Inaugural Post

December 3, 2009

Greetings! Welcome to The Merry Vegetarian blogspace! As someone who is addicted merely to lurking around the foodie blogosphere, a silent creeper, I decided I needed my own space and voice. Here you will find various recipes and kitchen-related endeavors.

For my very first entry, I’ve decided to write about something I have been dying to try. Today is the perfect occasion. It’s the very first snowfall we’ve had in Chicago this year. I’m a new resident, but there’s something homey about sitting inside watching large, soft flakes drift silently across the window pane on to the ground. It reminds me of snuggling under quilts, or camping out on the couch at my parents’ house. So to celebrate winter’s most official arrival in the City of Big Shoulders, I decided to make something special; something vegetarians pine for, and is so reminiscent of the spirit of home and snow days–No-Chicken Noodle Soup.

Adapted from Post Punk Kitchen, I made some slight changes since I’m not vegan and I couldn’t seem to find mirin and miso in stock at our local Dominick’s, though the original recipe seems delicious as well. I added some herbs which gave it a nice depth of flavor and added lemon juice to brighten up the soup, which also gave it a slight buttery hue. The tarragon and dill weed were also really fantastic in this soup as well.

I also subbed in yolk-free egg noodles to cut cholesterol (and because I just like ‘em better than soba)–in particular Manischewitz yolk-free, medium.

INGREDIENTS

1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 large carrots, sliced
3 ribs of celery, sliced
4-6 medium button mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t. celery seed
1 t. dried thyme
1 t. dried tarragon
1 t. ground sage
1 t. dried dill weed
2 bay leaves
3 whole black peppercorns
1 qt. Imagine No-Chicken broth
4 vegetable bouillon cubes
sea salt to taste
4 c. water
1 t. lemon juice
2 c. dried chickpeas, soaked
6 oz. No-Yolk egg noodles

DIRECTIONS

Begin by soaking the chickpeas the night before, or early the morning of soup making. (If you wait until the morning of, you should soak it in warm-hot water to give the little chickies a jump-start.)

Preheat a large pot over medium high heat. Saute the onions, carrots and celery in the oil for about 10 minutes. Add in the garlic and herbs and saute another five minutes. Deglaze the pot with 1-2 T. of water. Add in the broth, water, bouillon, soaked chickpeas and lemon juice. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a low boil until chickpeas are tender.

I prepared the noodles in a separate pot according to the instructions. (This was to avoid that gross foamy, noodle-y water lurking around in my soup pot.) Make sure to cook them only ’til al dente, strain and then add to the simmering soup pot.

Lower the heat to medium so the soup is at a low boil. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Taste and adjust, adding sea salt.

Makes 6 (big bowl) servings.

Then sit back and let it snow.