Friday, February 24, 2012

A vegetarian soup for those of us under the weather

That's one steaming pot of comfort food, right there.
The past few days have been sort of a setback for me, and from what I've gathered, for other people too. Some sort of bug is making its way around campus and it seems to have reached me.

I woke up on Ash Wednesday with a case of the sniffles and a headache. At first I chalked it up to the changes in the weather, and the fact that I got up earlier than usual for church. I did all my usual Wednesday things, including my run. But then at about 3:30pm, I crashed. I was so unusually fatigued that I took a long nap and didn't move much for the rest of the evening.

Fast forward to today. I felt significantly better, though still sniffly and tired. As much as I wanted to go for a run this afternoon, I decided that it's probably best to just wait it out. I'm hoping tomorrow or Sunday will be the day.

There is one good thing that's come out of this: a pretty good soup recipe.

Something that I've learned to pick up on over the years is that my body knows what it needs, especially when I'm sick. When I was trying to come up with something for dinner tonight, I realized that I wanted three things: onions, mushrooms, and spinach.

It took me a while to figure out to do with that combination. Salad? Too much chewing. Pasta? Maybe, but not what I really wanted. Soup? Yes! Broth, vegetables, and noodles. That was exactly what I needed.

I looked around for a recipe with those ingredients, but wasn't satisfied with any of them. I finally gave up and decided to wing it. I took a few ideas from the soup recipes I'd looked at and Ashley Lojko's Paprika Chicken (one of my favorite one-person chicken recipes). The result is what I'm calling Spinach & Mushroom Noodle Soup, until I or someone else can think of a better name. (Hint, hint.)

Spinach & Mushroom Noodle Soup
Makes 3-4 servings


2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium onion, sliced into "half-moons"
1 clove minced garlic
1 small can mushrooms, drained
Pepper, parsley, and paprika (or whatever seasonings you like)
1 extra-large vegetable bouillon cube + 3 1/2 cups water (or vegetable broth)
1 1/2 cups uncooked egg noodles
2 cups fresh baby spinach


1.  Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cover the pan. After about 5-6 minutes, stir and cover it again.

2.  Check and stir the onions every few minutes until they start to turn slightly brown (I think this took about 10-12 minutes total). Add the mushrooms; cook and stir for another minute or two. (If you want to use fresh mushrooms, add them with the onions in the first step.)

3.  Add the bouillon, water, and seasonings. I took my inspiration from the Paprika Chicken recipe and used a little pepper, a few dashes of garlic powder, and lots of paprika. I also added some dried parsley and a shake of red pepper flakes (I think I'd leave the pepper flakes out next time, though).

4.  Bring the soup to a boil, add the egg noodles, and reduce the heat. Simmer uncovered until the noodles are cooked (8-10 minutes, maybe).

5.  Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach until slightly wilted.

And there you have it.
I apologize for the lack of photos and precise measurements in this post--I didn't think to take pictures or record details until the soup was almost done and I realized that it would be worth posting.

I'm hesitant to try and describe the soup, because my senses of smell and taste are a little out of whack right now. I felt that there was something a little "off" with the seasoning (I think it was the red pepper), but I can't be sure. But if you want to take my word for it, the soup was pretty good and almost exactly what I was craving. Plus, it came with a decent dose of Vitamins A and C, which couldn't hurt.

So for everyone who is sick right now: have a bowl of soup and feel better!

1 comment:

  1. No pictures!? It's ok, I forgive you. Can't wait to try the soup! Get better soon!