Monday, December 21, 2015

Hearty Italian Soup Recipe - Easy Gluten Free and Dairy Free!

When my husband and I first got married, I’d cook up something, and he’d ask, “What are we having for supper?”

My answer? Almost always, “Ummm, I don’t know. I made it up.”

See I cook like my dad- you start with a little idea in mind, and some general ingredients and flavors in mind, and just run with it.

My husband was gracious, and answered, “Oh, hmm. Okay. Well, I’ll try it.” A bit skeptical, I could tell, but he was always great about trying not to show it.

Soon, he stopped being skeptical, and just sat down to dinner, and just ate.

Then, before long, we ran into problems. Problems of this sort:

“Hey honey, how about we have that one supper you made, with such-and-such ingredients? That was really good.”

Hm. Well that would be really great if I could remember what I did.

More often than not, when I blog a recipe, it’s for that very purpose- so I can remember what I did.

Today is Sunday, and it’s rainy. So today called for just such a creation.
Also, my youngest is on a gluten-free, dairy-free diet right now, so I had to do something along those lines.

I’m not really a fan of GFDF dishes that include some kind of expensive substitute item (i.e. making the same recipes you made before, only with the ‘dairy-free cheese’ or the gluten free bread/pasta, etc.). It’s costly. I know, because we tried going that route when I was gluten-free and dairy-free (and a whole lot of other things-free) a while back.

This time around I bought a few of those things, but mainly planned to do what we could to just eat around them. There really are a lot of options. Chinese food, for one, (the healthy homemade kind, not the deep-fried kind) is a great option that is naturally dairy-free and gluten free. Mmm chicken, veggies and rice! Our barbeque sauce is gluten free, so we’ve done pulled barbeque sandwiches, and our one-year-old just has it without the bread, which he likely would have anyway.

Today, when I got busy in the kitchen, I knew we didn’t have a lot of time before he’d be tired and need to go down for a nap, so I needed something quick. I was also really wanting soup- because, as I said, it’s Sunday and rainy.

We already had some sausage browned up and in the freezer, so I thawed it out, and put it in the pot first. Then I added some garlic. I love fresh garlic, and have an incredible garlic press, but I rarely use either, simply because I got this fantastic –huge– container of minced garlic at Sam’s Club and it’s lasted me forever and cost about the same amount as the little 4 or 8 oz jar (can’t remember because it’s been so long) we used to get. I’m only about half-way through it, and we use a lot of garlic. Mmm garlic.


So, sausage, garlic. Then I opened one of the jars of stewed tomatoes I canned last year, put it through the food processor till the bits were smaller, but not totally pureed. Then I dumped the whole thing in the pot. I did the same thing with some Swiss chard we had frozen from the garden. Chop to smaller bits, then add to pot. I added a bit more garlic, because it seemed like there wasn’t enough in there. I told you I love garlic.

Then upon checking the Italian seasoning label, it said there might be some wheat in it (because that totally makes sense. Not.) so I decided not to chance it. I then added some thyme, some garden-oregano (which did not have wheat in it. Ha.), basil, parsley, salt and pepper. I also added about 1/2 c. rice and 1 cup of water, popped the lid on and set the timer for 20 minutes (so the rice would be done).

When I checked on it a little later, it seemed to need a bit more broth, so I added a can of tomato sauce, and a touch more water (maybe 1/4 cup?).

And that’s it. My three-year-old (who was asking for purple soup on the way home from church for some reason. “Purple soup is yummy, mom!” “Hm. Okay. How about red soup instead?”) asked me what was for lunch, and he doesn’t do okay with abstract answers, so this soup promptly got a name. “Italian Soup” was born.

Here is the recipe without the commentary. Thanks for joining me!
As always, spices are to taste, as I didn’t exactly measure them to begin with.

Italian Soup
1/2 to 1 lb. Sausage (regular or Italian)
4 C. Stewed tomatoes, lightly pureed.
1 Tbsp. minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
1/2 to 1 C. frozen chopped Swiss Chard or Spinach, thawed slightly
1 Tbsp. parsley
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 to 1 tsp. salt
dash pepper
1/2 C. dry white rice
1 C. water (adjust as needed)
1 8 oz can tomato sauce

Brown sausage in soup pot. Drain excess grease, but don’t drain completely. (We really like Jimmy Dean, because there’s hardly any excess, and I never have to drain it.) Add tomatoes and garlic and bring to low boil.
Once boiling, add remaining ingredients and cover. Cook 20-23 minutes.

Serve with parmesan. (Or don’t, for dairy free)

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