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Saturday, February 24, 2018

Family Favorites - February 2018: Gluten-Free Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Soup (Wheat, Nut, Egg and Fish-Free, Can Be Soy and Milk-Free)

This year, I decided to list a family favorite recipe from the blog (with any adaptions that we use regularly, if applicable) on the fourth Friday or Saturday of every month.  This recipe will be one that we make quite often and that we all enjoy greatly.  This post is the second Family Favorites recipe of 2018.

If you have a recipe on your blog that you consider a family favorite that you'd like to share, please comment below with a link to the recipe, and I'll make sure to pop on over and visit your site to check it out (and leave a comment), and hopefully some of my other readers will, too.

This month's family favorite that we make monthly or more is Gluten-Free Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Soup, which is an adaption of my Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Soup (I will share the ingredients we normally use, where appropriate, as well). This modification is wheat, nut, egg and fish-free, but can also be soy (if you use all soy-free ingredients) and milk-free.

The thing I like most about this recipe is that it is full of good-for-you veggies.  My kids love that it tastes good, and they don't notice they are eating the veggies most kids don't care for (broccoli and cauliflower, mainly).  If you are looking for a way to get your kids to eat more veggies, this may just be the ticket!  FYI, I've never had anyone try it that didn't like it - seriously.

Note: The gluten-free flour that I recommend does not technically contain soy, but it does contain guar gum (see "Soy-Free" under variations for more details) which can cause issues for people with soy sensitivities or allergies, and that is why I will not claim that this recipe is soy-free.

Gluten-Free Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Soup

1/2 Cup full-fat, salted butter

3/4 Cup onion, diced into bite-sized pieces
(white, purple, yellow or green onion are all fine)
(We normally use a yellow or white onion.)

3/4 Cup grated or finely chopped carrots

3/4 Cup celery, chopped into bite-sized pieces

1 Tablespoon dried parsley flakes

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/2 Cup gluten-free, cup-for-cup flour

4 Cups gluten-free chicken stock
(We normally use Pacific brand.)

4 Cups milk
(We normally use whole milk, but you can use what you have on hand.)

1 to 2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces or shredded
(We nearly always use 1 cooked chicken breast.)

1 (16 oz) package frozen broccoli and cauliflower pieces 
(can use equivalent amount of fresh broccoli and cauliflower chopped into bite-sized pieces instead of frozen)
(We always use frozen broccoli and cauliflower pieces.)

2 Cups potatoes, diced into bite-sized pieces
(peeled or not is up to you, though I recommend peeling if you are using Russets, and unpeeled if you are using Red, White or Yellow potatoes)
(We normally used unpeeled red potatoes.)

1 1/2 to 2 Cups shredded cheese
(We use CoJack or Cheddar.  We also buy the block cheese and shred our own.  We also nearly always use 2 Cups.)

1 Cup sour cream 
(We always use Daisy brand.)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

  1. In a large stock pot, melt the butter and then saute the onion, carrots, celery, parsley flakes and paprika until the onions are clear. (Note: You can substitute chopped, fresh parsley for the parsley flakes if you wish.  The amount you use of fresh parsley is based on personal preference.)
  2. Whisk in the gluten-free flour until well-blended.
  3. Gradually stir in the chicken stock and milk until well-blended.
  4. Stir in the chicken, broccoli, cauliflower and potatoes and bring mixture to a boil. (Note: Which amount of chicken you use is totally up to you.  Also, the smaller you cut your potatoes, the faster they will cook.  I recommend cutting your potatoes into a slightly smaller dice than your broccoli and cauliflower so that they finish at the same time.  Also, if you use fresh broccoli and cauliflower, they tend to cook a little faster than frozen (5 to 10 minutes vs. 10 to 20 minutes), so you probably want to add them when the potatoes are about 1/2 done (they normally take about 15 to 20 minutes to cook). )
  5. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 to 20 minutes or until the broccoli, cauliflower and potatoes are done, stirring often. 
  6. Stir in the cheese (which amount you use is based on personal preference), sour cream, salt and pepper and cook (stirring often) until the cheese is melted.
This recipe feeds a family of 5 easily with left-overs.  

Variations (Please keep your individual dietary needs in mind when using substitutions.  Thank you!):
  • Milk-Free: Use dairy-free butter, sour cream, milk and cheese (SoDeliciousEarth BalanceDaiya and Melt are some good allergy-friendly brands, and you can check out some more here) or just leave any or all of them out.  You'll have to saute the carrots, onion and celery in some kind of fat, though, so keep that in mind.  If you leave the milk-out, you will need to up the stock amount to 8 Cups.  There will be no cheese flavor, obviously, if you leave out the cheese, but it will still be a great chicken and broccoli soup.
  • Soy-Free: Pamela's Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour does not claim to contain soy, but it contains guar gum, which can cause issues with people who have soy sensitivities and allergies, and hence the reason I won't claim this recipe is soy-free already.  You can use regular flour (if you can have it) or a soy-free, gluten-free flour of your choice.  I have also used potato starch or corn starch in place of the gluten-free flour with success.  You'll have to make sure all your ingredients are soy-free, too

  • Vegan/Vegetarian Options: If you are vegan/vegetarian, you can leave out the chicken and substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock.  You can also leave out all of the milk products, as mentioned above.
  • Less/Different Veggies: If you do not like potatoes, you can definitely leave them out. If you don't like broccoli, you can definitely leave it out or substitute another green veggie (i.e. kale, spinach) in its place.  You can also use all broccoli and no cauliflower, too.  If you can't have or don't like onions or celery, you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon celery salt for the celery and/or 1/2 teaspoon onion salt for the onion.  If you like garlic, you can add a minced clove or 2 or even up to 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt to the recipe.

  • Using Fresh vs. Cooked Chicken:  If you want to use fresh chicken vs. cooked chicken, just chop it up as directed and add it in step 1 with the onion, carrots, celery, parsley flakes and paprika, cooking until the chicken is cooked through and the onions are clear before adding the gluten-free flour.
  • Other Meats: You can substitute ham for the chicken or even use bacon (though I'd sprinkle it on top at the end rather than stir it in with the broccoli).
This soup is hardy and perfect for a cold, winter day.  It takes a little bit of prep work, but it goes together quickly, and is well worth the time it takes to prepare.  

If you're struggling to get your family to eat more veggies, give this soup a try!  It may just become a family favorite of yours, too! :)

(This recipe was originally posted on my original site, Natural and Free.)

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