I scanned my vegetaran cookbooks and didn't find the "no turkey" noodle soup that I'd started dreaming up.
My biggest quandary is flavor. A meaty texture can easily be found in mushrooms or Field Roast, but the flavor--it's got light notes of poultry seasoning, not dark notes of say rosemary or sundried tomatoes.
I found a recipe on Chow Vegan for chicken noodle soup and thought I'd use that as a pattern for my creation. But her recipe used a packaged broth, which in my opinion is first--cheating, and second--a second-rate or cop out choice for flavoring soup. But the comments she got were all good and her blog actually looks like a great blog to follow for recipe ideas.
I thought I'd use this mushroom broth that I'd made for a Winter Mushroom Soup a few weeks ago. It would make the soup a little darker, but would add a rich flavor.
I got out the carrots, onions, celery and the udon noodles that I'd thought were perfect for this soup.
My assistant is trying to reach his favorite celery. I guess I should count myself lucky that he loves the green stalks. It's right up there with carrots in his book.
If you aren't into faux meats such as Field Roast, use mushrooms, if you Pan fry the mushrooms in a dry pan until their juices appear. They develop a nice texture and the flavor becomes more concentrated and used in soups they add great texture and flavor.
I've gotten garlic powder from the farmers' market for years now. Occasionally I find onion powder. I got a couple large bottles of it from Rent's Due Ranch.
I didn't use Mama Lil's peppers in the version I made but I know they'd be good in this soup. How could they not? Seriously, these peppers enhance everything except dessert. If you don't know them, maybe you should give them a try. I know I sound like I must get paid, but I don't. I just love them and there isn't anything else like them on the market. My New Year's wish is that the creator and owner of Mama Lil's, Howard Lev, never goes out of business.
Here's the recipe:
"No-Turkey" Noodle Soup
(Serves 4 to 6)
4 ounces dry udon noodles
1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
1 cup diced onion
6 to 8 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 cup diced celery
1 cup carrots cut into batons
1 small potato, diced small
1/2 teaspoon garlic or onion powder
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped Mama Lil's Peppers (optional)
5 to 6 cups mushroom broth
1/2 teaspoon hickory smoke flavoring or 1/2 tablespoon Bragg's Liquid Aminos
1 cup diced, pan fried Fieldroast
1 cup of finely chopped kale
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Boil 8 to 10 quarts of water and add udon noodles. Cook according to package directions to al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.
2. Heat a soup pot over medium heat. When it's hot, add onions and olive oil. Stir and sweat the onions until they're translucent. Add the garlic. Stir and cook until garlic caramelizes.
3. Add celery, carrots, potato, garlic powder, fennel seeds. Stir to coat with oil. Add Mama Lil's Peppers if you want. Stir in the mushroom broth and hickory smoke flavoring. Simmer on low for 20 minutes.
4. Stir in Field Roast and kale. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Divide the noodles between the bowls and ladle soup over them.
Chop sticks or spoon? Take your pick!