Yes, we vegetarians can still get the intense flavor and healthy benefits of chicken noodle soup; even without the chicken.
It’s National Soup Month!
Do you love soup? I certainly do. Making and eating soup has always been one of my great pleasures. Strangely not everyone feels the same.
My husband used to be one of those not-crazy-over-soup people. The first time I served guests homemade vegetable soup he was mortified. (The guests were college students and happy to eat anything that didn’t come from the school cafeteria!) He always saw soup as something that was served with the meal, and not the meal itself. It took more than a few years, but he’s come around to my way of thinking. It helps when the soup is homemade and full of tasty vegetables and herbs.
Healthy Chicken Soup
Chicken soup is not only a belly-warming dish, but is healthy too. There is actual scientific research showing that chicken soup helps with a cold. Supposedly it has something to do with the chicken proteins and warm broth. But as a vegetarian, chicken is off the menu for me. Luckily we also know that aromatic herbs and veggies work to alleviate aches and coughs. So I often turn to my ChickN and Pasta Soup recipe from my cookbook Homestyle Favorites Made Meatless, but almost any chicken soup recipe will provide the same benefits.
The trick is to make a few changes; increasing the vitamin content with the addition of watercress and parsley. This soup always hits the spot, especially when you are sick. There’s nothing better than comfort food when you are under the weather.
Using Meat Substitutes
I use a Quorn™ brand product here because I love its juicy flavor and texture. However, you can substitute another vegetarian chicken product for the Quorn™ tenders. Chopped tempeh or baked tofu would be a good choice. I have also made this recipe using tvp or garbanzo beans.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 large carrots
- 1 medium onion
- 6 cups vegetarian chicken broth
- 2 cups Quorn™ chick’n tenders
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp salt
- 1½ cups fine egg noodles
- ½ cup fresh watercress or spinach, chopped
- dash hot sauce
- Chop the celery, carrots, and onion.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped vegetables and saute until softened, 3-5 minutes.
- Add broth, chick’n tenders, bay leaf, parsley and salt. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add noodles and watercress or spinach. Continue cooking another 15 minutes or until noodles are tender.
- Add hot sauce to taste. Remove bay leaf before serving.
Make it a Meal
Serve your homemade soup with homemade crackers or bread for an extra treat.
Do you have a windowsill herb garden? Add your fresh herbs to this recipe. Fresh parsley would be wonderful in place of the dried (and add more antioxidants). A few snips of fresh dill or rosemary would also be a welcome addition.
Homestyle Favorites Made Meatless
This cookbook is now out of print, but I do still have a few copies. If you would like one, let me know. The original price was $15.95 but the remaining copies are 50% off, $7.99 each.