“Squash”ing Gluten (in a delicious way)

Matt and I always love being presented with cooking challenges, one of which being how we can make some of our favorite dishes gluten-free. (Between the both of us, there are at least half a dozen people–friends and family–that have severe allergies and/or aversions to eating gluten!) So, this is a post for our favorite celiacs.

In the past year, I have urged Matt to try more vegetables than I am sure he has ever tried in his life. It became a game of sorts, going to the supermarket, picking up a random item in the produce aisle, and finding a way to incorporate said item into a meal. Brussel sprouts, rutabaga, parsnip, red cabbage, acorn squash, etc….trying each new item has brought us fun meals with tasty results. And one of my favorites? Butternut squash!

Initially when we tried butternut squash, I had purchased a frozen bag of already pureed squash for dinner. It was quite delicious (and a cool alternative to mashed potatoes.) But a fresh squash? Now that’s a horse of a different color! First off, the peeling took forever….and may have caused some colorful expletives to fly out of my mouth. But once it was done, then came the cutting into cubes and removing all seeds. If you’re looking for a good workout for your arms, then this is it.

And from all of that hard labor came the best butternut squash soup that I have ever had! Now, for the gluten-free trick : while Matt and I used a roux (flour and butter) to thicken up the soup a little (because it was watery without that roux), we found that adding a potato yielded the same effect. Just add that potato in with your squash, cubed of course, and the starch creates a natural thickener. Also, make sure your stock is gluten-free! (This is where I would suggest checking out my homemade stock posts….because most cans of broth do come with gluten in them if you’re not careful. Labels are important. Trust me on this…it’s the difference between my brother-in-law’s wife being able to eat the soup we tried so hard to make gluten-free for her, but didn’t even think about the chicken broth having gluten in it.)

From time to time, we try to be as conscious as possible about other’s dietary needs…and still make a delicious meal!

So for all of you that are gluten-free (and those who just want to try a delicious soup)….

Enjoy!

~ Jenny V


Jenn’s Gluten-Free Butternut Squash Soup

1 2-3 lb. butternut squash, peeled & seeded

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 medium onion, diced

6 cups chicken stock

1 small potato, peeled and cubed

Nutmeg

Salt & Pepper

Directions:

1) Cut squash and potato into 1-inch cubes, set aside.

2) In large pot, melt butter. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes.

3) Add squash, potato, and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is tender, about 15-20 minutes.

4) Remove squash and potato with slotted spoon, place in blender, and puree. Return blended mixture to pot.

5) Stir and season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Serve.

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