This Gluten Free Broccoli Cheddar Soup surpasses the description of “amazing” and falls right into the category of “phenomenal”! With a mixture of sharp cheddar and Havarti cheeses, this soup is winning in the creamy department.
I just returned home last night from a beautiful funeral service for my grandma in Utah. It was quite the change in scenery. The ground was white with snow, you could see your warm breath floating through the air, and coats, scarves, and beanies were a necessity, not a mere fashion statement.
I fluctuated between feeling in heaven visiting this winter wonderland and feeling complete torture as the cold air taunted my chilled bones. Either way, the trip was soothing to my soul, reuniting with family and reminiscing over my sweet grandma.
It was a lovely experience to attend her funeral and honor the woman that brought life (literally and figuratively) to so many around her. She had a way of making you feel loved and important. She remembered details of your life and made a diligent effort to remember birthdays and holidays for every family member. And plus, she was quite the babe in her younger years.
My grandma Betty was one of the liveliest individuals you will ever meet. She approached life head on with a passion for adventure. She was eccentric and stubborn and humorous and full of entertaining stories. She had a distinct plan for each of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren (as well as in-laws) and never ceased to give up on her ideas of what suited you best.
Until the day she died, she was adamant I become an accountant because of my love for numbers. Too bad I can’t add, subtract, multiply, or divide anymore without the assistance of a handy dandy calculator. Man am I losing my smarts these days!
I was given the privilege of sharing a fond memory of my grandma during the funeral services. I spent days contemplating which story I would recite that would reflect my grandma in the best light.
I thought about the time my grandma gave me a package of underwear for Christmas, or the stuffed pony I received for my 14th birthday that I passed on to the children I babysat. My grandma was a skilled gift giver indeed.
Then I thought about the sleepless nights I spent playing games with my grandma. She and I were one in competitive spirit. She taught me how to play Hearts, Canasta, Farkel, Wizard, and many more essential party games.
I considered sharing about all the times Ben and I would crash at her St. George condo or cabin on the drive up to Salt Lake from Phoenix. She would immediately sit me down and interrogate me on what I was doing with my life and what my future plans were. She would insist that we help ourselves to any food in the fridge which usually consisted of restaurant leftovers and olive loaf (basically spam/bologna with olives scattered throughout). Needless to say, we would always make sure to arrive with a full stomach.
With all of these significant memories, I settled on a time when my grandma gave me some helpful advice. She was nothing short of honest when it came to sharing her wisdom. Once while she was visiting us in Houston, I decided to try out for the high school basketball team. I was 5′ tall, knew nothing about the sport, and hadn’t practiced a day in my life. During the first day of try outs, I made about 10% of my free throw shots, struggled to keep up with the other girls during running drills, and wandered aimlessly around the court during scrimmages. At one point while practicing passes, the coach witnessed the basketball nail me right in the side of the head.
I was cut.
I was devastated.
My mom and grandma picked me up from tryouts that day. As I recalled to them the humiliation of tryouts, my mom tried to tell me it probably wasn’t as bad as I thought. My grandma, on the other hand, replied, “Well I don’t even know what made you think you could play basketball! But, you sure do tell an entertaining story. Maybe you could try out for the next school play.”
I later learned to take this advice to mean, “Stick with what you are good at. You have many talents that define who you are. Don’t try to be something you are not.”
Great advice grandma.
I’d like to say that I took that advice to heart right away, but it still took years of soul searching to discover who I was and who I really wanted to be…not to mention what I am good at.
But I think it’s safe to say that out of all the talents in the world, I can at least claim I’m a decent cook. And I’ve spent the last 3 years trying to practice and perfect this skill in an effort to share it with those who also love the craft of creating food.
One of my shining star creations this past month was a noteworthy Gluten Free White Wine Broccoli Cheddar Soup. This will be your favorite soup this winter. A true soul warmer.
This soup isn’t your ordinary broccoli cheddar soup, although I’m a sucker for most any cheese and broccoli soup out there. This soup has so much depth of flavor between the addition of white wine, sharp cheddar cheese, and creamy Havarti cheese.
Most people give up on cream soups after going gluten free, but I have found white rice flour to be a sufficient substitution for all-purpose flour in most soup recipes. I originally used cornstarch but found that it creates a shiny and slightly slimy product. White rice flour tends to yield a much more pleasant consistency.
I know a lot of people don’t cook with wine, but it gives so much flavor to your cooking. If white wine isn’t something you have on hand, I first suggest you go buy some, but if that’s not an option, at least use chicken stock for some added flavor.
The key to this soup is also cheese, cheese, CHEESE!!! Seriously, don’t skimp on the cheese. Use full-fat quality cheese, and buy it in the block form. The pre-shredded cheese won’t melt as well and will leave your soup clumpy. The Havarti cheese isn’t completely necessary, but it does create a creamier product which is muy bueno!
I served this soup at two different potlucks and both times it was gone before everyone could try a taste. I took that as a compliment. I also had my good friend just call and ask me for the recipe because she couldn’t find it on my blog. Ooops…that’s why I’m posting it today. I realized I never published it.
This soup is really the perfect solution to your weeknight meal. It’s quick, simple, and highly satisfactory. For any of you that have soup for your Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve traditions, I highly suggest you pencil this onto your menu. Your guests will be coming back each year for more. Guaranteed.
My only regret???
I only wish I could have shared this soup with grandma. There’s nothing like bonding with family over a bowl of soup. Later, grandma. Later.
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, diced
- salt and pepper for seasoning
- ½ cup white wine, divided
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 5 cups chopped broccoli
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 cups half and half
- ¼ cup white rice flour
- 1 tablespoons parsley flakes
- 1-1¼ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1-1½ cups milk (I used 1%)
- 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese*
- 1 cup shredded Havarti cheese
- In a large cast iron pot or soup pot, heat butter over medium heat. Once hot enough that a drop of water sizzles, add chopped onion, season with a few shakes of salt and pepper. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid burning. Add ¼ cup white wine and cook for 4 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
- Add minced garlic and broccoli. Season with a few more shakes of salt and pepper and stir. Saute for 3 minutes. Add remaining ¼ cup of white wine and cook an additional 4 minutes.
- While broccoli is cooking, in a separate bowl, whisk together whipping cream, half and half, white rice flour, parsley flakes, salt, pepper, ground mustard, and red pepper flakes. Slowly pour mixture into pot while stirring vigorously.
- Bring mixture to a low boil and stir until thick like pudding. Reduce heat to low and stir in 1 cup of milk. Add shredded cheeses and stir until melted through. Add additional milk if needed for a thinner consistency. Season to taste.
- Serve soup warm with desired toppings.