In our pre-vegan/vegetarian childhood years, sick days often meant a serving (or several) of chicken and rice soup, Jewish penicillin soup, or some other soothing soup recipe that was passed down over generations. Vegetarians and vegans can still benefit from having a nourishing and comforting soup in the family repertoire. Everybody gets sick sometimes, and this recipe is packed with healing ingredients that will help fortify those in need of a boost. Ground ginger helps alleviate nausea and other digestive problems and anti-inflammatory turmeric can help sickies get back on the road to wellness. Most of the vegetables I included in the ingredient list are merely suggestions, although the base of celery, onions, and garlic is recommended. If your tot detests broccoli, slipping it into his soup when he is sick will likely not go over well, so pick your child's favorites for this recipe. You could try some chopped squash, potatoes or sweet potatoes, zucchini, or even peas. The rice, which adds a little heartiness to the soup but is also easy to digest, can be your preferred type. I chose arborio because it gets kind of creamy when cooked and also cooks quickly. If using a long grain brown rice, keep in mind that your cooking time will need to be extended. You can also add more veggies or more broth/liquid as you'd like to vary the consistency.
Enjoy this recipe when you are feeling great as well as when you're under the weather. It's a simple, satisfying soup that comes together quickly and will warm your belly on a cold winter's night. Read on for a vegan, veggie and rice "no-chicken" soup that will become a new edible tool in your alternative medicine kit.
1. Gather the ingredients.
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 small onion
- 1 celery rib
- 1 large carrot
- 5-6 mushrooms
- a few florets of broccoli
- 1/4 cup rice (I used arborio)
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
- 4 cups vegetable stock or equivalent bouillon plus 4 cups of water
- 1 1/2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt or more or less to taste (adjust depending on the saltiness of your bouillon or stock)
- 2-4 Tbsp miso paste (optional)
2. Chop the vegetables.
Chop the vegetables any way you’d like. I find, however, that if this soup is going to be served to someone under the weather, it is best to finely dice or slice the ingredients so that the veggies are thin and easily digested after cooking. I ended up with 1/2 cup diced onion, 1/3 cup sliced celery, 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic, 1/2 cup sliced carrot, 1/3 cup sliced mushrooms, and 1/3 cup chopped broccoli florets.
3. Sauté the celery, onions, and garlic.
In a soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the celery, onions, and garlic, stir to coat, and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until the veggies start to soften.
4. Add the spices and sliced carrot.
Next, add the ginger and turmeric and stir to coat the vegetables well. Add the carrots and cook another 3-4 minutes.
5. Add the other ingredients and cook.
Add the vegetable bouillon and water (or stock) and rice and bring to a boil. Once the soup begins to boil, lower to medium low and simmer semi-covered for 10 minutes. Add in the chopped broccoli and sliced mushrooms and the lemon juice and salt to taste. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
6. Serve the soup.
Once the vegetables and rice are soft and well-cooked, you are ready to serve the soup. If you want to include the miso paste (which will provide immune system-supporting and gut-boosting bacteria), remove about 1/4-1/2 cup soup and place in a separate bowl. Add the miso paste and mix well to dissolve, then add that mixture back to the soup pot with the heat now on very low. Do NOT put the miso paste straight into a bubbling pot of soup. It will destroy miso’s health-giving properties. If you just want to add miso to one portion of the soup, you can just add a little miso to the bottom of the serving bowl and then add the hot soup, stirring well to dissolve the paste. Use about 1 Tbsp (or less) miso per cup of liquid.
For super sickies who are having trouble holding anything down, you can strain the soup and just give them the nourishing broth. They will still get some of the nutrients this way. You can also try blending the soup when finished for a smoother texture. Feel better and stay well!