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When we were still eating meat, one of the favorite things I would make for my daughter would be a simple chicken soup, loaded with grains and vegetables. It would give me lots of satisfaction to know that every bit would have some veggies, protein, and high-fiber grains. She loves brothy soups, so this was always an easy meal for me to make.

And if you’re wondering if my 4-year-old has always eaten so well, the answer is NO. She usually takes a really long time eating her meals, and used to poo-poo her face at a lot of the things I’d offer, but I was persistent. I’d offer her three different foods on her plate when she was two and three years old, and she could pick what she liked. When she was two, she’d throw food on the floor. When she was three, she would refuse lots of things, but I always told her to try one little bite, because how was she going to know if she didn’t like it if she didn’t try it? And, most of the time, she liked it. (Strangely, that 3-4 year old reasoning doesn’t work with some of my community college students, but that’s a story for another time).

Because of that persistence, she’s quite the foodie now, and open to a lot of the plant-based foods I make. Tofu spring rolls? Yes. Black beans and rice with cumin? Any day. Soft tofu miso soup, chickenless barley and wild rice soup, roasted seaweed? Yes, yes, and yes again. The only thing now is that she takes super-long to eat, but beggars can’t be choosers!

This is one of the first things I had to try to reinvent for C when we went plant-based. I felt like I hit the jackpot when I found vegan no-chicken broth at Whole Foods one day, and went home to make this. My girl slurped it up (hubby too) and was such a happy camper!

Any comfort foods that you made plant-based and worked wonders?

Comforting Chicken-less Soup
Print Recipe
This soup has all the flavor and components of a chicken soup, but without the chicken!
Servings Prep Time
8 bowls 30 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 bowls 30 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Comforting Chicken-less Soup
Print Recipe
This soup has all the flavor and components of a chicken soup, but without the chicken!
Servings Prep Time
8 bowls 30 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 bowls 30 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, add the wild rice and 1 cup water. Turn the heat to medium-high, bring to a simmer, and lower the heat to med-low, gently simmering until you prep the rest of the soup.
  2. In a 5-qt French oven over medium heat, heat the oil. When oil is shimmering and hot, add the carrots, celery, onion, mushrooms, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper, and wild rice. Saute, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 5 minutes, until vegetables begin to soften.
  3. Add the broth and 2 cups water, stirring, and turn the heat to medium-high. Add barley and stir. Add the wild rice that's on the stove, as well as the cooking water.
  4. When soup begins to boil, turn the heat down to low, and put the lid on. Allow to cook for another 30-40 minutes, until wild rice and barley are tender.
  5. Stir in vegan fish sauce and adjust seasonings.
  6. Serve with black pepper and fresh thyme sprigs.
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