Fake Chicken Soup for the Soul

April 27th, 2010

First of all, some people really hate it when vegetarian foods try to replicate meaty foods.  Like fake hot dogs.  Or veggie burgers.  Me, I like it.  I don't know why.  I guess I feel comforted by the taste, smell and look of foods that remind me of childhood .

Which brings me to the following recipe.  For any followers of this blog, you know that I am not exactly arrogant about my cooking skills.  I don't feel like a natural chef and I'm not creating, creating, CREATING  all the time in the kitchen.  However, every once in a while, I come up with a bona fide hit.  So here it is for 2010… and maybe 2011 too:

Oy, this is good.  I stumbled upon it while visiting some close friends on Lake Pickett  in Central Florida .  My friend Victoria  was very pregnant with baby number four.  You heard me:   and I guess I just felt moved to make something soothing and motherly.  Mmmm…


Serves 10-12

1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

2 medium onions, diced

1 red pepper, diced

2 cups of red lentils, sorted and rinsed

10 cups spring or filtered water

2 medium carrots, diced (or 1 medium red-skinned potato–optional)

1 package of White Wave Chicken-style seitan , including liquid, chopped into bite-sized pieces

1 small or 1/2 medium leek, cleaned and sliced on the diagonal. 

3 tablespoons shoyu

1 tablespoon mellow white miso

Parsley for garnish

In a large saucepan, heat the oil.  Add the onions and saute for at least five minutes, or until soft and translucent.  DO NOT ADD SALT.  Add the red pepper and saute with onions until soft.  Add the red lentils and stir in briefly.  Then add water. 

Let it all come to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Add carrots (and/or potatoes) and the chopped up seitan and seitan water.  Let simmer for about 1/2 an hour or until the red lentils are dissolved. 

Add the leek and shoyu.  Dissolve the miso in a cup or suribachi with some of the soup liquid.  Make sure you smooth out any lumps.  Add it to the soup.  Stir and let simmer for five more minutes.

Ladle into individual serving bowls and garnish with parsley.  Eat.  Send me an email thanking me.  It's that good.  YUM.

P.S. The baby arrived in April 16th.  A little girl born at home.  All is well.

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