The Darn Good Chili mix from Bear Creek was reformulated to be gluten-free quite a while back. Since the soup mix contained wheat flour when I started following the gluten-free diet, we had not purchased any of the Bear Creek soup mixes for several years. What a nice surprise it was to find out that the company removed wheat from quite a few of their soup mixes. Another one of the mixes from the line we’d enjoyed in the past was the Cheddar Potato soup. Now that the wheat (the only form of gluten in the item previously) flour is missing, we can enjoy our winter time favorite again – creamy Cheddar Potato soup.
Bear Creek has investigated the ingredients in all their products to determine which ones are made without any gluten ingredients. Due to the fact that there is still no ruling from the FDA about exactly what a gluten-free label means, the company does not label their “no gluten ingredient” soups gluten-free. While some people want to see those reassuring words – gluten-free – on every single product they buy, the absence of the term on a product in no way indicates that there is gluten in it. Once I understood that important fact, my gluten-free life got so much easier.
Soup is something that is very hard to find when dining out gluten-free. There are very few options for safe soup at restaurants in our area so we make a lot of soup during the cooler months. Not being someone who really loves cooking from scratch when it can be avoided, having safe soup mixes to whip up is a really big treat at our house. The Cheddar Potato soup mix requires eight cups of water, salt and pepper (to taste) and takes approximately 20 minutes to make. After bringing the water to a boil, you just whisk in the soup mix and let it simmer for 15 minutes. That’s all there is to it. Simple to make and simply delicious!
The Cheddar Potato soup was thick and creamy – almost surprisingly so. The flavor was of a mild cheddar cheese and potato, of course. The soup package offers add-in suggestions of chicken, asparagus, broccoli, ham, peas, corn, sausage, bacon and jalapenos. We added crispy bacon and scallions for extra flavor but the soup is wonderful without any additional ingredients. The soup mix contains milk and soy and makes approximately eight servings.
- Cheddar Broccoli
- Clam Chowder
- Creamy Potato
- Creamy Wild Rice
- Navy Bean
- Split Pea
It’s absolutely fabulous that there are so many non-specialty foods that we can enjoy these days. While most every soup mix from Bear Creek contained gluten in the past, 9 out of the 14 flavors are now made with corn starch or other non gluten thickeners. In the Atlanta area, I’ve found the Bear Creek soup mixes at Fresh Market and Publix stores. The mixes are also sold on Amazon.com. With a cost of under $5 per bag, each serving costs around $.60 or $1.20 if you consider a serving two cups instead of one. Either way, that is quite a bargain!