I think if I were to ever write a cookbook it’d be all about soup – no theme has ever felt more right. Cozy, savory, and soul-satisfying. As much as it pains me to admit the following: I’m totally ready for fall and all the warm and comforting foods that come along with it. Yep, raise your hand if you agree it’s time to crank up the stove, get a big pot of soup bubbling on a corner burner, then fling open the doors to let the cool breeze whistle through whilst enjoying multi bowls of said soup.
Except as of last week I can only utilize the front door – the sliding back door is dead to me. There’s a family of wolf spiders living below the track so it can obviously never be used again and the only logical next step is to wall up the opening and/or set fire to the deck. Decisions decisions…
What were we talking about again? Oh yes, SOUP! We’ve been living off the stuff over the past two weeks while Lincoln and I battle the ear/nose/throat bug that won’t quit, but while the mornings have started out cool and sweet, we’re definitely sweating while we scoop in the evening as summer’s 80 degree temperatures don’t seem to be going anywhere for the time being. It’s a battle of wills – the hot sunshine vs my refusal to keep my jean jacket on the fall/season-that-shall-not-be-named portion of the closet any longer. It’s time, Mother Nature! You hear me?! It’s TIME!
Anyway, one such recipe that’s worth a little perspiration? Jambalaya Soup!
Jambalaya Soup is rocking my face off to the tune of six bowls in four days. No shame in my leftover game!
This recipe might look a little familiar to long-time readers as it’s adapted from the Chicken Gumbo Soup I posted here on IGE way back in 2012. That’s the year Gangnam Style came into our lives for Heaven’s sake! #neverforget Anyway, I felt it needed to be re-highlighted – the soup recipe, NOT Gangnam Style – and updated with a name that better communicated it’s contents. Maybe I’m overthinking things but gumbo is made with a roux and Jambalaya is not, and while this soup is slightly thickened by the addition of gluten-free flour, it definitely falls more into the Jambalaya category, that is, a mixture of meat, vegetables, and rice, than anything else.
Over-analysis aside, this is the ultimate cool weather soup. Cajun-spiced vegetables, chicken, Andouille sausage, bacon, and white rice bob in a slightly thickened broth that’s ultra savory, perfectly spicy, and so, so filling. I’ve also included instructions on how to keep this soup on the mild side if you’re serving to spice-sensitive people and/or kids, so the whole family can enjoy. While I’ve been eating a ton of it over the past couple of days, Lincoln’s bowl count isn’t too far behind mine. This easy, hearty recipe is a KEEPER!
Start by rendering the fat from 4 slices chopped bacon in a large, 6-quart Dutch Oven or soup pot over medium heat. Once the bacon is crisp, scoop it onto a plate reserving the bacon fat in the pot. If you’re using lean bacon, add enough extra virgin olive oil so there’s 2 Tablespoons fat in the pot total.
Turn the heat up to medium-high then add 12oz chopped andouille sausage (I used Aidells,) and 2 chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces. Season with salt and pepper then saute until the chicken starts to turn opaque, about 2 minutes.
Tip: Andouille sausage has some kick to it, so use keilbasa if you want a more mild soup.
Next add the “Holy Trinity” of southern cooking: chopped bell peppers, onions, and celery – wouldn’t be Jambalaya without it! Season the vegetables with 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning – I like Emeril’s Essence – then saute until the vegetables are tender, 5 minutes, turning the heat up if necessary to keep everything sizzling.
Again, if you’ve got some spice sensitive folks you’re feeding this soup to, start with 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning then add up to another teaspoon at the end to get the spice level just right.
Once the vegetables are tender, sprinkle in 3 Tablespoons gluten-free flour (I used brown rice flour) over the meat and vegetables then stir to combine and cook for 2 minutes. You could use all-purpose flour here if you don’t need to eat gluten-free.
Slowly add splashes from a 32oz carton gluten-free chicken broth while stirring to create a smooth sauce then add a 28oz can crushed tomatoes, 2 cups water, and 2 bay leaves.
Turn the heat up to high then, once the liquid is boiling, stir in 3/4 cup long grain white rice.
Turn the heat down to medium-low then cover the pot and cook until the rice is al dente, 15-18 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the pot from the heat then let the rice finish cooking for a couple minutes before taking the lid off, stirring in the bacon, and letting the soup sit and thicken for 10 minutes or so. That’s it! Told you it was easy!
When it’s time to eat, ladle the soup into bowls then serve with a side salad or gluten-free cornbread (YUM!) to make it a meal. I hope you love this perfectly thick and spicy, hearty Jambalaya Soup!
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Jambalaya Soup is an easy and soul-satisfying gluten-free soup recipe. Slightly thick and perfectly spicy, it's a delicious taste of the south!
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- 12oz gluten-free andouille sausage (use kielbasa if sensitive to spice,) chopped
- 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- salt and pepper
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (see notes)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tablespoons gluten-free flour or all-purpose flour (soup will not be GF if using AP flour)
- 32oz gluten-free chicken broth
- 28oz crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 3/4 cup long grain white rice
- Add bacon to a large, 6-quart Dutch Oven or heavy soup pot then place on the stove and turn heat to medium. Cook until bacon is crisp then remove bacon to a plate and set aside, reserving bacon fat in the pot. If necessary, add enough extra virgin olive oil to total 2 Tablespoons fat in the pot.
- Turn heat up to medium-high then add sausage and chicken, season with salt and pepper, then saute until chicken begins to turn opaque, 2 minutes. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery, season with Cajun seasoning, then saute until vegetables are tender, 5 minutes, turning heat up if necessary to keep ingredients sizzling. Add garlic then saute for 30 seconds.
- Sprinkle flour over the meat and vegetables then stir to coat and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add chicken broth a splash at a time while stirring to create a smooth sauce, then add crushed tomatoes, water, and bay leaves. Turn heat up to high to bring liquid to a boil then add rice and stir well. Turn heat down to medium-low then cover and simmer until rice is al dente, 15-18 minutes, stirring often. When rice has a couple minutes left until it's tender, remove the pot from the heat then let sit with the lid on for 2-3 minutes to let the rice finish cooking from the heat of the pot. Remove the lid then stir in the bacon and let soup sit and thicken for 10 minutes before ladling into bowls and serving.
- If serving this recipe to children or someone who's sensitive to spice, start with 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning then add up to 1 additional teaspoon seasoning at the end until desired heat level is reached.
- I use Emeril's Essence for the Cajun seasoning, which I highly recommend!
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.