If you’ve been here awhile, you know that I don’t post recipes very often. It’s mostly because my husband is the real culinary genius in our home and he never cooks with recipes because he’s brilliant and creative and handsome and wonderful. I am not skilled like him but I am slowly learning that I don’t have to follow every recipe exactly and since our 3-year-old is severely allergic to gluten, I’m becoming a bit of a wiz at gluten-free substitutions.
Yesterday I created something more than a little bit awesome inspired by a recipe my friend Kaitlin gave me. It became by far the best Baked Potato Soup I’ve ever had. Because I hate going to the grocery store, I substituted things we had already such as sausage instead of bacon and added some Swiss Chard which is going hog wild in our garden right now. I also used arrowroot instead of wheat flour as a thickener to make it gluten-free. And after some cries for the recipe on Instagram yesterday, I decided to share it with you. Here’s what makes it fabulously delicious and awesome: the potatoes are actually baked instead of boiled, delicious greens give an extra boost of goodness, and all your gluten-intolerant/allergic/celiac friends will adore you for it. It’s slightly reminiscent of the Zuppa Toscana they serve at Olive Garden but with a baked potato twist.
Gluten-Free Real Baked Potato Soup with Sausage and Swiss Chard
7 medium baking Potatoes
5 green onions (chopped)
1 medium onion (diced)
10 TBSP butter
1/3 cup Arrowroot Flour (You can find it at many grocery stores and definitely at Whole Foods or health food stores. I always buy this kind.) If you don’t want to make the recipe GF, you can use 2/3 cup wheat flour.
4 cups of milk
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
3 heaping spoonfuls of cream cheese (optional)
1/2 lb sausage
1 bunch Swiss Chard or Kale chopped (just the leaves, not the ribs)
Salt/Pepper to taste
Step 1: (You can do this step the day before you want to make your soup. If you’re unorganized like me, you can do it right before you get ready to make the soup.) Bake those potatoes. Wash them well and scrub them. Rub a little olive oil, salt, and pepper on them, add holes with a fork, and bake in the oven at 425 degrees until done (mine were done after 55ish minutes). They should be nice and soft inside when you check them with a fork. Let them cool. When cooled, cut them into cubes. Leave that potato skin on because it’s delicious. If potato skins gross you out, then you can remove them but that would add a whole extra step so….you decide
Step 2: In the meantime, you can chop up the green onions and onion. (You can also go ahead and chop the Swiss Chard, but we won’t be using it til later). When your potatoes are good to go, melt the butter in your soup pot. Yes, it’s a lot of butter. But butter’s a good fat. You might be able to decrease the amount of butter from 10 TBSPs to 8 TSPS or less if it bothers you but then your soup will be second-rate. Just kidding. Not really. When your butter has melted, add your chopped green onions and onion and saute until the onion is translucent. Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup Arrowroot. The butter and arrowroot flour will make a paste that will thicken as it cooks.
Step 3: Toss in your cubes of potato and mix with the butter/onion/arrowroot. Add 4 cups milk and 3.5 cups chicken broth. We had 1/4 of a container of cream cheese left, so I added that as well but it’s not a necessity. You could add a little sour cream or plain yogurt instead. Stir frequently as the soup simmers and thickens.
Step 4: While it’s simmering, brown the sausage. I used local pork breakfast sausage seasoned with sage. It was sooo good. You could use more than 1/2 lb because sausage is awesome. I just used 1/2 lb because it’s all we had. When the sausage is browned, add it to the soup pot but DON’T toss the grease in the pan because we’re going to use it to cook the greens. Add your bunch of swiss chard or kale to the pan you browned the sausage in and saute. I covered my pan so that it could steam a little bit, too. When it’s nice and soft and wilted, add the swiss chard to the soup pot.
Step 5: Sample your soup and add salt and pepper to taste. Because the potatoes were salted when baked and the sausage is salty, I found that it didn’t need much. I had planned to grate cheese on top but the soup was perfect just how it was. The longer the soup simmers the thicker it will get. If you think it’s getting too thick you can add more milk or broth.
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