Sunday, January 19, 2014

{Fake} Chicken Soup soothes the soul.

The other day I came home from school and it was so blustery cold out I knew I needed some soup.  I have a special go-to soup recipe that my kids think of as chicken soup but it isn't really.  Everyone should have a few days in their week of meat-free meals if you want to be healthy.

My (fake) chicken soup:

I love to do all the chopping first so my mise en place is set and I'm not chopping and stirring at the same time.  In every instance I recommend  local or organic vegetables.

Smash and chop two garlic cloves, one white onion, two large carrots, and two-three celery stalks.  The celery and the onion I finely chop as my groovy girl is not a fan.  The smaller I can make them the better.  I had zucchini in the fridge so I diced that up as well.

Heat coconut oil to a stock pot.  I am in love with coconut oil's flavor.  I recently sautéed a zucchini in a little coco oil and it added such a unique flavor.  I have Nature's Gate from Amazon as I don't  have any place that has good oil in town.  I'm sad that it is not going to be available much longer in this version.

Add carrots, onion, and garlic to the warming oil.  Stir and sauté and then add celery and zucchini.  I add this later as they are softer veggies and won't take as long to cook.  Add freshly ground black pepper and  just a little sea salt.  You can add a little turmeric as well or choose to spice it up a bit. Once this base of vegetables are soft I add my cubed tofu.

If you are new to tofu cut it out of the plastic container, drain the water, and place square of tofu in the middle of a clean, cotton towel.  Wrap the towel around the block and place a plate or a pot on top for about 8-10 minutes.  This drains the extra water out of the tofu so it will soak up the flavors of your recipe.  Unwrap the towel and slice through with a sharp knife to make small cubes.  I slice about 5 rows through both ways and then two rows through the middle to create the bite-sized cubes.  Lift the towel up and send the tofu tumbling into the vegetables.  Mix the it all together gently as you don't want the tofu to crumble.  Put a lid on the pot and let everything steam together for about 10 minutes while you create your broth.

Many times I've made my own broth but this night I needed help.  I have two different kinds of broth that I use in a pinch.  One is Better than Bouillon and Orrington Farms Broth base both in vegetable.  Both of these products are easy to mix with hot water.  I added 6 cups of broth once the tofu has had a chance to pick up flavors from the vegetables.

Turn the heat up and once the soup reaches a steady boil add half a package of thick noodles.  Give them a few minutes to cook and take the soup pot right to the table.  This feeds a family of four but my crew (just the three of us now) finished almost all of it for dinner.  I ate the last of for lunch yesterday. When Groovy Girl finishes her bowl there is a pile of celery in the bottom~okay, yet all the zucchini is gone.  Yeah!

This post is linked to Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking meme.  Click over and find many other food-related posts.  Happy end-of-the Weekend!


Belle Wong said...

This sounds delicious - I've not been using tofu in my soups lately and will definitely give the whole squashing down thing a try.

Beth F said...

We love vegetarian soups and this sound so flavorful. Frontier makes vegetarian sock bases (powdered) that I use in a pinch.

Laurie C said...

This sounds really good! I'm going to try this soon except for the coconut oil part, probably. I would have to find it online, too, I'm sure!

Lisa (Southern Girl Reads) said...

I love your blog! I've never tried tofu but you've inspired me to try it. This soup sounds fantastic and fits right into my healthy eating lifestyle.