Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Homemade No-chicken, No-salt Chick’n Broth & Lemony Chick'n and Rice Soup

Here is a preview of the soup.  The chick'n stock worked out really well and everyone enjoyed the soup, omnivores and vegans alike.   That is definitely a win in my book.


We were back to the farmers market which reopened today. Good thing Pam (the farmer at our CSA) sent out reminder emails this morning or we would have missed the market. There would have been no excuse to miss the market since we both knew about. In fact the market reopening this weekend was even a topic of conversation at cooking class just a few days ago. Sometimes I wonder what my brain is thinking about when I forget important things like this. As much as I love going to the market you would have thought I would remember. *rolls eyes*

The market today was mostly plants and we picked the following for our tea and herb garden: 7 parsley, 1 marjoram, 1 bay tree, 2 calendula, 1 German chamomile, and 1 stevia. I managed to get these planted early Monday morning before running errands.

Breakfast for me was my usual savory oatmeal.

Next there was quick trip to the library to pick up a book on hold (Blue Zones) and a run to Whole Foods for organic parsley and celery.

As usual I had no idea what I was going to make for the meal with my parents on Sunday. Soup is always safe but my mother has asked me not to use beans, anything spicy and she isn’t fond of tofu which means it is getting progressively more difficult to find things that I consider healthy enough to consume that she will eat. *sigh* Why doesn’t anyone ever tell you that as your parents get older they become more child-like?

Many years ago I used to a make a lemony chicken soup that both my parents liked with veggies and rice so I decided to make a vegan version of that soup. First however I had to work on the no-chicken, no-salt chick’n broth. I think the broth is the best part of this soup personally. Here is what I did:

Lemony Chick’n and Vegetable Soup
Serves 6 as an entrée if you include some cooked whole grain

Chick’n Stock Ingredients:

1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
2 heads garlic, peeled and smashed
4 cups water
¼ cup oatmeal
8 cups water
1 bay leaf
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast (or less if you aren’t fond of the flavor you want a little umami but you don't want the soup to taste cheesy)
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon no-salt seasoning (or to taste)
¼ teaspoon sweet paprika (not the smoked)
¼ teaspoon dill, optional (this isn’t necessary but I like dill)

Soup Ingredients:

4 carrots, finely diced
2 – 3 stalks celery, finely diced (or 1/8 teaspoon celery seed)
4 cups mushrooms, thinly sliced (I used 3 cups of dried mushrooms reconstituted in 4 cups of water)
1 cup green beans, cut into small pieces that will fit on a spoon
1 cups broccoli, cut into small pieces that will fit on a spoon
1 cup frozen peas
Fresh parsley to finish the soup (about ½ cup when finely diced)
1 lemon, zested and juiced, optional (this changes the soup dramatically but it is good with or without the lemon)


Allow the onion and garlic to stand 10 minutes before turning on the heat so the chemical reactions have time to take place. In a large pot combine the onion, garlic, water and oatmeal and cook uncovered over low heat until the vegetables are tender. Check the pot periodically to make certain that you have enough liquid in the pot. Also don’t go too far away as the mixture will try to foam and boil over. When the vegetables are completely tender pour the ingredients into a blender and process until smooth. Return this mixture to your soup pot. Add the seasonings to taste.

Now add the carrots and celery and simmer for at least 30 minutes. The remaining veggies will be added in stages. The mushroom only need about 10 minutes to infuse the in broth but longer is fine too. If you are using dried mushrooms also add the soaking liquid but strain it so you don’t add any gritty sediment to your soup. The green beans and broccoli need less than five minutes to cook to al dente and still retain their nutrition. The peas and parsley should be added just before serving. You can save some of the parsley for a garnish.

If you would like to add more calories to this soup you can add some cooked whole grain, like brown rice or quinoa. Alternately you could add cubes of potato to the soup or even a ¼ cup of barley.

Nutritional Information (for 1/6th of the soup):

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 132.81
Calories From Fat (5%)-  6.99

Total Fat - 0.72g
Saturated Fat - 0.13g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 103.51mg
Potassium - 628.47mg
Total Carbohydrates - 23.15g
Fiber - 5.28g
Sugar - 6.52g
Protein - 5.78g

Nutrition Information for the entire recipe of chick’n stock:

Calories - 394.94
Calories From Fat (4%) - 16.66

Total Fat - 1.29g
Saturated Fat - 0.27g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 107.06mg
Potassium - 686.91mg
Total Carbohydrates - 56.78g
Fiber - 6.75g
Sugar - 6.28g
Protein - 9.56g


I am sure some of you were wondering why I added oatmeal and pureed the onions and garlic right? You know how homemade chicken stock has an unctuous rather gelatinous quality to it? That was what I was trying to mimic by pureeing the onions and garlic and adding the oatmeal and it worked fairly well. *happy dance* I will probably try to refine this a little but I am very pleased with how this first attempt turned out. I hope you agree when you try it.

The soup itself is a very simple combination of the veggies that I had on hand. Feel free to use any veggies that are traditionally added to your favorite chicken soup recipe.

To accompany the soup we had a simple green salad of: mesclun, cucumber, tomatoes, carrot and topped with creamy “honey” mustard dressing.

After the meal with my folks Dan and I watched the Jack Canfield DVD, “ActivatingThe Law of Attraction”. Even Dan enjoyed it and that is saying something since occasionally these things are too woo woo for him if you know what I mean. The DVD was long, 2+ hours, so dinner needed to be simple.

Dinner was leftovers for Dan and me. I had some of the Greek bean soup and Dan had mushroom ragu. This is why I try to keep leftovers in the refrigerator and freezer. I love being able to get homemade food on the table in a few minutes.

We did manage to turn in much earlier than usual, thankfully. However for some reason I tossed and turned last night. *ugh*


Because I didn’t sleep well we skipped the gym this morning opting to sleep in instead. Some days sleep is just more important. After all we can both work in exercise later in the day but if you don’t get enough sleep a nap isn’t always an option.

Dan’s breakfast was an enormous green smoothie this morning.

After Dan left for work I headed out to the garden to get my new plants into the herb and tea garden. First I had to do a little clean-up work but the weather was beautiful so I didn’t mind at all. In fact I was thrilled to see that my tarragon is about 8 inches tall, the golden oregano has sent out about 100 little seedlings, the borage has also survived the winter and has at least 20 little plants coming up. Ahhh, spring….. I love getting into the garden. Now I just need to figure out where I am going to put my basil this year since that is where the marjoram, chamomile, and stevia went in this morning.

I also managed to finalize the last post and get that up on the blog. Knowing that today was going to be a hectic one I tried to get everything in before I had to run out the door. It is just going to be one of those weeks. However with temperatures expected to flirt with the 80’s it will be a wonderful day to be outside.

My breakfast was a huge salad, as usual in a serving bowl. This salad contained: about 6 cups of mesclun greens, 1 organic Braeburn apple, ¼ cup blackberries, ¼ cup blueberries, a little fresh lime juice, a dash of vanilla and 1 tablespoon of chia seeds.

Knowing the salad would not hold me for long I backed some homemade trail mix in my purse with an orange. The trail mix contained equal portions: raw pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, dry roasted edamame, and dried blueberries.

After running errands the weather was still absolutely amazing. Needless to say dinner on the patio won out which means we went out for dinner. When we call to make reservations we always ask if Ian is there and have the kitchen warned that we are coming in. Ian prefers more than a few hours notice, but since we are happy making up our own meals I knew he would just be happy to see us.

The weather was gorgeous today with a high of 87. *woo hoo* What a fabulous eating for dinner al fresco.

As always I started the evening in the kitchen so that I could chat with Ian. I like to get a hug and hear what he has on hand that is out of the ordinary so that we can plan what we are going to eat. While I was there I asked him if he had any experience with seitan and tempeh. His response was tempeh, a little, and seitan never. When I asked if he would be willing to play around with it for us he said of course. He doesn’t think he can get it from his supplier but I quickly volunteered to drop it off since it was only for us. I am very excited to see what he comes up for us on this. *happy dance* Sometimes you just have to ask for what you want. You never know when the person will say yes. *woo hoo*

While I was chatting to Ian in the kitchen Emily came in to tell me Dan wanted iced tea. What? Knowing that green tea was better for him she doubled checked with me and I decided iced green tea was a better idea. Isn’t it very sweet of everyone at the restaurant to look out for us?  Dan knew I was right, though that wasn't what he wanted.  He did agree with me that it was better choice.

We started with gazpacho at the suggestion of Emily. I ordered a cup and Dan got a bowl. The gazpacho had a little heat in the background which I really liked. Ian makes a very good gazpacho; in fact his soup has been voted Baltimore’s best gazpacho in the past.

Next we ordered Ian’s take on the samosa which we both really like. I was in the kitchen when Ian was prepping these and they have only a brush or oil between the phyllo so they have a lot less fat than the deep fried original but are still crispy. Ian’s cilantro dipping sauce really takes these over the top. I always say his sauces are amazing and this is another one of those.

Our dinner was sautéed snow pea, and mushrooms topped with sweet potato and lentil latkes. I have no idea how he came up with that combination but they were delicious. We ordered a second plate we liked them so much. I will be making my own version of this soon.

While we were enjoying dinner on the patio, which we do at a very leisurely pace, we talked to Alan and Donna for a while (the owners). Donna said they were tasting olive oil and asked if we wanted to join in? Sure, when has any Italian ever turned down olive oil tasting? Dan and I both liked the same one with the peppery finish characteristic of Tuscan oils.

Emily and I chatted about photography since I am considering a camera upgrade. Emily has a MFA and is wonderful photographer. We are going to make plans to get together and have a photography and nutrition day. She is very excited to tell us about a destination wedding in Bali she will be working on as a photographer later this year. Can you imagine going to Bali for work? Sounds like a great deal to me.

Jenn’s birthday is coming up this Friday so we chatted about that. She is going to visit her finance who is out of town to celebrate her birthday. When we asked which birthday this was for her the response did make me feel a little old. Dan and I have been together since before she was born. *sigh* When did we get old? Oh well, we are still young at heart at least.

Steph was also very sweet last night. She had made herself some strawberry hibiscus tea and brought me some since she knew I would like it, and I did. I always say that we are part of the family here so I wanted to give you more of any idea of what it is like when we are there.

As usual we were there for hours; literally we arrived at the restaurant at 5:30 and left close to 10. I suppose that is why we know almost everyone there as well as we do. Not only are we there often but for a long time when we go. When you do this for years you become a fixture of sorts.

Happy thoughts:

• What a fabulous Sunday and Monday. This is going to be one of those times when I will need to stop myself from writing too many happy thoughts. Don’t you just love those day? I feel very fortunate today.

• I loved going the farmers’ market on Sunday and getting to see our friends at Cat’s Paw Organic and Calvert Farms. I picked up some great plants for my tea and herb garden. *woo hoo*

• I am thrilled with my latest version of no-chicken stock. You can expect to see that turning up often now.

• Monday was equally as nice as Sunday. It was a busy day but still good… and the weather was absolutely spectacular. Who wouldn’t love a day in early April with a high of 87, blue skies and a breeze? The weather couldn’t have been much better in my opinion.

• We had a lovely dinner on the patio and enjoyed the food and company very much. Even though it was just Dan and I for dinner we talked to many other people all evening like we usually do. Are you starting to understand why I say it is like a restaurant version of “Cheers” for us?

Signing out:

Tuesday is going to be another hectic one for me. My to-do list continues to grow so I need to get productive today. With a little luck since the weather is grey and rainy today that will give me incentive to stay home and cross items off my to-do list. Well ... that is the plan we will see how well that works out for me.

I hope everything is going well for you. Today I need to make some intentional leftovers for dinner and lunch tomorrow. Hopefully that means there will be a recipe in the post tomorrow. I am trying to get back into the kitchen. Talk to you again tomorrow.


  1. Loving the idea of adding the oatmeal actually - gives it some body. The soup looks fantastic. And that dinner....yum

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  3. That broth recipe sounds interesting--I will have to give it a try. How could anything with 2 heads of garlic be anything less than delicious, though!?! Thanks for sharing it!

    87 degrees? That isn't spring weather...that is summer! Too warm for me, lol :-)


  4. Heather,

    Thanks, I got the oat idea from the queso and it did exactly what I wanted it too. I didn't try but you would be able to grind it in the blender first and get the same results.

    Ian was in rare form on Monday. I am still doing the happy dance that he is willing to work with tempeh and seitan for us. That is such a huge step for him you have no idea. LOL


  5. Courtney,

    I used that much garlic to add richness. Like you I love my garlic, LOL. If you have any ideas for tweaking the broth I would love to hear them.

    It didn't really feel like 87, probably because of the breeze. However it was fabulous after the recent cold snap

    talk to you later,

  6. Looks yummy!! :-) Thanks for sharing!

    Blessings, Debra
    Raw Vegan Diet

  7. Can't wait to try the soup! The dinner ideas sound great too. Have a fantastic weekend!

  8. This turned out great for me! This is definitely making its way into my regular rotation.


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