Category Archives: soups/chili

Honey-Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

butternut squash soup

Honey-roasted butternut squash soup, gluten-free

Today, a fall rainfall brought down a cascade of leaves from the maple tree in front of our house. In shades of gold, bronze, ocher and amber, the leaves fell, thickly carpeting the sidewalk. In weather like this, I crave the comfort of a warm bowl of soup. And what better soup than a perennial fall favorite: butternut squash soup, made gluten-free and dairy-free.

For a while, I was turned off by butternut squash soup, with its one-note sweet taste and pablum texture. But that’s certainly not the case with this complex honey-roasted butternut squash soup, laced with the smoky spice of chipotle chile pepper and the slightly exotic taste of cumin.

What’s even better is that this butternut squash soup is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian, making it well-suited for a variety of people (except for my kids; shall I admit that they don’t like this grown-up soup?). For a vegan version, use maple syrup instead of honey.

Honey-Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, Gluten-Free

(gluten-free, dairy-free, pareve, vegetarian)
By Gluten-Free Nosh
Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds (about 5 cups) butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 pound carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spray the aluminum foil with cooking oil. Place butternut squash, carrots and red onion on the baking sheet, and toss with honey, olive oil, cumin, chipotle chile pepper and salt until well coated. Bake for 40 minutes or until vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork.
  2. Place roasted vegetables in a large soup pot and add vegetable broth. Bring broth to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. In batches, carefully pour soup into a blender and puree until smooth. Do not fill blender to the top, and hold down the lid with a kitchen towel to prevent spattering. Transfer blended soup back to pot and heat before serving.

Yield: 10 servings

Following is a collection of root vegetable recipes from The Kosher Connection link-up. Please note that not all the recipes in the collection are gluten-free.


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Smoky, Spicy Black Bean Chili

black bean chili, vegan and gluten-free

Spicy vegetarian black bean chili, gluten-free of course.

In Chicago, it’s almost the end of chili season, when we turn from heartier soups and chilis to lighter summer fare. In winter, this vegetarian black bean chili is one of our favorite gluten-free meals. With plenty of toasted cumin, chipotle chili powder and smoked paprika, the flavors are strong and smoky, lingering long on your tongue with a spicy spike. I’ve made this several times and have dialed down the heat until I got to this version — spicy but not numbingly so. The recipe was inspired by “Lisa’s Superior Vegetarian Black Bean Chili,” a recipe handed down from a co-worker 20 years ago. This gluten-free black bean chili makes a satisfying entree, accompanied by a side of gluten-free cornbread.

Once a few years ago, I toasted the cumin in our toaster oven at a higher temperature and for a longer time than I now recommend (the amount listed in the following recipe is fine). The cumin started smoking ferociously. When I opened the toaster oven’s door, pungent smoke curled outward, singeing our noses and throats and setting off the smoke alarm. I handed my kids baby wipes, told them to put the wipes over their faces and yelled at them to go out into the hall. We all left our apartment, leaving the windows open (killing the plants by the windows, because it was a freezing wintry day) and went to a museum and out to dinner so we could vacate the apartment. At the museum, we quickly noticed that everyone was looking at us funny. That’s probably because the pungent burnt cumin scent lingered on our clothing and smelled like the worst-ever stinky feet.

Lesson learned: Toast spices at low temperatures and watch them carefully!

Smoky, Spicy Black Bean Chili

(gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan)
By Gluten-Free Nosh
Printable recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin (don’t skip this!)
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed (or 2 cans black beans and 1 can cannellini beans, as in photo)
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans crushed whole tomatoes

For serving (optional):

  • Cilantro
  • Green onions, chopped
  • Plain, nonfat Greek yogurt or soy yogurt

Method:

  1. Heat cumin, chipotle chile powder and smoked paprika in a small skillet over low heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until spices are fragrant; stir constantly to make sure spices don’t smoke or burn. Set aside.
  2. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions become soft and translucent. Add salt and spices and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in black beans and crushed tomatoes. Bring mixture to a boil, then turn heat down to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
  4. Serve hot with side dishes of cilantro, green onions and Greek yogurt. Leftovers taste great and freeze well.

Yield: About 8 to 10 servings

 

This post is linked to Slightly Indluglent Tuesdays.

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Chinese Corn Egg-Drop Soup

Chinese Corn Egg-Drop Soup, gluten-free

Chinese Corn Egg-Drop Soup

For celiacs, Chinese restaurants are big caution zones, since soy sauce is brewed with wheat. Also, most egg noodles, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, imitation crab and mock meat substitutes (like mock duck) contain gluten.

Some accommodating Chinese restaurants will prepare entrees without soy sauce, or they may agree to cook with gluten-free soy sauce that you bring in. But cross-contamination is still an issue, so make sure to ask the staff to prepare your food in a clean pan with clean utensils. Dining cards from Triumph Dining, written in Chinese (and other languages) and tailored to specific cuisines, provide an extra measure of safety.

Luckily, some gluten-free soy sauce substitutes are available. San-J wheat-free tamari, certified gluten-free, is the choice in our house. La Choy soy sauce is also gluten-free, though it does contain more processed ingredients.

In our old neighborhood, we were fortunate to find a Chinese restaurant that prepared food without soy sauce for us. We’d routinely order cashew chicken (cooked with a little chicken broth and salt) and corn egg-drop soup.

When we moved, I wanted to make gluten-free corn egg-drop soup that we could enjoy at home. I was surprised at how easy it was. Cream-style corn (which is non-dairy, despite the “cream” in its name) gives the soup body, and whole kernels of corn add to the texture. Silky threads of egg stream through the soup like ribbons. The result: a velvety egg drop soup, enhanced by sweet nuggets of corn, just like in our favorite Chinese restaurant.

Click for Chinese Corn Egg Drop Soup recipe

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Gluten-Free Matzo Ball Soup

gluten-free matzo ball soup

Gluten-Free Matzo Ball Soup

If you could put comfort in a bowl, you’d end up with matzo ball soup. Chicken soup is legendary. This “Jewish penicillin” can conquer the common cold and, if you believe your Bubbe, can cure any hurt or illness. Add fluffy matzo balls and it’s the stuff family legends are made of.

When our family first went gluten-free, we mourned the lack of matzo ball soup. Chicken soup with rice just wouldn’t suffice. I tried to make gluten-free matzo balls from scratch, but instead of matzo balls we ended up with matzo lumps.

But when Passover rolled around, I found salvation. Salvation in a box.

Matzo balls contain, of course, matzo, which is made from wheat. However, some kosher for Passover brands of matzo ball mix are made from potato starch instead of matzo meal. That’s because some observant Jews don’t mix matzo with water during Passover, to prevent any possibility of it rising. Passover food that does not contain matzo is labeled non-gebrokts. (Gebrokts literally means “broken,” referring to matzo that is broken up and mixed with water.)

As Passover approaches, you can find several brands of gluten-free matzo meal. I buy four or five boxes to last well into the year. My favorite gluten-free matzo ball mixes are Paskesz Pesach Crumbs and Lieber’s Knaidel mix. (Paskesz’ gluten-free “Matzo Ball Mix” sounds like it would be great, but it produces knaidlach that are gummy instead of yummy.) Update: I’ve decided that Lieber’s Knaidel Mix makes the best gluten-free matzo balls. The recipe below follows the instructions for the Paskesz mix, so if using Lieber’s follow the directions on the box.

You’ll end up with perfectly round cream-colored balls that are fluffy on the outside, yet ever-so-slightly dense at the core (which, in my opinion, is a good thing). We’ve served them to gluten-eating friends who’ve asked for seconds and thirds.

To make the matzo balls, I use the recipe on the side of the box with just a few small changes. The recipe below uses Pesach Crumbs, because I can usually find those year-round in our kosher grocery store.

Some matzo ball tips: After you’ve made the matzo ball mixture, be sure to refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. Then enlist your kids to help roll the mixture into walnut-sized balls. However, be gentle: The more you roll the balls, the denser they will be. Set aside all the balls onto a plate. When they all are rolled and ready, drop the balls into a pot of boiling water, so they all cook for the same amount of time. Use a large pot, so the matzo balls have room to fluff up and not crowd their neighbors.

Click for Gluten-Free Matzo Ball Soup recipe

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Two-Way Three-Bean Chili

Three-Bean Chili

Two-Way Three-Bean Chili

For Super Bowl, we usually make chili. It’s our tradition, even though we don’t have a Super Bowl party and barely watch the game.

We made this chili recipe on Super Bowl Sunday. A rare thing happened. Almost as rare as seeing the Chicago Bears play in the championship. Both girls ate their whole meal and didn’t complain at all. That’s a huge victory, as there’s usually fussing over dinner.

We’re not big meat eaters, so we usually make a vegetarian chili loaded with an assortment of hearty, healthy beans, tomatoes and spices. Any combination of beans works well.

Just before I add the spicy seasonings, I remove a portion for the kids in a separate pot, so they get their own mild chili. The adults get the spicy version, with smoky chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. (Find canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in the Mexican aisle of your grocery store.) Thus, I’ve dubbed it two-way chili.

Now, if you know anything about Cincinnati chili, you know that two-way chili means something totally different. But I live in Chicago, not Cincinnati, so that’s not what I’m referring to.

For the record, Cincinnati chili is a saucy, meaty chili with unusual flavors of cinnamon and chocolate. Two-way Cincinnati chili consists of spaghetti topped with chili. Three-way chili is spaghetti, chili and shredded cheese. Four-way is spaghetti, chili, shredded cheese and diced onions. Five-way is spaghetti, chili, shredded cheese, diced onions and beans.

To make the Gluten-Free Nosh Two-Way Three-Bean Chili even more kid friendly, set out a few ramekins with a selection of garnishes. My kids love choosing their own toppings. It makes them feel more vested in the meal and more likely to eat it.

For a Cincinnati touch, serve the chili over gluten-free spaghetti. A guaranteed victory!

Click for the recipe

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