Sometimes even a vegetarian wants that bowl of soup that we all remember from childhood… chicken noodle. And I know, most people would think that it is impossible for a vegetarian to have. Well, here is (in my humble opinion) the closest vegetarian thing to the real thing for when you really really neeed it. We now make this whenever one of us doesn’t feel very good.
This recipe is on its fourth modification from the original Tofu Noodle Soup recipe by Nava Atlas. I based my version off of Eat Peace’s Tofu Noodle Soup. Her version recommends (insists) on adding dill. I can’t stomach adding dill to this soup. All the other versions of this recipe use tofu which doesn’t feel right to me. But Eat Peace’s picture looked so good, that I had to try it and modify it so I would like it.
Not-“Chicken” Noodle Soup
1 T olive oil
3 celery stalks, diced small
3-4 carrots, scrubbed and diced
4-5 cloves garlic (about 1 1/2 Tbsp), minced
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 yellow onion, small, diced
1 tsp dried thyme, crushed between your fingers
1 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 cup hot water
2 Not Chick’n boullion cubes*
6 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp tumeric
4 oz angel hair pasta (or capellini, or vermicelli), broken in 1 1/2″ pieces
~16 oz white wave chicken style seitan, 1/4 inch dice
In a large stockpot (6 qt-ish), heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add carrots, celery, onion, garlic and ginger. Cook for about a minute. Add the thyme, and oregano. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to keep garlic and ginger from burning. Turn heat to medium low, cover, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, place the boullion cubes in hot water and stir to combine.
Add the boullion/water mix and the 6 1/2 cups of water to the pot along with salt, pepper, paprika, and tumeric. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer covered for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
Take the lid off, increase the heat again, and add the noodles, seitan, and pinch of cayenne. Cook about 10 minutes, until noodles are cooked. Stir, serve immediately.
This soup is really good the next day too, but you may find that the noodles have taken over. If that happens, make 2 cups of hot water and mix with a not chicken boullion cube. Add to the soup and adjust seasonings.
* I use Butlers Not Chick’n Boullion, which you can get at Food Fight Grocery. I swear by this ingredient and wouldn’t want to substitute anything else. I order about 3 boxes at a time and have them shipped to the house.
** I am normally not a huge fan of white wave seitan because it is squeaky, but it really works in this recipe. I cut the seitan really tiny which takes away the squeaky effect. It winds up tasting like the tiny chicken bits in Campbells chicken noodle soup (if any of you can remember that).