Recipes will often use a cream-of-whatever soup as a base, which can be problematic for the gluten-free and/or dairy-free eater. After trying a couple store-bought soups and a few of my own recipes, I finally stumbled upon one that I love -- where else? -- in my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, as part of their "Deep Dish Chicken Pie" recipe. Of course, I had to alter a few ingredients, but I have successfully used this super-simple base in several dishes so far, and I like it better than anything else I've tried.
2 tbs. butter
1 c. mushrooms (optional)
1/2 to 1 small onion (optional)
1/2 to 1 c. celery (optional)
1 1/2 c. chicken broth
1 c. milk or milk substitute (I've used rice and soy milk successfully)
1/3 c. rice flour
1 tsp. spice mix of choice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
In a medium saucepan, melt butter and saute veggies until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add flour, spice, salt, and pepper; stir till well mixed. Add broth and milk all at once. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly, about 1-3 minutes.
* For cream of mushroom soup, use 1 c. mushrooms, up to 1 small onion, and 1/2 c. celery for veggies, and 1/2 tsp. thyme + 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning for spices.
* For cream of chicken soup, use up to 1 small onion and 3/4 c. celery for veggies, and 3/4 tsp. sage + 1/4 tsp. thyme or marjoram for spices. Add 1 to 2 cups chopped cooked chicken to finished soup and heat through.