Happy New Year! Thank you all for completing the reader survey. It was so helpful to hear your comments and suggestions (and kind words!). It has given me more direction for 2016!
Some overall themes that I gathered from you are that many of you are looking for EASY, everyday food and dinner ideas. I don’t follow any special diets like paleo or vegan, but rather have to eat gluten-free and am always looking for easy, uncomplicated ways to feed my family in a healthy, but delicious way. Many of you are in the same boat!
It also stood out to me that many of you are overwhelmed by complicated gluten-free baking ingredients. I’m going to work to make simpler gluten-free baking recipes with ingredients that you can easily find. Many of you use almond flour, coconut flour and Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour. Many of you also mentioned how you like that I use more nutritious flours like buckwheat flour in a lot of my recipes.
With the New Year and all the dietary resolutions that it can bring, my advice in general would be to start making lasting sustainable changes in your diet, rather than drastic changes. If you’re switching from a standard American diet to a gluten-free, dairy-free diet that can definitely feel drastic and overwhelming. Sometimes health challenges (like it did for me) require a big change like that.
Eating foods that feel familiar and are made with ingredients you’ve already used can make the transition easier. This soup is just that! It is easy, flavorful, comforting and full of hearty vegetables. I use gluten-free orzo in this soup, but you can use leftover brown rice if you prefer. I made a double batch of this soup in-between Christmas and New Year’s for a big family dinner. It was a welcomed light meal during the decadence of the holidays.
This soup is perfect paired with a crusty, nutritous gluten-free bread (like these Rosemary Sea Salt Breadsticks or these Chia Seed Dinner Rolls). I have also been on a kick making bread from this cookbook. I’ve made the herbed focaccia and the baguettes a few times always with rave reviews.
I use DeLallo Gluten-Free Orzo in this soup, but it would also be delicious with cooked brown rice. I would use leftover brown rice and add it at the end (after simmering the soup for 40 minutes).
Although I prefer peeling and dicing butternut squash myself, you can use pre-peeled and cubed butternut squash in this recipe. Usually the pre-cut butternut squash comes in pretty big chunks, so I would just cut the squash into smaller (1/2-inch) pieces before adding it to the soup.
If you have any leftovers, the gluten-free orzo will thicken the soup slightly in the fridge, but it will still be delicious. You can use fresh or dried herbs in this recipe!
- 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 1 medium zucchini, seeded and diced
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves (or 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary (or 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced)
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup gluten-free orzo
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion and and cook for 5-7 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add the butternut squash, zucchini, sweet potato, thyme and rosemary. Pour in the tomatoes, chicken stock, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- Bring the soup to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add the orzo and simmer for another 20 minutes stirring occasionally so the orzo doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot, until the orzo is cooked and the vegetables are soft. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!
MAKE IT VEGAN: Use vegetable broth or stock in place of the chicken stock
MAKE IT CORN-FREE: Add cooked brown rice at the end of cooking the soup (after 40 minutes of simmering) instead of the gluten-free orzo
Recipe adapted slighty from cookingchannel.com