Friday, October 19, 2012

Making comfort foods allergy friendly (and healthier)

Just like every other kid that was born in the 70's and early 80's, you probably had red-labeled condensed cream of something soup based casseroles make frequent appearances on your dining room table.  Those soups were great dinner starters/helpers.  

Mom even had a cookbook published in the mid '70s dedicated to soup based meals.  My sister was helping mom reorganize the house recently and found this recipe and texted it to me.  I'm so glad mom never made this recipe.  Instantly, the old Sesame Street song came to mind..."One of these things is not like the of these things just doesn't belong..."

Besides the traditional green bean casserole, mom made two cream of mushroom soup dishes that us kids ate without too much complaint and we even requested that she make them.  The first was "pea patch chicken."  It was a one skillet meal of chicken pieces, a can of soup, and a bag of frozen peas.  Let that cook for a while and serve on top of rice.  Another was hamburger gravy.  Same concept, just hamburger and soup served on top of rice. 

Those two meals are a couple of my favorite childhood dinners.  Maybe it's just the memories associated with the dinners, but occasionally I find 
myself craving them now, especially after a rough day at work, or when I'm sick.

I don't buy the condensed soup anymore because it's full of things I'm allergic to, as well as preservatives and additives that I choose not to eat anymore.

One day, while surfing around on Pinterest for allergy-friendly recipes, I saw a recipe for "Homemade Cream of Something Soup" with many different options to make it allergen free, vegetarian/vegan, etc. I was so excited when the pin took me to a legitimate website and I ended up at Once a Month Mom, a website dedicated to once a month freezer cooking.  I was pleased to see that there were so many options for making all the cream of something soups I had grown up eating.  

I decided to make a cream of celery soup.  Because this recipe has several steps and can take a bit of time (and I am always pressed for time), I decided to quadruple the recipe, and freeze the equivalent of one can of soup into a Ziplock.  

Make sure to use a large pot if you quadruple the recipe, because you will outgrow your standard sized sauce pan...not that I know this from experience or anything...

Condensed Cream of Celery Soup
from Once a Month Mom

1 tbl of coconut oil
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 small onions, diced
2 cup celery, diced
1 cup Earth Balance Coconut Spread
1 cup brown rice flour
1 quart rice/almond/coconut milk
3 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
salt and pepper

1 tsp dried thyme

Heat a large, deep skillet or dutch oven over medium heat.  Add about 1tbl of coconut oil and heat.  Saute garlic, onion and celery and set aside. Melt coconut spread over medium heat. Whisk in brown rice flour. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add “milk” and stock/broth. Add sauteed garlic, onion and celery mixture and thyme to the milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring regularly, until it reaches desired consistency (about 20-30 minutes). Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Makes the equivalent of 4 cans of cream of celery soup.  Each can is approx. 1.5 cups of soup.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.  You can also divide into separate portions and freeze in freezer bags.   

looks better than the stuff from the can!


  1. Thanks for linking up with Find + Follow Friday!
    xo sandra

  2. I've never tried cream of celery before. I've always wanted to try my hand at making soups, but I'm not the most kitchen-savvy. :( Haha!

    Thanks so much for linking up with us! Hope to see you again next time :)

    ♥Nicole @