Sunday, November 7, 2010

Creamy Chicken and Vegetable Chowder--Dairy Free and Gluten Free

Today I made another batch of Creamy Chicken and Vegetable Chowder, just because it was so good that basically the whole pot of soup got eaten the other night when we had it!  I'm not sure how it happened since I dished out a bowl for each person and then went to the family room for a few moments of relative quiet. I didn't think it would be so liked that the kids would eat the rest of the pot when left on their own for a few moments.  ("Mom!  I ate 4 or 5 bowls all myself!!")  I guess that's a good thing, though, considering how my boys have been so picky with the dairy free attempts I have made in the past.  If they loved it enough to inhale it, they deserve to have as much as they want this one time after being dairy free and feeling deprived for so long.  Another good test is that my husband and brother-in-law couldn't tell the soup was dairy free, and they loved it, too.  I served the soup with cornbread muffins made using Bob's Red Mill GF Cornbread Mix.

I decided to put my soup to another test tonight before posting the recipe.  I took some to our friends' house for them to try.  Everyone loved it and couldn't tell it was dairy free until I told them.  Everyone who tried it said I should share the recipe, so I decided it was time to share:

Creamy Chicken and Vegetable Chowder
4 c. chicken stock
1/2 c. dry white wine*
5 russet potatoes, cubed
3 lbs. frozen or fresh california blend veggies, cut in bite-sized pieces
     (carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower)
1 onion, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
2-3 c. chopped, cooked chicken
4 c. almond milk + 1 c. for making slurry
1 pkg. original unsweetened MimicCreme
6 Tbs. GF nutritional yeast (nooch)
3 Tbs. lemon juice
1 Tbs. dried parsley
2 t. salt
2 t. herbamare
1/2 t. black pepper
1/4 t. ground celery seed
1/4 t. ground mustard
1/4 c. sweet rice flour

Pour the chicken stock and wine in a large pot.  Add the potato cubes and simmer.  As the potatoes are simmering, cut your other vegetables into bite-sized pieces, and chop your onion and garlic.  Add the veggies, onion, and garlic to the soup pot when the potatoes are almost tender.  If your vegetables are fresh (raw), then you will want to add the carrots at the same time as you add the potatoes, or perhaps even a minute or two before the potatoes, depending on how big your pieces are cut.  You will want to add fresh cauliflower and broccoli after the fresh carrots and potatoes have cooked for a little while, but before they are fully tender.  I used 1 lb. frozen carrots and 2 lbs. frozen California Blend veggies for convenience sake.  Add the 4 c. almond milk and the package of Mimiccreme.  Bring your soup to a simmer, cooking on medium heat and stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn't stick.  Add the nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and all the herbs and spices.  Add the chopped chicken.  Allow your soup to simmer until the potatoes and vegetables are tender.

While your soup simmers, make a slurry by thoroughly whisking the sweet rice flour with additional almond milk (or a little water if you don't have more almond milk).  I used about 3/4 c. almond milk to the 1/4 c. flour, though you could use a little more or less.  When the veggies are about tender, stir the slurry into the soup.  Continue stirring the soup until it has thickened and the rice flour has "cooked" into the soup--you don't want a rice flour taste or texture in your soup.  Remove from heat and enjoy!

*I used a dry honey wine from Montezuma Winery, though it appears that may not be available at this time.  Next time I make this, I will try a dry American Sauvignon Blanc as suggested here.  If you don't want to use wine, you might try a white wine vinegar, though I don't know how much you would use, and I believe the results would taste different than if you used actual wine. 

1/26/12--Update:  I just made this soup using the American Sauvignon Blanc, and it was just as delicious as with the honey wine.

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