Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup with Gluten-Free Dumplings

This weekend, I’m finally getting around to doing belated American Thanksgiving. We’d actually taken a trip up to Winnipeg a couple weeks ago, so didn’t do anything really Thanksgiving-y at the time.

As with any time I roast a turkey, part of the grocery planning involves what do to with the leftovers – and that generally involves me making bone broth off the carcass. One of my favourite things to do with homemade broth is to make this soup, originally published in my first gluten-free cookbook, Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking. This is definitely a favourite at our house – rich, thick, hearty, and one of the ultimate comfort foods.

While the recipe was originally designed to be used with fresh chicken breast – for speed and ease – it’s easy to make this with leftover turkey. Skip the initial browning of the meat, and simply toss in chopped up roasted turkey breast leftovers with the wild rice, broth, and potatoes.

It’s very customizable, even beyond choice of poultry. Sometimes I’ll skip the dumplings, sometimes I’ll add some parsnip with the carrots, and sometimes I’ll toss a couple handfuls of frozen peas in, right near the end.

Whichever way you do it, enjoy!

Gluten-Free Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup with Dumplings

2 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Large onion, chopped
3.5-4 lbs Chicken breast, chopped
3 Garlic cloves, pressed
3 Carrots, sliced
5 Celery ribs, sliced
1 1/2 cups Uncooked wild rice
10 cups Chicken broth
2 lbs Red potatoes, chopped
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup Brown rice flour
1 cup White wine
3 cups Heavy cream
1 Tbsp Dried savoury
Salt and pepper

In a large, heavy pot, cook onions in olive oil until just starting to go translucent. Add chicken breast, cook until outside browns slightly. Add garlic, carrots, and celery, cook for one minute. Add wild rice, broth, and potatoes, bring to a boil. Set a timer for 35 minutes.

While soup is boiling, make your roux:

Melt butter in a medium sized pot. Stir in flour until smooth. Cook over medium or medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until it starts to turn slightly golden. Add wine, whisk until smooth. Add cream, continue whisking until smooth. Turn heat down to lowest setting, keep warm, while making the dumplings:

1 cup Light buckwheat flour
3/4 cup Millet flour
1/4 cup Potato flour
1 Tbsp Parsley or savoury flakes
2 tsp Tapioca starch
3 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1/3 cup Shortening or butter
1 1/4 cup Milk or buttermilk

In a medium sized bowl, mix together flours, parsley or savoury flakes, tapioca starch, baking powder,and salt. Measure shortening/butter into the same bowl, and cut into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or fork(s). The idea is to work it in until it’s evenly distributed throughout, in very small pieces.

Add milk/buttermilk, stir just until dough comes together. Don’t over stir or beat it. If dough is too crumbly, add a small amount of extra milk. If the dough is sticky, add a small amount of flour.

When the timer goes off, add the roux mixture to the main soup pot, stirring to combine well. Add savoury, season with salt and pepper to taste. Drop rounded tablespoons worth of dough into boiling soup. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes WITHOUT LIFTING THE LID. Serve hot.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Creamy Creole Soup with Gluten-Free Cornmeal Dumplings Recipe

I’ve mentioned before that I get really “If you give a mouse a cookie” about things.

Home decor? We went from “Need to tile the bathroom” to “let’s tile a subtle Fibonacci sequence into the wall” to “.. and Pi on this other wall!”, to… 159 digits of pi tiled into our kitchen backsplash.

Costuming, cooking, whatever. I’ll have a simple idea, and by the time I’m done with it… Yeah.

So, when we were grocery shopping one morning, one of the things on the to-make list for photographing Beyond Flour 2 was cream of shrimp soup.

… But then I wanted some kick.

… And then I decided to do it Creole. Oh, that needs a deep dark roux!

… So of course I had to add andouille sausage.

… Also in the mood for dumplings. Let’s go with cornmeal ones!

Came home, developed the recipe, had it for breakfast. Teetering on the edge of a food coma now… Ooh, it was SO good. No longer anything resembling cream of shrimp soup… But SO much better!

This recipe is VERY adaptable. Since creating it, my husband has developed an intolerance for beef and pork… so we use poultry-based Andouille sausage. Sometimes we can’t find that, so we use a turkey based smoked sausage coil. Sometimes we’ll swap the shrimp out entirely, and replace it with a couple lbs of chopped up chicken breast (We brown it in the olive oil, before browning the sausage). Chicken or vegetable sauce can be swapped in for the shrimp stock. Sometimes we skip the dumplings altogether!

No matter which way we go with it, this is a creamy, delicious, VERY satisfying and addictive soup.

Creamy Creole Soup with Gluten-Free Cornmeal Dumplings

Makes about 6 servings

1 lb Andouille sausage
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 green pepper
1 medium onion
3-4 stalks celery, Star Trekked
4 cloves Garlic
1/4 cup Tomato paste*
4 cups shrimp stock
1/2-1 tsp cayenne
2 tsp black pepper
½ tsp dried sage
1/4 tsp thyme
Salt, to taste
½ cup butter
½ cup White rice flour
2 cups Heavy cream

2/3 cup Light buckwheat flour
1/3 cup Millet flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
2 Tbsp finely chopped green onions
2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
2 tsp Tapioca starch
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Shortening or butter
3/4 cup Milk or buttermilk

1 lb raw shrimp, deveined and shelled

Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Slice the skin of each Andouille sausage, emptying the meat into a large pot. Break it up into bite sized chunks, and drizzle the olive oil over it. Cook over medium high heat until sausage is well browned.

Add pepper, onion, and celery to the pot, saute for 2 minutes or so. Add garlic and tomato paste, continue cooking until tomato paste is browned and fragrant. Add stock and spices, stir well.

In a small pan, melt butter. Add rice flour, whisk until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, until this roux turns a nice mahogany colour. Slowly and carefully, add heavy cream – it will sputter at first. Whisk mixture as cream gets added, continue whisking until smooth.

Add cream mixture to main pot, stirring to fully incorporate it. Turn heat down to medium and keep at a simmer while you prepare the dumplings:

In a medium sized bowl, mix together flours, cornmeal, green onion and parsley, tapioca starch, baking powder,and salt. Measure shortening/butter into the same bowl, and cut into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or fork(s). The idea is to work it in until it’s evenly distributed throughout, in very small pieces.

Add milk/buttermilk, stir just until dough comes together. Don’t over stir or beat it. If dough is too crumbly, add a small amount of extra milk.

Add shrimp to soup pot, stir gently. Immediately drop rounded tablespoons of dumpling dough into boiling soup. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes WITHOUT LIFTING THE LID. Serve hot, garnished with parsley if desired.

* Note: My original recipe – as published in Beyond Flour 2 – called for a whole 12oz can of tomato paste. I’ve since decided that I like it even better with a little less tomato paste. You can use the full 12 oz if you’d like. Just a head’s up: Photos represent the 12oz usage… making this recipe with 1/4 cup of tomato paste results in a more … subdued… colour! 🙂

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Roasted “Convention” Chili Recipe

It’s just a few short days til Marscon – our first convention of the year!

For some brilliant reason, I decided at the last minute that I should make a Klingon costume for the occasion. This was with a trip to Dallas looming, and – unknowbeknowst to us at the time – a bout of stomach flu on the way!

So much for having enough time – am racing like a madman to get everything done on time, which is NOT a common thing for me… being a logistics freak. I definitely prefer being prepared far in advance, and walking into a convention well rested for the weekend to come.

Part of the preparation for any convention we go to is figuring out the food situation, so we don’t end up paying a fortune for bad hotel food. This is especially important when one is under dietary restrictions for allergies.

As you may recall, last July we decided to create “Convention Sloppy Joes” as a way to ensure easy access to healthy proteins and veggies throughout the weekend.

It was perfect! Making it ahead and freezing it not only freed up time immediately before the convention, but also provided efficient “ice packs” for the cooler. We left it to simmer all day in a crockpot in our hotel room, so it was easy to go up and grab a bite to eat whenever we had a minute. (Well, realistically… whenever we started feeling gross from NOT eating, and could drag ourselves away from the fun!).

Best of all… it was the first convention we’ve been to where we did NOT get Con Crud. I’ve got to think that proper nutrition had a big hand in that!

We decided to go a bit of a different route this time, so I created a “Convention Chili” recipe. I just don’t want the hassle of dealing with crappy gluten-free buns, and really.. it’s been too long since I put on a pot of chili.

With this recipe, we decided to just go insane with the vitamin C. Red peppers are much higher in it than tomatoes are, after all. Sounds good, right? In reality, my husband just hates tomatoes, so red peppers are a great, healthy, and tasty way to make chili delicious for him, too. All that vitamin C can’t hurt, when facing down the possibility of con crud… especially during cold/flu season! The protein from the meats and beans, and all the fiber from the beans and veggies make this a really healthy food to live on for a weekend.

A few notes about this recipe:

– I created this recipe specifically to be made ahead and frozen, specifically for use in a slow cooker. See the end of the recipe for how to tweak this for immediate use – it would be great for a party!

– If you want to swap out types of pepper, swap the red peppers for tomatoes, add or subtract onion, etc… go nuts 🙂 It’s a very versatile recipe. Just try to keep the weights/volumes of substitution relatively similar to what it’s replacing.

– This is suitable for a wide range of dietary needs and allergies. It’s inherently gluten free, dairy free, etc.

– While you can peel the roasted peppers after broiling them if you want, we don’t. Too fussy, you lose some nutrition/flavour, and the texture isn’t noticeable in the final dish anyway.

– Red bell peppers can be expensive.. so we used canned. If you have access to a big-box discount store like Costco – you can get canned red peppers for much cheaper than fresh. Farmers markets can be another great option.

Roasted “Convention” Chili
Makes … a lot. Probably a gallon and a half?

2 poblano peppers, seeded and sliced into large chunks
4 green bell peppers, seeded and sliced into large chunks
5 jalapenos, halved (seeded if you choose)
2 large onions, peeled and sliced
Olive oil
3 lbs lean ground beef
2 lbs ground pork
6 stalks celery, sliced
2 lbs sliced mushrooms
5 carrots, peeled and grated
3 cans (~30oz each) tomato sauce
2 cans (~15oz each) light red kidney beans, drained
2 cans (~15oz each) dark red kidney beans, drained
2 cans (~15oz each) black beans, drained
10 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed/minced
6 lbs red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
2 cups beef broth
2 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tsp+ smoked serrano powder*

Drizzle a broiler-safe pan with some olive olive, and arrange your poblano, bell, and jalapeno peppers on it, along with the onions. (This may take more than one batch to do!). Drizzle with a little more olive oil and broil under high heat until peppers are nicely roasted and blistering. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cool enough to handle, chop into small, bite sized pieces. Set aside.

Drizzle a little olive oil in a large pot, add ground beef and pork. Cook until browned, add celery and mushrooms. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until celery is translucent and mushrooms have softened. Add carrots, tomato sauce, beans, garlic, and half of the red pepper. Stir well.

Puree remaining red peppers with beef broth, add to the pot. Continue cooking until everything is warmed up, season with salt, pepper, and smoked serrano powder, to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from heat.

Cool to room temperature, transfer to freezer safe containers, and freeze until use.

To use:

– Thaw out (At a convention, place it in your bathroom sink in the morning when you’re done with it, fill with cool water)

– Around noon, transfer mixture to Crock Pot (doesn’t need to be fully thawed), heat on high for a few hours, stirring every hour or so (Good to coordinate this with roomies!)

– Once mixture cooks down to a nice thick consistency, turn heat down to low until serving. If mixture gets too thick, see if a vending machine has a bottle of V8, add a little to thin it out.

For immediate, non-CrockPot use:

Rather than removing mixture from heat after seasoning, turn heat down to medium and simmer until sauce cooks down to a nice thick consistency.

* We buy smoke serrano powder from a local homebrew supply store – Midwest Supplies. You can order it from them online HERE, or find it in specialty spice shops. Great stuff!

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Fennel Chicken and Sausage Soup

Here we are, the final recipe to result from last weekend’s super making binge!

This one was actually inspired by a chicken bratwurst I tried one time, which involved apple and fennel. I thought it would be fun to build a soup around those flavours, and took it a step further with some sweet Italian sausage. Everything works together so well, producing a flavourful, unique soup… and it’s kind of pretty, too!

This soup is a stark contrast to my Beef Stew which is hearty and rustic, and my Roasted Cauliflower Soup which was quick and simple. Yep, it involves making chicken broth a day before making the actual soup.

It’s a little bit of extra work, but TOTALLY worth it – you don’t get this kind of flavour from a can! Stock making is a lost art, and really does give you great results for very little cost. It’s also healthier than canned stuff, and you get to have the extra pride that comes from really making your soup from scratch!

Enjoy!

Fennel Chicken and Sausage Soup Recipe

Chicken Broth:

1 chicken, cut up (~5 lbs)
2 onions
5 stalks celery
1 fennel bulb
2 parsnips, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper

The night before making the soup, prepare your chicken broth.

In a large pot cover all broth ingredients with a good amount of water – maybe 12 cups worth. Bring to a boil, turn heat down a bit, and simmer for a few hours, until stock is golden and richly flavoured.

Strain all ingredients out of the broth. Discard veggies, allow chicken to cool enough to handle. When cool, pick off all of the meat, chop into bite sized pieces and chill. Discard the bones.

Chill broth overnight.

The next day, remove fat from the surface of the broth.

Soup:

1 1/2 lbs fresh sweet Italian sausage, cut into 1″ lengths
2 Tbsp vegetable
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 fennel bulb (Chop the fennel fronds, reserve)
8 cups of chicken broth (above)
1 cup dry white wine
2 parsnips, peeled and grated
2-3 lbs red potatoes, chopped
2 apples, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
Reserved chicken from broth
Salt and pepper
2 Tbsp corn starch
2 cups heavy cream

In a large, heavy pot, brown sausage in vegetable oil. Add onion and fennel root, continue cooking until onions are translucent.

Add a little chicken broth, scrape down (deglaze) the bottom of the pan until any brown bits are nicely incorporated into the stock. Add rest of measured broth, wine, parsnips, potatoes, apples, garlic, and chopped chicken. Simmer until potatoes are tender, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Whisk corn starch into heavy cream until smooth. Add to the soup – along with the fennel fronds, stirring until well incorporated.

Bring back up to a simmer, simmer for another 5 minutes. Check your seasonings, adjusting if necessary.

Serve hot!

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Hearty Beef Stew Recipe

I haven’t made – or had – stew in a very long time… probably 7 years or so. I kind of wrecked myself for it, and nothing’s seemed good enough, since.

You see, I’ve always loved stew. My grandmother’s homemade stuff, the stew they’d sell at the Irish Pavilion at Folklorama every year.. hell, I’d even snarf the Puritan brand canned stuff. (Shh! I KNOW!)

Then, I moved out east and got into game meats. I discovered that I make *the best* moose stew, and life was good. So, SOOO good.

Eventually, I moved to Minnesota and found no way to get my hands on moose meat. One of these days, I WILL find a moose hunter to bribe… but I digress. Beef stew can never live up to that moose stew, so I just … haven’t had stew.

That ended this weekend, when I finally gave in and decided to make a beef stew. Ah… I missed this.

This is NOT high cuisine, it’s not in any way gourmet… just a good, solid, basic stew – probably pretty similar to what my grandmother used to make. It’s a bit lighter on the Brussels sprouts than I like, as a compromise for my husband. (He’s not as insane about them as I am.) This is hearty, root-y, thick and wonderful comfort food. Yum!

Enjoy!

PS: This makes a TON of stew. It freezes well, but I like to basically live off it for a week 🙂 Feel free to cut the recipe in half, though!

Hearty Beef Stew

4 lbs stewing beef, cut up into chunks
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 onions, chopped
12 cups beef broth
1 bottle (750 ml) dry red wine
4 – 6 ribs celery
1 Tbsp+ dried savoury
1 Tbsp + black pepper
Salt
1 rutabaga, peeled and chopped
5 parsnips, peeled and sliced into large chunks
6 carrots, peeled and sliced into chunks
1 1/2 lbs mushrooms, cut in large chunks
~ 3-4 lbs red potatoes, cut into large chunks
~ 2-3 lbs fresh Brussels sprouts, halved
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup flour
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped

In a very large, heavy pot, brown meat in oil. Add onions, continue to cook until translucent.

Add beef broth, red wine, celery, 1 Tbsp each of dried savoury and black pepper, and 2 tsp salt. Bring up to almost a boil, reduce heat and simmer – covered – for two hours.

Remove celery from the stew, discard. Add rutabaga, parsnips, carrots, and mushrooms, continue simmering for another hour.

Add potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Cover and simmer for another hour or so.

While the stew simmers, prepare your roux:

In a large heavy pot, combine vegetable oil and butter. Heat over medium until the butter melts, stir in the flour.

Without leaving your stove (Seriously!), stir the mixture constantly over medium heat until it gets quite dark – I like to get it to a reddish brown colour. It’ll take time, but it’s worth it – this great flavour to the stew … just don’t burn it!

Stir a ladle worth of stew stock into the roux – it’ll boil up and steam, don’t worry. Whisk it till smooth, then add another ladle worth of stew liquid. Continue until you have a decent amount of smooth gravy.

Add the gravy into the stew, stirring well to fully distribute. Stir in fresh parsley, season with salt, pepper, and additional savoury to taste.

Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Smoked Serrano Drizzle

This past weekend, we decided to attend the Minneapolis Farmers Market right after it opened at 6 am. It was still dark out, so the market was all lit up under the canopies – we didn’t even know they did that.. it was beautiful! The air was crisp and fresh, the moisture from the recent rain really carried the scent of the fresh produce through the air, and it wasn’t crowded or noisy at all. We were able to enjoy the feel and smell of the air, without the sensory overload of noise and crowd… By far my favourite farmers market experience to date!

Without having to rush to get away from noise, we were able to stroll the aisles, buying a TON of produce. I had it in my head that I wanted to go on a soup making binge, and we walked away WELL equipped for it!

The two soups and the stew I made this weekend were all fantastic, but this one stood out for its ease and simplicity.

This roasted cauliflower soup took very little effort – and not many ingredients – but became an instant favourite. I basically wanted to make a soup version of cauliflower mash, but roasted. Roasted onion and garlic adds flavour and complexity, and the white wine brings just a touch of acid and refinement to it. The thick, creamy texture of the soup is accented with a drizzle of smokey serrano pepper oil… oh, this is GOOD.

While it’s easy enough to make pepper oil by infusion, I wanted something quick and easy… and wanted to use what I had on hand.

I love, love, LOVE hot pepper powders! We pick them up at our local homebrew supply store – Midwest Supplies – who stocks them as part of their hot sauce supplies. My favourite lately has been their Smoked Serrano Powder, but I’ve always loved their jalapeno powder. (You may remember it from my husband’s “Epic Popcorn” recipe!). Seriously, pick up a few powders – they do mail order! – and have fun with them.

Anyway.

Stirring the powder into the oil is quick and easy, but’ll probably make purists cringe. Whatever.

This makes a fair amount of the oil, but it keeps well in the fridge – just stir well before use. You can drizzle as much or little of the oil as you want – pretty, kinda fun to be able to customize, AND the smokiness really works well with this soup.

Enjoy!

Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Smoked Serrano Drizzle

2 heads cauliflower
1 onion
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
3 cups chicken broth*
1 cup milk
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup olive oil
2 tsp smoked serrano powder

Preheat oven to 400F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

Remove any leaves from the cauliflower, chop into large florets. Peel and slice onion, peel garlic. Arrange cauliflower, onion, and garlic on baking sheet, drizzle generously with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 50 minutes, stirring every 15-20 minutes or so until golden brown.

Transfer roasted veggies and garlic to a large pot. Add chicken broth, milk, and white wine, mash lightly with a potato masher. Bring almost to a boil, turn heat down and simmer for 20 minutes.

Puree soup mixture until smooth – you may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of your food processor or blender. Transfer smooth puree back to the pot, add heavy cream and stir well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Stir smoked serrano powder into oil, drizzle over individual servings of soup.

* We used this amount of chicken broth, knowing we like our soup THICK. If you’d like a thinner soup, just add a bit more chicken stock!

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Roasted Corn Chowder Recipe

With the weather (HOPEFULLY!) cooling down soon, it’s probably a good time to post some cooler-weather recipes!

This base recipe for corn chowder – from my book, “Sweet Corn Spectacular” – can be customized in many ways. It requires a little bit of effort, but it’s very much worth it. Roasting the corn before incorporating it into the chowder elevates the flavour in beautiful ways!

Roasted Corn Chowder
Serves 4

6–7 ears fresh sweet corn, husks removed
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cups water, divided
2 ribs celery
1 small onion
4–5 red potatoes, cut into V-inch chunks
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
salt and pepper

Prepare grill. Brush 3–4 corn cobs with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and grill corn until as “done” as you like (I prefer some dark grill marks but not an overall char). Set aside to cool.

Using a sharp knife, carefully cut kernels off remaining ears of corn. Add kernels to a food processor or blender with 1 cup of the water. Puree until very smooth, about 2 minutes.

In a medium pot over medium heat, cook celery and onion in remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, stirring occasionally, until veggies are translucent and tender. Add corn puree, remaining cup of water, and potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.

Carefully cut kernels off roasted cobs of corn. Add kernels to a food processor or blender and puree with ½ cup heavy cream until somewhat smooth, about 30 seconds. Add roasted corn puree and remaining heavy cream to the pot, and simmer until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Variations

• Add some roasted red peppers along with the roasted corn puree.

• Add some fresh basil and Parmesan cheese with the roasted corn puree.

• Add a couple of roasted jalapeños, finely chopped, with the roasted corn puree.

• Add about 2 cups shredded cheese along with the roasted corn puree.

• Top with crumbled bacon.

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Roasted Chili Verde

Recently, my husband and I worked on developing a chili recipe together. This was significant for a few reasons.

For one, we really don’t tend to develop a lot of recipes together – we’ll hash out an idea, sure… but then I take over the kitchen, usually kicking him out.

Secondly, this was for a chili cook off. Now, I make great chili – and used to seriously kick butt in chili cook offs back home… but it’s something that I haven’t participated in since moving to Minnesota.

As you may already know, the average Minnesota palate is still completely foreign to me. Early on, it was explained to me that “Ketchup, salt, and pepper are the standard spices here”, and then experience proved that statement to not ENTIRELY be a joke. I quickly got used to specifying “hot-hot, not Minnesota hot” when dining at various ethnic restaurants in the state. Apparently, it’s all the Scandinavian culture here? Not a huge deal, more hot stuff for me!

Thing is, when it comes to my famous chili… it has way more heat than would be acceptable for “Minnesota hot”. It doesn’t burn your mouth off or anything (I like flavorful heat, not tastebud-killing heat), but… I don’t think it would go over so well with the general public here. So, no chili contests for me!

Then, my husband was asked to participate in one for work. Says he:

I work at a large company, and the department I work in decided to have a chili contest, sending out an email to the group trying to find people interested in competing in the friendly competition. I immediately knew what I had to do…

Show the world that tomatoes suck.

That’s putting it nicely, actually. I feel that tomatoes should be handled like smallpox, and eradicated from the earth in the same manner. Ok, ok, I wouldn’t seriously do that if I somehow obtained that sort of power, I do realize that plenty of people like them. I don’t really know why I hate them, there’s some component in them that is really gross. Luckily for me, this gross component gets severely reduced by cooking and other processing. Tomato sauce on pizza? Yeah, I’ll eat it, though I prefer white sauce. Ketchup with my fries? Yup, though I prefer ranch. Fresh salsa? No thanks, I prefer the stuff from a bottle, the stuff that has been processed so much that the gross component is barely there. Chili? Yup, I’ll eat traditional chili, but there is another option.

Tomatillos are similar to tomatoes, but different enough. They will never be a favorite food of mine, but I find them to be a far superior fruit than the tomato. The taste and texture are similar. I wouldn’t say they’re interchangeable, but products can be adapted to use tomatillos instead of tomatoes.

My chili would be green, it would be something different. After talking about the idea with Marie, we starting working on details. A quick google search showed us that we’re not the first people to do this, which didn’t surprise me at all. Here in Minnesota where I grew up, I’ve never had it or heard of it, so I knew it would still be in a different category for most people.

I wanted to help, it was a competition for my work after all. I also knew that I needed to rely on Marie’s super-duper-amazing seasoning skills for this to actually come together as a tasty product. I did prep work, de-husking and cleaning the tomatillos and other such work, letting Marie do the actual skilled labor.

Although I didn’t win the competition, I know people enjoyed the chili and I think it’s a great recipe to share. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it too, and perhaps some more people will be turned towards tomatillos.

… So, we set about making out own recipe. There would be beans, unlike traditional chili verde, because this is the midwest, where chili is supposed to have beans. (And I agree 100%!).

We wouldn’t go for a lot of heat, instead bringing out a ton of flavors by roasting pretty much everything in the chili. Sure, there could still be the “it’s GREEN” objection, but hey… can’t please everyone!

Porter House Chili Verde

4 Poblano peppers
1 Anaheim pepper
3 green bell peppers
4 jalapenos
Vegetable oil or spray
3 lbs tomatillos
2 medium onions
10 cloves garlic, peeled
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 lbs boneless pork butt (shoulder)*
4 cups chicken broth
2 x 15oz cans mayo coba beans, drained
4 x 15 oz cans small white beans, drained
1 + tsp cumin
Salt and pepper

Cilantro, hot sauce, and/or additional roasted jalapenos for garnish

Heat broiler on high

Slice all four kinds of pepper into large chunks, remove ribs and seeds. Arrange in a single layer on a broiling pan, brush or spray lightly with vegetable oil. Broil for a few minutes, until desired level of roasted. Repeat in batches until all peppers are roasted. Allow to cool.

Remove husks from tomatillos, wash well and remove any that don’t look fresh/good. Slice each in half, arrange in a single layer on broiler pan, cut side up. Brush or spray with vegetable oil, broil until desired level of roast is achieved, repeating in batches till all are roasted. Cool.

Peel onions, slice into 1/2″ slices. Arrange in a single layer on broiling pan – along with 6 of the 10 garlic cloves – brush or spray lightly with oil, broil until roasted enough, cool.

In a food processor, puree all of the roasted garlic along with about 1/3 of each type of peppers and onions, and about 1/2 the tomatillos. Set aside. Chop remaining vegetables into 1/2″ chunks, set aside.

Trim your pork roast of excess fat, cut into ~ 1/2″ chunks. In a large heavy pot, brown pork in vegetable oil. Once browned, add pureed vegetables, chopped vegetables, chicken broth, and beans. Finely mince or press remaining garlic cloves, add to the pot.

Heat chili almost to a boil, reduce heat and simmer gently for two hours, stirring every once in a while. Add cumin, stir well. Continue simmering for another hour or so.

When simmering time is over, season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with your choice of toppings.

* Pork butt/shoulder is traditional… but I found it to be a pain to cut up/trim the fat from, so I’ll be using boneless chops and/or tenderloin next time!

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Hickory Ham Green Pea Soup

After indulging in a large batch of my French Canadian Pea Soup, I decided to make a new version of it, playing up some of Porter’s favorite flavors.

I give you “Hickory Ham Green Pea Soup”! While French Canadian style remains my favorite, this one is tops in Porter’s book!

Like the French Canadian pea soup, this is a very simple dish to prepare, and freezes beautifully.

Hickory Ham Green Pea Soup

1 large onion, chopped
6 ribs celery
3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 lbs green split peas
16 cups water
2.5 lb boneless ham, hickory smoked
3 large carrots, grated
1 tsp sage
1/2 tsp thyme.
1 bay leaf
1 tsp pepper
Salt

In a LARGE pot, saute onions and celery, cooking until tender and translucent. Add garlic, split peas, water, ham, and carrots, bring to a boil. Cover pot, remove from heat, and allow to sit for one hour.

After one hour, return pot to heat and bring up to a boil once more. Add sage, thyme, bay leaf, and pepper. Simmer over medium heat until split peas break down, forming a very thick soup.

Season with salt to taste.

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Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

French Canadian Pea Soup

Ah, pea soup. I love French Canadian style – loved it when I was a kid – especially when served at Festival du Voyageur activities in my hometown!.

I loved it when I first moved out on my own, living on the cheap, and buying the “Habitant” canned stuff like it was going out fo style.

Now, as an expatriate Canadian.. I may love it even more! Unlike many of the other homeland foods I adore, this one is easily made, with almost all of the ingredients being available locally. Sure, you can’t get *proper* summer savory in Minnesota – but you CAN beg friends to bring some back from vacations on Canada’s east coast! (Thank you Laura and Andrew, you’re awesome and I adore you for it!)

This makes a LOT of soup. Because soup isn’t an everyday kind of thing to make, I like to make a large batch, and freeze most of it – it freezes / thaws beautifully.

This version is a bit easier than the 100% traditional way, which uses a ham bone in it. Feel free to add a ham bone in with the water, pulling it out as the mixture gets thick, though. I just find it convenient to use the small, boneless ham chunks for this!

French Canadian Pea Soup

3 onions, chopped
2 cups grated celery
3 lbs dried yellow split peas
24 cups water
3 lbs+ cured ham, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup grated carrots (about 6 carrots)
1 Tbsp dried summer savory
1 bay leaf
2 tsp pepper
Salt

In a LARGE pot, saute onions and celery, cooking until tender and translucent. Add split peas, water, ham, and carrots, bring to a boil. Cover pot, remove from heat, and allow to sit for one hour.

After one hour, return pot to heat and bring up to a boil once more. Add summer savory, bay leaf, and pepper. Simmer over medium heat until split peas break down, forming a very thick soup.

Season with salt to taste.

With 2017 being Canada’s 150th birthday, it’s about time I wrote the Canadian cookbook I’ve been planning for YEARS.

“More than Poutine” will be a Canadian cookbook like no other – written by a Canadian living away, it includes both traditional homecooking recipes, as well as homemade versions of many of the snacks, sauces, convenience foods, and other food items that are hard to come by outside of Canada!

High quality gluten-free versions of most recipes will be included.

The Kickstarter for “More Than Poutine is live, here. Please consider backing, and sharing the campaign with your friends!

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.