The Most Delicious Vegan Alternative to Chicken Noodle Soup
When I was 12 or 13, I decided to stop eating meat. And because I didn't want anyone to try to talk me out of it, I didn't tell them. I just stopped wearing leather shoes, refused to sit on my parent's new leather living room furniture, and picked around any meat that was offered during meals. Interestingly, no one asked me any questions for quite some time. Like months. And I sure didn't offer any answers. The only problem was that I knew very little about nutrition back then, so it didn't take long before I wasn't feeling well.
I can remember lying very weak and tired in my parents bed one day in the late 80's when my mother proudly brought me in some of her amazingly delicious homemade chicken noodle soup. And, just as I had been doing for months, I simply ate around the chicken and chicken broth. When I offered her the bowl sans noodles and carrots, she looked at me and asked, "OK... what's going on, Jonc?" Well.... Ummm.... uhhhh.... I decided to become a vegetarian?
Ever since, I have been in search of vegan option to support my immune system that is nearly as delicious and nourishing as my mom's chicken noodle soup. Especially now that chicken and gluten seem equally aggravating to my little auto-immune body. So, finally ...After nearly 30 years of practice, this most delicious mushroom soup may just be the tastiest soup ever. That's right. Quite possibly ever. The extra bit of lime juice at the end will make your just mouth water! You'll have to let me know your thoughts, too.
Letting Medicine Be Thy Food
Most people know of Hippocrates' famed quote: Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. In creating this recipe, I took his advice and sought to include a few of the greatest immune-supporting, anti-microbial, nourishing, and soothing foods. This recipe is definitely one way to let medicine be your food!
Here are some of the health-promoting foods in this simple soup:
Mushrooms: in addition to being a great source of Vitamin D, research suggests various mushrooms act as natural alternatives to anti-biotics and anti-fungals
Especially consider adding in shiitake, maitake, enoki, cordyceps, or chat with your local mushroom farmer to learn about other locally grown options.
Check out this interview with the country's foremost mycologist (expert in mushrooms), Paul Stamets, If you want to learn more about the health-benefits of mushroom.
Garlic & onion: many suggest a likely decrease in frequency and duration of colds & flus in those who consume garlic, as well as anti-microbial activity.
Rosemary: has been shown to support the immune system through anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory actions.
Thyme: studies seem to suggest that thyme can soothe the respiratory tract.
Friends, even though this soup is delicious and seriously packed full of health-enhancing foods, please... If you are ill or not feeling, then consult with your health care provider. Please. A friend recently suggested that more self-love decreased the need to self-medicate. Love on yourself just a bit more. You are truly the most important person in your life.
Notes on the recipe
This can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. If you make it in advance, add the greens and lime just before serving. Can be frozen, but isn't quite as delicious.
" Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick."
-- Don Miguel Ruiz
Immune-boosting Vegan Mushroom Soup
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
4 T Olive Oil 2 t gluten-free flour 12-15 cloves of garlic, chopped 1 small onion, diced 2c mushroom broth 4c vegetable broth
2c water 3-5 bay leaves 4T fresh rosemary, chopped 4T fresh thyme, chopped 2 c potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces 1c dried mushrooms, rehydrated 4c any fresh mushrooms, cut into bite-sized pieces 2c other fresh veggies cut coarsely (carrots, celery, broccoli, parsnips) 8c greens, chopped (kale, chard, beet greens, spinach)
4c cooked wild rice (optional)
Fresh squeezed lime juice to taste Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot, then add the flour. Mix well and cook for about 5 minutes until flour starts to brown/bubble.
Add garlic and onion, cook until soft about 5-7 minutes. Add broth and herbs, bringing to a soft rolling boil. Add potatoes, reduce heat to medium-low (a light simmer) and cover. Cook for about 10-15 minutes.
Add remaining veggies (except greens), simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add mushrooms, simmer for another 15 minutes.
Add greens and turn off heat. Allow to sit (covered for 5-10 minutes as greens soften.
Place 1/2c wild rice in a bowl and cover with soup. Add lime, salt, and pepper to taste.
Enjoy and get yourself back to bed. :)