This soup most definitely exceeded our expectations. Huge huge flavor in this simple soup whether served for lunch or dinner.  Now if you like your soup on the "spicy hot" side add extra fresh cracked pepper and Thai Red Curry Paste.  This can certainly be made vegetarian/vegan using Vegetable stock omitting chicken and adding in seared Tempeh would be a nice addition.

3/4 lb. skinless boneless chicken breast or chicken tenders cut into small pieces 1/2 inch or so, season with salt and fresh cracked pepper.

2 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 large minced garlic clove

1 finely sliced shallot

1 cup finely shredded cabbage (use a knife to finely shred)

1 cup finely sliced fresh spinach, sliced lengthwise

1 grated carrot - box grate using the large grate

2 green onions sliced diagonally

1/2-2/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro including stems

1 rounded tsp. Thai Red Curry Paste

3 Tblsp. smooth peanut butter

2 Tblsp. fresh finely minced or grated ginger

4 cups chicken broth

2 Tblsp. white vinegar or Rice Vinegar

2-3 Tblsp. Gluten free Tamari or Gluten free Soy Sauce -  gauge by your own taste

3 squares Lotus Gluten Free Ramen Noodles (cook separately as per directions)

Heat up a dutch oven on low/medium heat.  Add the chicken, the garlic and shallot sauteing until fragrant and chicken is cooked (do not overcook). Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside. Don't worry if your chicken is still pink, it will cook in the hot soup.   Then add in the ginger, peanut butter, and Thai curry paste.  Mix/Stir in the pot and heat just until melted through.  Pour in the Chicken stock, Soy Sauce and vinegar whisking well, then add in the cabbage, spinach, and grated carrot.  Bring a pot of salted water to boil for the Ramen Noodles and cook as per directions timing with the soup.  Cook the soup/veggies on low simmer for 12 minutes, then add in the cooked chicken, green onions and cilantro at the end just before serving.

Once the Ramen Noodles are cooked, drain.  Add the noodles to your bowl and ladle in the hot soup over the noodles.

Tomorrow will be great leftovers!

This yummy seafood bisque is not a traditional bisque as it was not pureed , and it is also not a chowder, as it was not thickened nor were there any potatoes in the soup. It is more of a tasty seafood soup somewhat like a bisque.

In the freezer section at our grocery store we discovered packages of frozen seafood medleys - a combination of shrimp, scallops, clams and muscles - a very tasty combination.  The directions said to remove the package from the outer package - add the pack of seafood to boiling water, and boil 8 minutes turning over the pack of seafood half way through.  This gave a lovely seafood broth inside the package which I then added to the tomato cream base.  A lovely, and easy dinner or lunch.

300 grams frozen seafood medley

14 ounce can of diced tomatoes

2 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 of a celery stalk finely diced

1 shallot finely diced

1 minced garlic clove

1 tsp. dried Thyme, and Parsley

1 large bay leaf

salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

a good splash of Lactose free cream

Heat up a pot on low heat with the EVOO.  Add the shallot, celery, and garlic sauteing about 5-7 minutes until the shallot and celery are translucent.  Season with salt, fresh pepper, thyme and parsley and saute another minute.  Pour in the tomatoes and add the bay leaf.  Keep on a low simmer, and meanwhile cook the seafood medley as per directions.  Once cooked, cut the package open and pour into the tomato mixture giving it a good stir.  Remove from the heat and add in a good splash of cream, stirring to incorporate.  Serve hot with some nice gluten free bread or buns.

(UPDATE:)  I made a new discovery with this cream of mushroom soup recipe.  Instead of using Sweet Rice Flour for the roux, I used Potato Starch - which gave a much finer texture overall, so will use this from now on.  Also, it freezes nicer too.  Yes, once you pour it into a pan to reheat it will have separated, but no worries,  just keep on the lowest heat, whisking well until heated through - beautiful flavor and creamy consistency.  I seriously was wowed! )

With this recipe the mushroom soup was made first, the rice cooked separately, and we used leftover chicken thighs - a different version of Chicken and Rice Casserole.  This is a great go to recipe for left over chicken. It came together really well.  Many recipes call for canned cream of whatever soup - something a celiac would never use unless it was gluten free and in my case lactose free - something I have never seen in our grocery stores.  So, here I have recreated a cream of mushroom soup to easily be used in various casserole dishes. Or to have as a lovely soup on it's own.  It was pretty quick to make, and can easily be made ahead of time for any dish you require.  To make it packed full of flavor just take a bit of extra time to cook the finely chopped mushrooms, onion, garlic and seasoning till there is a golden appearance and fragrance.

These days we try to stretch our meals and use up any and all ingredients.  In these unusual times, it is interesting what the stores have available and what they do not.  Each week seems different.  However, on that note it certainly allows for some creative dishes based on what you have.

Any style of mushroom can be used in this recipe, or you could use a combination of mushrooms.  We used a Lactose Free 2% milk in this recipe, but a touch of lactose free cream would also be tasty.  Versatility is always an option, use what suites you best, or what you have on hand.  A great way to use up leftovers in the fridge.

Cream of Mushroom Soup:

3 Tblsp. butter

1/2 a small onion, finely diced (shallot or leeks would be lovely too)

1 large garlic clove, finely minced

1/2 a celery stalk, finely minced

8 white or brown mushrooms, finely chopped

1/2 tsp. dried mustard, 1/2  tsp. dried thyme, fresh cracked pepper

3 1/2 Tblsp. Potato Starch (if too thick, thin with a bit more chicken stock)

3 Tblsp. Gluten Free Soy Sauce - or more to taste

1 1/2 cups Chicken Stock

1 cup of milk

Heat up a medium sized sauce pan with the butter on low heat.  Add in the onion, garlic, celery, and diced mushrooms sauteing about 6 minutes.  Add in the mustard, thyme, fresh cracked pepper and continue to saute another 2 minutes.  Sprinkle in the potato starch stirring well with a wooden spoon for about a minute or two.  Using a whisk, pour in the milk and chicken stock whisking well the entire time to remove any lumps.  Add soy sauce to taste and bring to a lite simmer for a couple of minutes until ready to use.

Chicken and Rice Creamy Mushroom Bake:

With this recipe any leftover chicken will work nicely as would pork chops or leftover sliced pork roast.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease an 11x8 baking dish with 1 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3/4 cups Basmati Rice - cook as per directions

1/2 cup minced broccoli florets

1 small chopped zucchini - slice in half then chop into 1/2 inch pieces

Cream of Mushroom Soup - use full recipe above

1 cup shredded aged cheddar cheese

3 leftover roasted Chicken thighs or about 2-3 cups chopped cooked chicken


Cook the rice as per directions, remove from the heat and add in the minced broccoli florets and chopped zucchini, mixing well.  Put the lid on and let sit 10 minutes, then pour over the cream of mushroom soup (make sure to reheat) - mixing gently to combine and transfer to the baking dish.

Top with grated cheddar cheese then place the chicken on top.  Bake uncovered about 30 minutes to heat through, and melt the cheese.

If you read my blog, you know I am a lover of all kinds of soups!  I could eat soup every day for sure.  This soup was so quick and easy, great for lunch or dinner served with grilled cheese, gluten free buns, or a simple salad.  When in a rush, or you don't feel like cooking, store bought tomato basil marinara and chicken bone broth work great in a pinch for time, plus, it is a good way to use up what is in the pantry/fridge/freezer.  This meal came together in about  35-40 min....these days that works for me.  If you wanted Vegan or Vegetarian, simply use Vegetable broth in place of Chicken Stock/Bone broth.

2 chopped carrots

1/2 an onion roughly sliced

1 chopped leek

1 chopped large celery stalk with leaves

1 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3/4 c frozen organic spinach

2/3 cup frozen organic corn

2/3 cup frozen organic green beans

salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

2 1/2 cups Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce (store bought or homemade)

5 cups chicken bone broth (store bought or homemade) (Vegetable stock for Vegan/Vegetarian)

1 rounded cup gluten free elbow macaroni pasta - cooked separately

Heat up a dutch oven with the EVOO on low heat.  Add in the carrots, onion, leek, celery, and season with salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Saute 5 min.

Pour in the Marinara sauce and bone broth stirring to combine.  Bring to a simmer, and cook 15 min.  Then add in all of the frozen vegetables. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile cook the elbow macaroni pasta separately according to directions, drain and add to the soup giving a good stir.  A warming soup for the soul.

This was literally a "throw together" soup with anything you have on hand....and it was mighty tasty!  We had a few lovely days of warm spring weather here on the West Coast of British Columbia, Canada.  Then all of a sudden it disappeared right before our very eyes.  Yes, back to cold, drizzly, rainy weather - so typical of our West Coast weather at this time of year.  We are half tempted to start a fire in the fire spring time for heaven's sake!
As usual, I gravitate to soup....soup of any kind makes me a happy girl.  Well, this soup started out with leftover roast beef and just went on from there.  You could use vegetable stock, chicken stock, beef stock, whatever you have on hand...also whatever veggies you have in the fridge that need to be used up.
My brother recently shared that he always makes curried beef soup with leftover roast beef.  I'm not sure why, but this is a soup I have never made before. So I asked "how do you make it"?  He said it is so easy, just use what you have on hand, add some good curry seasoning and then go from there.  Boy, did he get that right, so here it is:
3 1/2 cups stock:  veggie, beef, chicken - your choice (I did a combo of tomato veggie and chicken)
2 tblsp. Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium onion roughly chopped
2 large garlic cloves, roughly minced
2 large crimini mushrooms, chopped small
3/4 cups diced carrots
1 celery stalk, cut in half and chopped
1 1/4-1 1/2 cups cubed potatoes (cut small)
3/4 cup zucchini cut into 1/2 inch size pieces
1 1/2 cups leftover roast beef cut into 1/2 inch size pieces
1 tsp. good curry powder
1/2 tsp. garam masala
salt and pepper to taste
Heat up a medium sized dutch oven on low/medium heat with the EVOO.  Add in the mushrooms, garlic and onion sauteing to sweat out, about 4 min.  Then add in the carrots, celery, seasonings and saute another 5 min.  Pour in the stock, and bring to a simmer.  Simmer about 8 minutes, then add in the potato and simmer another 10 min.  Add in the zucchini and continue to simmer about 5 min.  Check the vegetables to see if they are done, and adjust any seasonings.  Add the roast beef just to heat through and serve with a side salad or some good gluten free bread.  Yummm, I will always think of leftover roast beef to make this soup from now on, regardless of the weather - super easy and a great way to use up any leftover veggies/stock in the fridge.  Delicious and economical at the same time. 🙂

If you read my blog you will know that while I love the idea and convenience of a crock pot/slow cooker - in terms of success we have really had minimal results - just the odd recipe turns out great.  Usually, we find the dish is lacking in flavor, and any meat is over cooked.   This has happened time and time again, even with lots of experimentation on cooking times, added seasonings etc.  Never one to give up on a challenge in the kitchen - I keep trying.  My sister has had the same issue.  She is convinced that her crock pot dishes used to be wonderful back in the day when she used her "old school" crock pot which she no longer has.  She believes the newer crock pots cook too "hot" hence the loss of flavor/overcooked meat.  They say each crock pot is different - how true.
So, when seeing various recipes for crock pot Chicken Rice Soup, I was surprised to read a number of different comments on the challenges of making this simple soup in a crock pot.  What?  I'm not the only one out there that has challenges with a crock pot?  What do you know!
Some of these comments were:  the rice was crunchy, the rice was mushy, there was not enough liquid, the vegetables were not cooked through, chicken was dry/overcooked.  Some say to cook on low for 6 hours other recipes say cook on low for 8 hours.  Having considered the various ideas and challenges - here is what I came up with:
I paid close attention so it did not over cook - mine was done in 5 1/2 hrs...hmm, maybe my sister is right. Thankfully the soup was delicious, the rice and vegetables were nicely cooked and the chicken was lovely and tender.
Oh and by the way, normally in a recipe I would say use 2 large carrots - however - my carrots are organically grown from the farm down the road so they come in various shapes and sizes - hence the measured ingredients.  This carrot had me taking a 2nd look!  Check this out:  I thought I was seeing things.  🙂  Is this hilarious or what?

1 lb. organic chicken breast skin off, no bone, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
2 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 generous cup of chopped carrots
1 level cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped celery leaves
2 large shallots, chopped
1 large leek, sliced in half, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 1/2 tsp. ground sage
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tblsp. Balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup wild rice blend (soak in cold water for 15 minutes before adding to the crock pot and drain well)
6 cups chicken stock (I used half homemade vegetable stock and half homemade chicken stock as that is what I had on hand)
Plug in your crock pot on low to start heating up and soak the rice.  To a large frying pan on low medium heat drizzle in the Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Add the carrots, celery, shallots, leeks and saute about 8 minutes.  Transfer to a large (6 quart) crock pot and cover with the stock, seasonings, chicken pieces, celery leaves, the drained rice, and balsamic vinegar, stirring to combine.  Cook on low heat for 5 1/2 hrs.  Check for seasonings and adjust to taste.  Serve hot with some nice gluten free bread.  This is a soup that I will definitely be making again - so easy too.

This has to be one of my all time favorite soup recipes.  It was one of my first soup recipe posts from 2010 and one I make time and time again.
Back in the day....I am talking wayyy back in the day, as a teenager I loved the tomato rice soup that came in a can.  You know the one I am talking about?  Well, back then I could eat that soup every day - and just about did.  Then one day, it seemed we could no longer get it.  I was dumbfounded.  How could they stop making such a delicious soup my very naive self says?
Well, years later, we still did not see it on the shelves, but by then I was entrenched in the world of Celiac Disease.  This canned soup was loaded in wheat, msg and god knows what.  So, this recipe was born to replace the old version of canned Tomato Rice Soup.  And you know what?  It is 10000 better!  I have made no changes here - it is too good as it is.
By the way, the other day at the grocery store what did I see?  Canned Tomato Rice Soup and the ingredient list was frightening - no new news there I'm afraid.  This time there were no tears shed.  🙂
Yayyyyyy  for homemade soup!

2 Tblsp. Olive oil
1 large onion – roughly chopped
4 minced garlic cloves
2 diced celery stalks with leaves
1 28 oz. Can whole tomatoes (with juice)
4 cups homemade chicken stock
1 tsp. Thyme
2  tsp. Fennel
3 bay leaves (mine were small to medium size)
salt and pepper
½ cup cooked long grain rice (or a little less)
Optional: handful of chopped spinach, or collard greens, or kale.
In a pot bring ½ cup rice to 1 cups water to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook about 15 min. or until rice has absorbed all the liquid. Once cooked remove from the heat and set aside.
Add olive oil to a pot, low to medium heat. Add onion, garlic and celery – sautéing to sweat out. Add the seasonings, and stir to blend. Then add the tomatoes with juice (break up the tomatoes with a spoon), chicken stock, and any greens. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer, about 30 minutes.
Remove from heat – allow to cool about 10 minutes. Spoon all the veggies into a food processor and blend till smooth. Remove the bay leaves from the broth, add in the pureed vegetables, and the cooked rice stirring to blend. Return to a low heat to heat through – adjust any seasonings.
Served with grill cheese – perfect for lunch or dinner
Note: believe it or not, 2 good squirts of ketchup add some nice zing to this soup and fresh tomatoes would be lovely too.  Also, have you ever noticed, that whole canned tomatoes have more flavor than the diced ones??

I love lentils cooked any way - especially in soup.  The other day was a particularly busy day and on my way home from town I had one more stop to make at our local health food store.  Once in the door, something smelled heavenly (I was starving too as it was lunch time).
Our local health food store is owned by a lovely Iranian gentleman and his wife.  I asked him what smelled so good, and he pointed to a crock pot on the counter that was filled with Lentil Soup.  So then I asked him if it was gluten free.  He said all of his food is gluten free and this soup was also vegetarian and vegan.  Yayyyy gluten free soup!  He said that it was simple, good food.  Groceries in the bag, a take out bowl of soup in my other hand, time to go home.  Once the groceries were put away, I eagerly sat down to have the soup.  It was delicious!  Very simple flavors, in fact, I'm not even sure what kind of spices he used.
So today's recipe was inspired by this lovely gentleman's Lentil soup.  One thing is for sure:  I will definitely be going back to his store for more!
3/4 cup red lentils
3 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 large shallots, chopped
3 large minced garlic cloves
2 Tblsp. finely chopped ginger
1 tsp. Curry Powder - I used my favorite - Cartwrites
1 bay leaf
salt to taste
1  28 oz. can whole tomatoes (place a sieve over an 8 cup glass measuring cup. slice up the tomatoes, give the sieve a good stir a few times and drain all the liquid into the measuring cup. This gave me 2 1/2 cups tomato liquid, then add enough water to reach the 7 cup level)  For a thicker soup, add 1/2 cup less water.
3/4 cup diced celery including leaves
1 cup diced carrots - about 1/2 inch in size
3 medium leeks, chopped
Heat up a frying pan on low medium heat with the EVOO.  Add the chopped shallots, garlic, and ginger.  Saute for 5 minutes, then add in the curry powder and continue to saute 1 more minute.  Season with salt.
Transfer to a med/large crock pot and add all of the remaining ingredients stirring well.  Cook on high for 1 hour, then turn to low and cook for 8 more hours.