Dairy-free Butternut Squash Soup with Chicken, Shallots and Cider

Dairy-free Butternut Squash Soup with Chicken, Shallots and Cider

So often we are excited to concoct a warming soup on a night like tonight (cool, rainy…the Northwest in November) to find most recipes have a) all-purpose flour, b) dairy and c) not much to impress in the taste department.  Using brown rice flour instead, Abby added a few touches that made the savory flavors burst – so much so that my 2-year-old daughter lapped, literally, this soup up and asked for seconds.  This will be a repeat, weekly meal for us until the rain stops (re: April). Adapted from Cooking Light, January 2006.  (Recipe submitted by Kristy Fammartino)

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup sliced shallots (about 6 medium)
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/3 cup brown rice flour (about 1 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 1/4 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3/4 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2  teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 2 cups fermented dry cider
  • 1 (14-ounce container) chicken broth, divided
  • 1 t. brown rice flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 pound)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 3 cups leafy greens (spinach, arugula, tat soi, kale, etc.)
  • 2 T lemon juice, lime juice or apple cider vinegar

 

Preparation

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add shallots; sauté 5 minutes or until tender and golden brown. Add curry powder; sauté 1 minute. Spoon shallot mixture into a large bowl.

Place 1/3 cup brown rice flour in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Dredge chicken in flour, shaking off excess. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add half of chicken mixture; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cook 6 minutes, browning on all sides. Add browned chicken to shallot mixture. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken mixture, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

Add cider to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Combine 1 cup broth and 1 tablespoon flour, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add broth mixture, remaining broth, and water; bring to a boil. Stir in chicken mixture, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in squash. Simmer, uncovered, 55 minutes or until chicken and squash are very tender and sauce thickens. Add lemon juice.  Stir in leafy greens until they are just wilted from the heat.   Spoon about 1 cup stew into each of 6 bowls; sprinkle each serving with 2 teaspoons almonds and parsley, if desired.

Note from Kristy: If you have very young ones in the home, this soup is perfect for blending into an easy, freezable baby food.  Pour the cooked soup into your Vitamix or blender and purée – and rest assured you are feeding your baby wholesome, homemade, health-supportive food. 

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