These recipes are written to be allergy friendly. In our house, between everyone are allergies to dairy, soy, wheat/gluten, peanuts, treenuts, fish, and shellfish. For the soup, you can substitute like-for-like; for example, cow's or soy milk for the coconut milk. For garnish, you can use any safe cheese -- Jude and Matthew top their soup with Daiya, while the rest of us use regular cow's milk cheddar. For the biscuits, you can use other forms of cheese and milk interchangeably. Omit the eggs if you are using regular Bisquick instead of the Gluten-Free Version. I've included brand names with the recipes, rather than a vague "coconut milk" or "vegan cheese" because these are the brands we use, and I am reasonably confident that they will work for you. I have never received anything from the companies to use their products, I'm just a happy customer who has tried them and found they work for our family. Of course, please make sure to check that they are safe for any allergies your family may have.
Dairy-free Creamy Potato Soup with Bacon
This recipe serves 8-10. You can easily cut it in half for a smaller family, or refrigerate and eat the next day for lunch. Like most soups, it is very good when freshly prepared, but also seems to "improve" after sitting overnight.
2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
1-2 pounds bacon
2 medium onions
1 quart So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk beverage
2 cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp garlic powder
Note: You can use turkey bacon, but will need additional fat. Add 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil to the pan when sauteing the bacon, plus 1/4 cup oil (or butter) for the onions.
Peel potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Place in a pot, and fill with enough water to just cover the potatoes. (You do not need to fill the pot to the top; 1" of water above the potatoes is sufficient.)
Take the bacon out of the package. Slice the entire block into 1/2" pieces.
Add the bacon to a second large pot. Stirring frequently, fry over medium heat until crispy. As you stir the bacon will separate into individual pieces. One pound of bacon is enough if you are using it as "just a garnish." Our family likes lots of bacon mixed into the soup, so I use two pounds. (Two pounds also helps there to be enough left for the meal if you have any snitchers - bacon is one of Celia and Damien's only safe foods, and if you're not looking, they'll take the tray with them!)
While the bacon cooks, dice the onions. I usually dice them fairly small, because my family likes onion flavor but not onion chunks.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined cookie sheet, and set aside for serving.
Cook the potatoes until soft. Drain, but do NOT rinse them.
Pour off any excess bacon fat into a heat-proof bowl, leaving about 1/4 cup left in the pot. Add the diced onion to the bacon pot.
Add 1/4 cup water to the pot as well. Using a silicone/rubber spatula or wooden spoon, scrape the fond (a fancy French word for "yummy browned goodness") from the bottom/sides of the pot.) Saute the onion until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
Add 1 quart (four cups) of the coconut milk beverage to the pot and stir. (Do not used canned coconut milk. Coconut milk beverage somehow has the "island undertone" removed from it; using canned coconut milk will give your soup an undesirable flavor.)
Add 2/3 of the cooked potatoes to the milk/onion mixture. Mash the potatoes until they are nearly smooth. This will thicken the soup to a "runny mashed potato" consistency. Gently stir in the rest of the potato chunks, and add 2 cups chicken broth. Simmer on low heat until biscuits are ready.
Garlic Cheddar Biscuits
This recipe makes 2 1/2-3 dozen biscuits. It can easily be halved if you don't have teenaged boys.
14 ounces (2 packages) Daiya cheddar style wedges
4 cups Gluten Free Bisquick
2/3 cup bacon fat (liquid)
1 1/2 cups So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage
2-4 Tablespoons crushed garlic (or an equal amount of garlic powder)
Note: Substitute melted shortening (for a soy-free shortening, we use Spectrum palm oil shortening) or any vegetable oil for the bacon fat, if desired.
Preheat oven to 400*F (204*C.)
Neat tip I learned: While it's not exact enough if you need to be really specific (like if you're making candy, or working in a science lab), if you're converting a baked goods recipe between Farenheit and Celsius, either divide the oven temperature in half (Farenheit to Celsius) or double (Celsius to Farenheit) and round to the nearest 5*. (ie, 400F = ~200C, 149C = ~300F). It's close enough to work for baking. Just check for doneness at the shortest time, and then leave in a few more minutes if needed.
Shred the Daiya. You can use the pre-shredded bags of Daiya as well, but I find it doesn't melt into the biscuit as nicely and tends to remain in distinct bits.
Toss the shredded Daiya with the Bisquick. This will help distribute the shreds evenly through the dough, and keep the shreds from sinking to the bottom of the biscuit.
In a separate bowl (I use a 4 cup measuring cup since it's easier for pouring), combine the bacon fat, milk, and garlic. Add the eggs and lightly beat to combine with the liquid. Add to the dry mix, and stir gently until completely combined. Drop onto a foil-lined cookie sheet in scant 1/4 cup spoonfuls. (I use a #20 disher to make sure they are evenly sized and formed.)
Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool for a minute or two (so you don't burn your fingers moving them) and plate for serving. Attempt to keep thieves at bay while you plate the soup.
Dinner is served!
Ladle the soup into a bowl. Top with bacon and safe shredded cheese. Serve with a warm biscuit.
There are lots of yummy treats being featured this week on the Crew's "Recipe Share Blog Cruise." The dinner bell rings on Tuesday, so make sure to check back to see what's on the menu!
Other friends we're sharing our dinner with: