VEG CHICKEN AND RED RICE SOUP
Wow where do I begin? What started out as a simple few item soup for Lilly Belle turned into an extravaganza high-end fit for a Princess soup for the ages! Or the aged! We all are in the same process of aging. Once you’re here, a minute, hour, week, year it’s the same for everybody. That’s my common ground with you all today!
Enjoy vicariously while Lilly and I savor this delicacy! Thick and Hearty delicacy – even better! Gluten-free.
Makes 20-1/2 cups
2 c. chopped or sliced celery – about 1/2 inch slice and 3/8 inch dice
1/2 lb. baby carrots, cut in half from end to end
1 c. diced red onion, 1/2 inch squares
12 c. water
2 c. carrot juice
2 T. salt
3 c. cooked, chilled red rice – *see instructions below
1/3 c. Organic Mellow Miso Brown Rice Soybean Paste – by WESTBRAE
1 T. Better Than Bouillon Paste, seasoned vegetable flavor
1 T. garlic powder
1 T. dried basil
2 t. ground rosemary
2 t. smoked paprika
1 t. turmeric
a few red pepper flakes
1 rounded T. dried orange rind matchsticks * see below
3 T. vegan yeast (aka nutritional yeast)
1-1/2 c. froz. peas
16 oz. pkg. froz. cut green beans
fresh grind black pepper
1/2 lb. diced Delight Soy, plain or seasoned, vegan chicken nuggets, or other veg-style chicken cubes
12.3 oz. pkg. extra firm Silken tofu, rinsed, cut into 3 segments, then palm-forced gently through the largest holes on a hand grater into the soup pot
1 c. rolled oats – for thickener
extra virgin olive oil drizzle for each bowl before serving (optional but nice; you need only a teaspoon or 2)
In large soup pot, over medium-high heat, combine all ingredients.
Bring to a soft boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Then cook, covered, 30 minutes longer at the same low heat.
Remove cover, stir well, then replace cover and cook another 30 minutes.
1-1/2 hours total cooking time after assembly.
If the soup sticks to the bottom of the pot, not to worry, simply scrape it up into the soup with a wooden spoon. A little char add-on is fine.
Serve or let it set till ready to serve later. It thickens a little more as it ages in the pot. If you want to thin it, do it after you reheat it. You probably won’t want to reheat the entire pot, so take out what you need and reheat it in a separate saucepan. Then if you still want it a little thinner, taste first, then decide. Just a little water or carrot juice will do nicely – not too much though; it’s supposed to be thick. It’s a light thick though.
Notes: Okay, so you probably never thickened a soup with rolled oats before. Well, now you know how to do it. It has to cook long enough to get smooth. For all you gluten-freers in the world, this should make you happy.
Don’t cook the rice from scratch in the soup pot. It will absorb all the liquid. Make it the day before or several days before, so it’s there in the refrigerator when you need it. Measure out 3 cups for this recipe.
Now, to make the rice: Combine 3 c. water, 2 c. salt with 2 c. rinsed red rice in large saucepan. Bring to boil, cover tightly, reduce heat to low and cook 30 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with utensil, then recover and let set till it reaches room temperature and you can pack it into covered containers to refrigerate and use during the week. Rice is like any other food – don’t keep it too long thinking it will last forever, because it isn’t an animal.
Now, dried orange rind: Steve eats a lot of oranges, and saves me the peels when they’re thick enough to remove the pithe, stack, cut into tiny sticks and dry out in the air till throughly crisp. I then store them in a tight-lidded glass jar at room temperature to use in soups and sauces. It’s essentially free, since you throw away the peel anyway and it’s a great dry condiment. It adds a surprisingly strong orange element to the dish when bitten into. If you don’t have dried, then use fresh matchstick rinds. If you use fresh, then you might as well add to the soup the juice from the orange.
RE: veg chicken: If using other than Delight Soy brand, then pan-fry the cubed veg chicken or strips till done before adding to the soup. Cut into soup-size pieces. This isn’t an appetizer, so no extra large chunks. It’s a big soup and you want every bowl to have some veg chicken in it. Okay?