Chicken soup is just one of those dishes that warms you up from the inside out. It's so comforting and warming to the soul and keeps your belly healthy and happy. I'm always looking for a great way to replicate a hearty chicken soup without the need to actually use any meat. I've tried a few different recipes and this is one of my favorites since it's easy to make and easy to substitute ingredients with whatever you have on hand.
We're using mung beans since they're a great source of plant-based protein. Beans are high in fiber and abundant in vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. If you happen not to have these in your pantry you can substitute lentils or chickpeas here instead.
The addition of kombu in this recipe adds a layer of umami flavor and enriches the soup with vitamins and minerals. Kombu is a dried kelp that is rich in iodine, iron, calcium, vitamins A and C. How about that for super-powering your soup! Kombu is inexpensive and can be found at your local asian grocery store. If you don't have this you can use kelp flakes instead, just add them in during the last 10 minutes of cooking. Otherwise you can just go without it-- your soup will still be delicious!
One of the reasons I love making a good vegetable soup is also because I get to use up those random veggies I have left over in my fridge from the previous week. So go ahead and add in any other vegetable you may have floating around in your fridge.
Soak Time: 8 hours
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 45 minutes
2 lbs. potatoes, chopped into cubes (approx. 6 cups)
1 cup soaked mung beans
1 white onion, diced (approx. 2 cups)
1 zucchini, sliced
8 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced (approx. 1 heaping cup)
2 ribs celery, chopped (approx. 1 heaping cup)
6 cups vegetable broth (bouillon cubes work great)
2 strips kombu (if not using, increase broth to 8 cups)
2 tblspn tamari or soy sauce
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp dried parsley, or 1 tblsp fresh
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Optional toppings: avocado slices, chopped onion & cilantro.
The night before, soak your mung beans and kombu in water. Place the mung beans in a container with two cups of cold water. Place the kombu strips in a separate container with two cups of cold water (no need to rinse them).
1. Saute onions until tender and lightly browned. Add in garlic cloves and saute for 2 more minutes.
2. Add in the seasonings: parsley, oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary, coriander, and nutmeg. Saute for an additional 1 to 2 minutes to bring out flavors of the herbs and spices.
3. Add in mung beans, broth, tamari and nutritional yeast. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Toss in potatoes, carrots and celery, and continue to simmer for an additional 20 minutes until potatoes are soft. (If you prefer crunchier veggies, you can toss in the carrots and celery during the last 10 minutes of cooking).
5. Serve alongside a slice of crusty bread and top your soup with avocado, onion and cilantro for a comforting bowl of hearty soup!