Friday, September 2, 2011

homemade gluten free cream soup, white gravy, cheese sauce recipe

(I originally posted this recipe in 2008 on another blog and at the time my husband and I often ate creamy homemade casseroles because we were still consuming dairy at the time. I feel like it's a good time to revisit the topic of homemade cream soups now that we're entering into the fall season, even though I no longer use most dairy products. There is now a dairy/casein free alternative for cream soup at the end of this post! Enjoy -- carrie)

Reader Barbara noticed that we like Tater Tot Casserole around here (Hmmm... sounds like a good idea for dinner tonight!), and she asked me if there is a gluten free alternative to the cream soups used in many recipes.

Absolutely Barbara! This is one of the easiest and most versatile recipes I know. I use this recipe 2-3 times a week and I love it. It's actually something I used to make often before I was gluten free and had no idea how useful it would be for our diet.

All you do is simply make a homemade cream soup out of a roux made with butter and cornstarch and add milk. Then you add seasonings to create the cream soup, sauce, or gravy you need and voila! You are set!!

It literally takes about 5 minutes to make the basic sauce. During the holidays I'll make a triple recipe and keep the sauce in my fridge so it's instantly ready for turkey gravy, creamed corn, or any of those wonderful holiday recipes like green bean casserole! Simply use 1 cup of homemade cream soup in place of 1 can of store-bought cream soup.

Basic Gluten Free Cream Soup/Gravy/White Sauce
*see NEW dairy/casein free, corn free option below*

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup milk (I use reconstituted powdered milk, but ANY kind will do!)
*Additional seasonings to taste (see notes below)

Melt the butter. Mix the cornstarch and milk together. Add milk mixture to melted butter and stir over med-high heat for 3-5 minutes until thick and creamy. This is a perfect substitute for gravy, for a can or cream soup in any recipe, for a white sauce, etc...

All you have to do is add different seasonings to fit your taste and what you need it for!

Cream Soup/White Sauce/Gravy Flavor Options:
  • Cream of chicken soup -- add 1 teaspoon powdered chicken bouillon, like Herb Ox, which is gluten free.
  • Cream of mushroom soup -- add 1/2 cup sauteed mushrooms
  • Cream of celery soup -- add 1/2 cup sauteed celery
  • Cheese sauce -- add 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese to the sauce when hot for mac and cheese
  • Alfredo sauce -- add 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese or a mix of parmesan and asaigo or other white cheeses, along with 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg to the sauce when hot.
  • Gravy -- use cream soup AS IS: over roasted turkey, chicken, beef, etc... OR add 1/3 cup pan drippings to cream soup when it's hot. Makes a very tasty gravy!!
Helpful Hints:
  • I keep a small tin of cornstarch and a small glass of powdered milk right next to the stove so I can make a cream soup or gravy in minutes!!
  • You can use ANY type of milk for this recipe, I use reconstituted powdered milk (1/3 cup powdered milk with 1 cup water) simply because it's very frugal and pantry friendly.
  • You can make a double or triple recipe of cream soup and keep it in the fridge to use throughout the week. Simply use 1 cup of homemade cream soup in replacement of 1 can of store-bought cream soup called for in a recipe.
  • I love using this recipe to make hamburger gravy or chipped beef gravy over gluten free toast or biscuits for breakfast. Simply add fully cooked, browned ground hamburger to the gravy and serve over toast!
  • This makes the BEST base for a cheese sauce for macaroni and cheese. Simply make the cheese sauce as directed above. Take the sauce off the heat and pour over cooked pasta and toss to coat. You can also make a baked macaroni and cheese by beating two egg and mixing with the cheese sauce. Pour over pasta and mix. Pour coated pasta into a greased casserole dish, sprinkle GF bread crumbs or additional cheese on top and bake at 350 for 30 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Gluten Free, Dairy/Casein Free Cream Soup Recipe
free of gluten, dairy/casein, soy, and corn

So now that we don't use most dairy products anymore (we still use butter), I now make this cream soup a bit differently. I also don't use corn as often as I used too, especially back in 2008 when I was just starting the gluten free diet -- so below I offer you three different options to thicken this soup. This recipe is still easy, and it still works in casseroles, soups, for gravy etc...

1 cup almond milk (either homemade or my favorite brand is Almond Breeze)
2-3 tablespoons brown rice flour, sweet rice flour, or even garbanzo bean flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
*Additional flavoring options listed above

In a saucepan add olive oil and gluten free flour of choice over medium heat. Whisk around for a few minutes to slightly brown the flour. Slowly whisk in the almond milk or dairy-free milk of choice. Sauce will thicken after a few minutes. Use sauce immediately in a recipe in place of a can of cream soup or allow to cool and refrigerate, use within a week. You can flavor this sauce/soup with any of the options listed above. For a dairy/casein free cheese sauce, whisk in 1 cup of Daiya cheddar shreds.

What do you use a homemade cream soup/gravy/white sauce for in your recipes?

Here are a few recipes that use this cream soup:

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