Gluten-free Soup Options

Kettle Cuisine Chicken Chili
Kettle Cuisine Chicken Chili

Trouble finding gluten free soup? When someone first starts the gluten-free diet, something that usually surprises them is the fact that most mainstream soups contain gluten in the form of wheat. At one time Campbell’s said about five of their soups were gluten-free, but these days they won’t confirm the few that are made without gluten ingredients are gluten-free, due to the way they are made. Some Swanson broths (made by Campbell’s) are gluten-free. If you would like to see some gluten-free soups offered by Campbell’s, consider calling the company to let them know. The toll free number is 1-800-257-8443.  You can also contact them via their website here.

Up until recently, many Progresso soups also contained gluten, thought that seems to be changing since the company introduced their new Live Gluten Freely website a while back. The growing list of gluten-free soups is now up to 14. The Chicken with Rice and Vegetables is wonderful and the delicious Chicken Cheese Enchilada soup is very versatile. The Creamy Mushroom soup from Progresso has been gluten-free for a long time and now it’s finally labeled as such.

Here are some of the product lines that make gluten-free soup. Some are labeled as such and some are not. As always, people need to choose the products that they feel comfortable consuming. I’ve had gluten-free offerings from all the lines and am thrilled to have so many soup options these days.

  • Amy’s Kitchen gluten-free options are labeled as such.
  • Bear Creekmanufacturer does not label gluten-free options but at last check.
  • Fantastic World Foodssome soup cups from this line are labeled gluten-free.
  • Frontier Soupsgluten-free options are labeled as such
  • Imaginegluten-free options are labeled as such; over 20 gluten-free soups/broths available from this line.
  • Kettle Cuisine – ALL 10 soups in the line are gluten-free; some are also dairy-free.
  • Pacific Natural Foods – gluten-free options are labeled as such; over 30 gluten-free soups/broths available from this line.
  • Progresso – gluten-free options are labeled as such.
  • Thai Kitchen – gluten-free options are labeled as such; company makes instant rice noodle soup mixes and many are also dairy-free.

Fantastic World Foods makes soup cups which are great for travel, though there are only a few that are gluten-free. The Potato Leek soup cup is pretty good and all you need is a microwave, water and a spoon to have hot soup in about five minutes. The Kettle Cuisine soups are in the freezer and take 4-6 minutes to cook in the microwave. The Chicken Chili is my favorite from that line. The gluten-free soups and broths from Progresso are clearly labeled now and there is no added MSG in the products either.

For the more ambitious people out there who like to make their own home made soups, here are a few interesting soup recipes we found in the gluten-free blogosphere:

Even though we enjoyed temperatures of over 60 degrees last weekend, the cold weather has returned and it’s likely we have a good month (or more) before soup season is over here. While soup can be enjoyed all year long, when it’s 95 in Hotlanta with 80% humidity – and it’s not raining – the last thing I’m interested in eating is piping hot soup.

UPDATE: Thanks to Brook for sending us this information about Health Valley Soups. It appears the manufacturer no longer states some of their soups are gluten-free. Therefore I have removed them for the safe soup list above. It sure would be nice if we had a gluten-free labeling law in this country! Alert from Clan Thompson’s website:

There are almost 30 companies that make gluten-free soup, soup mixes and stews listed in the Triumph Dining Gluten-Free Grocery Guide. Let us know if your favorite soup isn’t listed above.

Gluten-free Greek Yogurt

Reading labels is important. Companies often change their recipes or manufacturing methods. It’s a sad day indeed when something we thought was gluten-free turns out to contain gluten.

oikosBut then there are those occasions where the opposite occurs, like with Oikos yogurt from Stoneyfield. At press time for the third edition of the Essential Gluten-Free Grocery Guide, Stoneyfield’s gluten-free list stated it was NOT GF. (Our editors suspect it was GF all along. Perhaps they did not want to state as such until they had time to complete GF testing, but we were unable to get the complete scoop from the company.) But now the results of testing are in and, as many customers in the dairy section have been happy to find, we now know that Oikos does not contain gluten! But with all of the yogurts out there, how does Oikos compare?

I’m a bit of a yogurt fiend, so I was happy to investigate for Triumph Dining when Stoneyfield offered us samples.

Oikos is a Greek yogurt, so don’t expect the semi-liquid texture of the average American yogurt. This stuff has a thick, almost chunky texture similar to cream cheese. Greek yogurt has more protein than regular yogurts and is very healthy. Oikos is also fat-free.

I tend to prefer plain yogurts, and I was happy to find that even the flavored options (like blueberry, honey and vanilla) let the yogurt taste shine through. For a fantastic breakfast, exercise recovery snack, or dessert option, I recommend mixing in your favorite gluten-free cereal, chunks of fruit, or some dark chocolate chips.

But Oikos yogurt can be the star at dinner as well. Add garlic, mint, and grated cucumber to plain Oikos, and you’ve got gluten-free Tzatziki sauce. Make it a gyro night with gluten-free pita bread and your choice of meat and toppings. Who needs take out?

Another great gluten-free Greek-style yogurt is Chobani. Kay buys hers at Costco for less than a $1 a package.

Granted, both brands are a little pricer than regular yogurts, but the high-protein content makes it a cheap, filling snack.

Redbridge Beer Dropped from Publix Shelves

other_middle_bgRedbridge gluten-free beer is made by Anheuser-Busch. It was introduced in late 2006 in certain markets and available nationwide in the Spring of 2007. In most markets, Redbridge was the only gluten-free beer game in town and therefore was fairly well received by the gluten-free consumer market in the U.S. Bard’s Tale gluten-free beer captured a much smaller percentage of the market but that’s mostly due to the fact that unlike Redbridge, Bard’s Tale was not widely available. In late 2008, Bard’s Tale became available in the Atlanta market and sales really took off. Bard’s Tale is sold in Whole Foods stores in the area and served at several Atlanta area restaurants.

Last month rumors started up about the possibility that Redbridge was being discontinued, but Anheuser-Busch stated (and continues to state) that there are no plans to discontinue the beer at this time. Please note that historically, Anheuser-Busch has not shouted from the rooftops when they have chosen to discontinue any products. No companies do that because they want all the existing products to sell out of the market and much product is often in the market place long after a product has been discontinued. Only time will tell what the real deal is with Redbridge. Maybe it’s here to stay and maybe not.

In the Southeast, Publix is a major player in the mainstream grocery store business, with over 1000 stores in five states. Each January, the company redesigns the massive beer display in their stores and the 2010 line up does not include Redbridge. The sales were not there to support the shelf space so Redbridge, the only gluten-free beer sold at Publix, didn’t make the grade. Once Bard’s Tale was available here, many people spent the extra money to buy it over Redbridge, even though most people live closer to a Publix than a Whole Foods store – currently the only place to purchase Bard’s Tale except for restuarants. On average, a six-pack of Bard’s Tale costs $2.50 more than Redbridge.

After not being able to find Redbridge at any Publix in my area for almost two months, and hearing complaints that others could not find it either, I finally spoke to the manager of a store near me to find out exactly what the deal was. As I expected, he confirmed that Redbridge did not sell well enough to continue to be kept on the shelf at Publix. This is a corporate wide decision – no Publix stores are stocking Redbridge with chilled beer now. However, customers can contact the manager of their store and request the product be brought in just for them. That is, it can be brought in as long as the local distributor carries it and the manufacturer makes it. Publix carries Woodchuck cider and all the flavors in that line are gluten-free.

Whole Foods stores here sell Bard’s Tale, Greens (from Belgium) and New Grist gluten-free beer. Kroger reports that they carry Redbridge in their stores presently. No company should continue making a product that they aren’t making money on, and no store should have to sell something that’s not profitable for them. Companies are not making gluten-free products to “be nice” to gluten-free consumers. Like any business, manufacturers are only interested in making profitable products. Retailers are interested in selling products they can make a decent profit on and the products have to turn quickly enough to justify the shelf space they take up.

Unfortunately, Redbridge might end up falling into the category of failed gluten-free products. Redbridge is considered by some people to be the “Budweiser” of all gluten-free beers, but it’s the only one available in many markets. For that reason, it will really be unfortunate if the product ends up disappearing from all store shelves eventually. Let us know if you like Redbridge, or if you prefer other gluten-free beer brands.

Whole Foods Gluten-free Mix Substitutions

Gluten-Free Naturals Pizza
Gluten-Free Naturals Pizza Crust

The news that Whole Foods decided to discontinue their 365 brand of gluten-free mixes wasn’t very welcomed by people who shop at Whole Foods. Gluten-Free Philly broke the story last week and Twitter was all abuzz about it. The article over at Peanut Allergy offers an interesting comment about the possible over saturation of the gluten-free market. It’s not understandable that mainstream consumers have gluten mixes produced by only three companies and the gluten-free market has over 100. Not all mixes are in all stores, areas or cities and many lines are sold only online. However, in the Atlanta area, we can buy products from almost 30 different gluten-free mix product lines.

We only used the brownie mix from the 365 line regularly, but when I noticed the ingredients in the Whole Foods and Betty Crocker mix were essentially the same, I used the Betty Crocker brownie mix with the instructions from the Whole Foods mix. Actually, instead of using 7 tablespoons of butter, I use 6. The result was that the brownies tasted like the Whole Foods version, but had longer shelf life after they were baked. The Gluten-Free Naturals brownie mix makes a wonderful flaky top brownie, in case you haven’t tried that one yet. 123 Gluten Free also makes an exceptional brownie mix, as does Pamela’s Products.

The Whole Foods gluten-free All-Purpose Baking Mix can easily be replaced with the Gluten-Free Pantry mix since the ingredients in each are white rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, guar gum and salt. The ingredients are listed in the exactly same order on both products. Each product “might contain soy” as well. Interesting since the Gluten-Free Pantry line is what Whole Foods corporate is suggesting customers buy instead of the 365 line. Other fabulous baking mixes are the Pancake & Baking mix from Pamela’s and the all purpose flour from Jules Gluten Free.

An exceptional alternative pizza crust to the 365 mix is the one from Gluten-Free Naturals. This dough is the easiest to work with that I’ve found to date, though it’s not a traditional type dough that requires rolling out. The taste of the crust is really excellent – better than some gluten crust mixes. Bob’s Red Mill pizza crust is a good crust that’s fairly healthy due to the bean flour in it. It makes a hearty crust that will stand up to the heaviest toppings you can think to use. Tracy’s Treats make a great pizza crust mix as well and it’s also easy to work with.

There are many great gluten-free cornbread mixes on the market. Again, Gluten-Free Naturals makes a wonderful mix that can be made sweet if desired. It’s good old fashioned cornbread that browns up beautifully in a cast iron skillet (not required for great taste). Pamela’s makes a great Cornbread & Corn Muffin Mix and the Pancake & Baking mix from the line makes a great version as well. The recipe on the Pamela’s website and calls for corn meal, which isn’t always easy to find gluten-free. Several brands are listed in the gluten-free Grocery Guide. Enriched cornmeal will almost always contain gluten in the form of wheat flour.

Tracey's Treats Muffins
Tracey's Treats Muffins

The 365 brand muffin mix can be replaced with the same from Tracy’s Treats, 123 Gluten Free, Island Gluten Free Bakery and Namaste. Good options for bread mixes are Breads by Anna, Gluten-Free Naturals, Island Gluten Free Bakery, Pamela’s Products and Tracy’s Treats. The new Sandwich Bread flour mix from Gluten-Free Naturals makes a killer foccacia bread as well! These brands and tons of others are all listed, along with all their individual gluten-free products, in the Grocery Guide.

Rumors persist that Gluten-free Pantry makes both the Betty Crocker and Whole Foods gluten-free mixes. If true, non disclosure statements would keep the involved parties from discussing it. I asked a Betty Crocker representative who made the mixes for them and my contact told me they did not know. Whole Foods prices tend to be high on most everything labeled gluten-free – except for these mixes that they are now dropping. It might be that there was not enough of a profit margin in the 365 mix line for the giant chain to bother with. Let us know what you think about the decision to drop this product line by Whole Foods. If you use other mixes not listed above, please leave a comment as well.

UPDATE – Press release from King Arthur Flour:

Available March 1 at and soon at food retailers nationwide, King Arthur Flour’s gluten-free line includes GlutenFree Multi-Purpose Flour for scratch baking, along with seven convenience mixes: GlutenFree Bread, Pizza Crust, Cookie, Brownie, Chocolate Cake, Muffin, and Pancake mixes. Suggested retail prices range from $4.99 to $6.99. The new line is supported with recipes for gluten-free baking available at, as well as several additional gluten-free ingredients.

It looks like we’ve really hit the big time now!!!! King Arthur? I can hardly believe my eyes. This is the best news I’ve had on a Monday in a very long time!

Gluten-free Events and Book Give-Away

allergenfree51sQTcNmG9L__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_If any of our readers are in the Southeast FL area, they might want to check out the gluten-free vendor fair in Delray Beach on February 27th. The Gluten-Free Food Expo is hosting over 70 vendors and looks like fun time for gluten-free folks of all ages. There is a Kids Corner at the show. There is no charge for admission and parking is free. This group sponsors a local gluten-free food assistance program, the first of its kind in the country.

On March 6th, yours truly will be in Asheville, NC at the famous Posana Café. We’re meeting in the back room at 10 am and we’ll be giving away tasty door prizes to several lucky attendees. After the Q&A session, we’ll have the Triumph Dining Restaurant Guide, Grocery Guide and Dining Cards for sale. In case you didn’t know it – Posana Café is a gluten-free restaurant and has amazing sticky buns, scones, coffee cake and muffins every day – while they last! You can read the review of our first amazing visit to the restaurant here.

The windy city of Chicago is home to the 2010 Gluten-Free Cooking Expo on April 17th and 18th. Actually, the show in in Lisle, IL, which is just outside Chicago. Jen Cafferty puts this great event together and there are many ticket packages to choose from. Attendess can also choose to go only to the vendor fair part of the show for $15. This year the event has a lot of new exciting things going on. Kim Koeller of Gluten-Free Passport and Lee Tobin of Whole Foods are part of the show’s impressive line-up.

One of the most anticipated gluten-free events each year is the GIG Conference. This year the exciting show is in Minneapolis, MN on June 4-5. I love the show’s title – Savor the Flavor of a Healthy Gluten Free Life. That is what I try to do every day – literally. As always, the GIG Conference will be jam packed with helpful information to help people learn to enjoy their gluten-free lives. Much fun will be had as well – including a pajama party! I was personally tickled to see that Jen Cafferty is part of the GIG Conference this year. She is doing something called the Teen Cook Off which sounds like tons of fun for kids of all ages. GIG (aka Gluten Intolerance Group) has some exciting programs including, but not limited to, GFRAP (restaurant training program) and the Gluten-Free Certification Organization.

It’s great news when gluten-free cooks or authors are featured on mainstream TV shows. Therefore, its very exciting that Cybele Pascal, author of the Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook, is going to be on the Martha Stewart show on March 1st. If you’re gluten-free only – or gluten, dairy, soy, egg and nut free and you love baking, Cybele’s book is for you. When my copy of the book arrived, I was seriously shocked at how many allergen foods Cybele has been able to avoid while still enjoying incredible food! If you only avoid gluten, you can just use real eggs, milk, nuts or whatever else you want in the recipes. There are 100 vegan recipes in the book. Cybele is sponsoring a book give-away for one of our readers. For your chance to win, please enter a comment below. The book must ship to one of the lower 48 states and the deadline to enter is February 25th. Good luck!

Update 2-26-10: Congrats to Betsy who won Cybele’s great cookbook! Don’t forget to watch Cybele on the Martha Stewart show on Monday, March 1st!

Special thanks to Cybele Pascal for sponsoring this give-away for our readers!