Gluten-Free Super Creamy Spinach and Mushroom Minestra

In preparation for this coming Christmas dinner with my sister, who will be joining us from out of town, I decided to make one of her favorite dishes — Green bean casserole. Of course with the Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup my mother used in her recipe out of the question, since it contains wheat, I thought I’d experiment and come up with my own mushroom soup. Somewhere in the middle of my experimenting, I suddenly had the urge to add leftover chopped spinach to my new creation. It turned out absolutely delicious. And while I won’t be using it in the green bean casserole, I thought I’d share my recipe with my readers. I hope you enjoy this flavorful and earthy soup as much as I do! Ingredients 8 oz sliced mushrooms (I used baby Bella’s) 8 oz chopped cooked spinach 1 medium onion 1 tsp minced garlic 2 cups of chicken stock (gluten free and low sodium) 1 cup half-and-half 2 tbsn corn starch 3 tbsn butter 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper 1 tsp thyme 2 tbsn cooking sherry Instructions In a stock pot add the butter, garlic, onions and mushrooms. Saute on medium-high heat for just a few minutes. Add the chicken stock and spices and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and let simmer covered for about 15 minutes. Remove soup from heat and let cool for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove a few mushroom pieces with which to top the soup (Optional). Ladle about 1/2 the mixture into a blender and puree for a minute or two. Repeat for the second batch. Combine the half-and-half and cornstarch and whisk until well blended. Return the soup to the stock pot and heat on medium while slowly adding the half-and-half mixture. Add the sherry and stir until it’s fully incorporated. Serve with your favorite topping or with nothing at all. I used mushrooms and a sprig of rosemary (see picture above).

Creamy Butternut-Carrot Soup

With the blustery cold weather outside and the occasional snow flurry, staying indoors and enjoying a nice bowl of hot, creamy soup is just what the doctor ordered.

This Creamy Butternut-Carrot soup is my latest experiment with leftover vegetables from my last trip to the farmer’s market.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

1 medium butternut squash.

1 pound of steamed carrots cut into 1″ pieces

1 cup heavy cream (can also use 1 cup whole milk and 1-2 tbsp corn starch) 

1 medium onion (chopped)

 3 cups water (divided) 

2 cups low-sodium gluten-free chicken broth 

2 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp unsalted butter 

2 cloves of garlic 

 1/4 tsp cayenne 

1 tsp salt 

1/2 tsp black pepper 


Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Steam the carrots (frozen or canned also works). Wash and slice the butternut squash lengthwise into two equal pieces. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds leaving a smooth cavity in both squash halves. Place the squash on a baking sheet, sliced side up and baste each half with a tablespoon of olive oil. Bake in preheated oven until tender (30 to 40 minutes). When done, remove the squash and allow to cool before scraping out the squash flesh. Discard the skin. In a Dutch Oven heat the butter on medium heat until it begins to bubble. Add the onion, garlic and spices and saute until onions are translucent (about 1 to 2 minutes). Add the squash flesh, carrots, remaining water and broth. Cover the pot and allow to simmer undisturbed for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and ladle half the mixture into the blender and puree for 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat the process for the second batch. Blend the two batches together in a sauce pan or use the same Dutch Oven. Stir in the heavy cream and heat the soup to the desired temperature for serving. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with gluten-free croutons, a dollop of sour cream or a sprinkle of gluten-free bacon bits. 

 Enjoy!