First of all – can I just give you all a huge hug for the response to my last post? I read every word of every comment, and was blown away by your kind words and solidarity. Here I thought I might be able to touch a few other folks feeling the same way, and then you all ended up making ME feel a million times better, not to mention like a had a whole new circle of friends. I am still slowly responding to comments bit by bit, but in case I haven’t gotten to yours yet – a giant THANK YOU on this Monday morning. Now how about a recipe to kick off November?
Okay maybe it isn’t QUITE winter yet, but daylight savings darkness combined with Seattle rain and November gloom sure does make me feel like hibernating. You want to know my absolute least favorite thing about being a parent in the winter? Nope, it’s not the muddy boots and paw prints all over my floors. And it’s not even the seemingly endless indoor stretches with two crazed kiddos who need fresh air.
It is the GERMS. We can literally make it from May to October without so much as wiping a nose, and then the minute the temperature drops and the kids are all indoors, it is open season for sickness. Last year was a doozy – both boys had hand, foot, & mouth followed almost immediately by a double case of croup. We didn’t leave the house for what felt like weeks! I am so hopeful that this year will be better, as they get a bit older and immune systems continue to get stronger.
But with that said, we’ve already had our first bout of illness. I had big plans to get lots of work – both here and around the house – done all week long, and then Graham came down with some sort of awful virus. He had high temps and just general misery for almost four days straight. We didn’t sleep, and we didn’t really even move – he just laid on me for days on end. It was so sad, and I did everything I could think of to try and make him feel better.
He didn’t have any stomach issues, other than the fact that he just didn’t want to eat. And as any moms knows, when you’re kids aren’t eating it is S-T-R-E-S-S. And so I set out to make something that would be tasty and hearty, and hopefully fill his achy little body with good, healing ingredients.
Naturally, when someone is sick the knee-jerk reaction is – chicken noodle soup! But we are vegetarians, so chicken was off the menu. But I figured the base of the soup – the hot broth, the veggies, and the soft noodles – are really what it’s all about, right? Everyone in the house – healthy or not – loved this soup. The kids wolfed it down, and I cleared out the leftovers for lunch. And so last night, I made it again so I could share it with you guys!
Winter Blues No-Chicken Veggie Noodle Soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
Ingredients (6-8 servings)
1/2 large red onion (or 1 small onion), diced small
5 red potatoes, diced small
4 large carrots, diced into small rounds
4 stalks celery, trimmed and diced
64 oz vegetable broth
12 oz Einkorn wheat pasta
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup flat parsley leaves, minced
salt to taste
In a large Dutch oven or your favorite soup pot, start by heating a bit of olive oil over medium-high heat, and sauté the diced onion. Once the onion is browning, add the potatoes, carrots, and celery. You want all the veggies to be diced very small, so that the pieces fit onto a soup spoon!
Let the veggies sauté and soften a bit, cooking over medium heat for about 5 minutes, and stirring occasionally.
So let’s talk about these ingredients for a minute. I truly believe that the success to any good soup is a really quality base – and in this case that means broth. I have tried lots of different veggie broths – from boxed to canned (and occasionally even homemade) – and I’m not exaggerating when I say this Zoup Vegan Broth is far and away the best. And this isn’t product placement or any such thing – I just saw it on the shelf at our local Met Market and wanted to give it a try. I will never buy anything else! It is good enough to just drink out of the jar.
As for the pasta, I’ve written about my love for Jovial pastas many times before here on the blog (again, no relationship – just love them). They are made from einkorn wheat, which is much less processed and higher in protein than typical pastas. I highly recommend using quality ingredients in order to yield a better bowl of soup!
Okay back to the cooking – add the veggie broth, the whole box of pasta, and the garlic powder – and stir to combine.
Bring broth up to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and partially cover (I usually put the lid at an angle). Let simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add peas a few minutes before serving, and stir to combine.
Season to taste with salt. Scoop into bowls and top with fresh, minced parsley.
Serve with baguette for dipping, and enjoy!
Don’t let my poorly-lit photos deter you from making this – Casey and I both raved about hour hearty and satisfying it was. And while I made it hoping that our sick little guy would eat a few bites, I was thrilled to see that the whole family had empty bowls at the end of dinnertime.
As for Graham, he was finally feeling better by Thursday afternoon – healthy just in time to enjoy trick or treating and Halloween fun! Here’s hoping we all stay healthy this season, but when the germs strike again, I’m glad I have this recipe in my toolbox now.
Happy Monday, friends!