This gluten-free cream of chicken soup is the perfect savory comfort food and is ready in less than 40 minutes. It is easily made dairy-free too! Substitute for cream of chicken is included.
Table of Contents
- Creamy Soup
- Fast. Easy Soup
- The Best Seasoning for Chicken Soup
- Gluten-Free Cream of Chicken Substitute
This soup is thickened with gluten-free flour to give it a nice silky texture. White rice flour is my preferred way to thicken gluten-free sauces and soups. Gluten-free flour blends can be used too but, I have found that different gluten-free flours (even different brands of white rice flour) will give varying thickening results. If the soup is not thick enough after boiling in step, here is how to thicken it more:
Make a paste of equal parts of soft butter and flour, mixing them together until all of the flour is moistened. Use 1 Tbsp of each for a little extra thickening or 2 Tbsp each for a lot of thickening. This paste is called a “buerre manie” (burr man-yay) and it is my not-so-secret weapon when making gravy or creamy soups. Drop this paste into the warmed soup and stir over medium high heat until the liquid boils and thickens.
When refrigerated, the soup may thin out again. If this happens, heat the soup in a pot until it is simmering. Drop in the buerre manie and stir until the liquid boils and thickens.
I am mostly dairy-free so I have provided options for dairy and no-dairy ingredients. If you want to add some extra richness to the soup, add cream or cashew cream at the end. But without adding any dairy, the soup is still creamy and delicious.
Fast, Easy Soup
I am definitely a fan of a slow cooked soup that extracts all the flavor of the chicken and the richness of the bones. On the other hand I am also an impatient chef, so I come up with creative ways to speed up the process without compromising on flavor.
This soup uses chicken broth along with boneless skinless chicken to assure that the soup has plenty of savory chicken goodness but doesn’t take hours of simmering. The chicken breast is cooked in the soup pot then removed to make the soup base. The flavor from the cooked chicken will be incorporated into the liquid.
The Best Seasoning for Chicken Soup
Celery onion, carrot and fresh herbs flavor the soup base. Parsley is the standard herb for soups but I also like to include sage and thyme – either fresh leaves or dried. Whole fresh sage leaves should be removed. These herbs give the soup that savory, warm winter taste and feel. Dill is another herb that is traditional in chicken soup. Use whichever one is your favorite.
The recipe calls for low-sodium chicken broth, My preferred brand is Imagine Foods. Since the level of salt in different brands varies quite a bit, I do not give an exact amount. Also, if you use a vegan butter substitute, those are often very salty. Earth Balance makes an unsalted vegan butter but it’s not easy to find. So once the soup is cooked, you’ll start by adding a little salt and then taste. If needed, add more salt a couple of pinches at a time.
Gluten-Free Cream of Chicken Substitute
Many casserole recipes use condensed cream of chicken soup as the base. This recipe can be thickened further to be just the right consistency for a casserole. Once the soup is complete, mix up a slurry of 3 tablespoons of corn starch with 3 tablespoons cold water. Over medium high heat, while stirring, pour in the liquid. Turn the heat to high and stir until the liquid boils and thickens.
Gluten-Free Cream of Chicken Soup
- 1 6-8 oz. boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1-2 tsp oil
- 4 c low sodium chicken broth
- ⅓ c butter or oil (I use avocado)
- 1 small celery stalk
- 1 small carrot
- ¼ of a medium onion
- 6-8 Tbsp white rice flour or gluten-free flour blend
- 2 sprigs of fresh parsley, long stems on
- 1 dried bay leaf
- ½-¾ tsp salt
- 2 pinches black pepper optional
- 3 sprigs fresh dill, chopped
- 2 tbsp heavy cream or cashew cream optional
- NOTE: I have found that different gluten-free flours will give varying thickening results. If the soup is not thick enough after boiling in step 10, here is how to thicken it more. Make a paste of equal parts of soft butter and flour, mixing them together until all of the flour is moistened. Use 1 Tbsp of each for a little extra thickening or 2 Tbsp each for a lot of thickening. Drop this paste into the soup and stir over medium high heat until the liquid boils and thickens.See above for instructions to make a gluten-free cream of chicken substitute.
- Mince the onion, celery and peeled carrot.
- Cut the chicken breast into 3 or 4 strips.
- Add enough oil to lightly coat a 4 quart pot (medium sized) over medium high heat.
- Add the chicken and cook about 3 minutes per side or until cooked through.
- Remove the chicken from the pot and place on a plate.
- Pour about ¼ c of the chicken broth into the pot over low heat. Scrape the bottom of the pot to remove any bits of chicken and brown stuff stuck on. Pour the broth back into a measuring cup and set aside. This liquid will give good chickeny flavor to the soup.
- Add 1 tablespoon of the butter to the pot and heat for 30 seconds. Add the onion, carrot and celery and sauté over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes.
- Turn the heat to medium, add the remaining butter and 6 Tbsps of the flour. Stir until the flour is moistened – about 1 full minute.
- Add all of the broth, the parsley and bay leaf and turn the heat to high. Stir with a wire whisk for one minute. Then stir every 30 seconds until it boils and the soup thickens.
- Remove the parsley and bay leaf and add the chopped dill, if using, optional cream, pepper and ½ tsp of the salt.
- Taste! Different brands of broth have varying levels of saltiness, so taste and add more salt, 2 pinches at a time if needed.
- Shred or chop the chicken into small bite sized pieces and stir into the soup.
- This soup will remain fresh in the refrigerator for about 1 week.