There’s a reason they call it Jewish penicillin….a bowl of homemade chicken soup just might be the most comforting, soothing, healing food ever invented. But, my fellow-non-chicken-eaters, do not despair! I have made it my mission to come up with an un-chicken version that is just as delicious and comforting, and I am sharing it with you today. Complete with a light yet rich broth (with just the right amount of oil on top, and a nice golden color), a bit of hearty brown rice (not showing up in the photos because it was hiding at the bottom of the bowl), and packed with all of my favorite classic chicken-soup veggies (the ones I would sneak into the kitchen to pluck out of the stockpot: onion, carrots, celery, zucchini and parsnip). So whether you’re trying to get over a cold, or just want some classic Jewish comfort food on a cold winter night, give this a try.
- 1/3 cup brown rice
- 2 veggie chicken-style bouillon cubes (I use Edward & Sons Not Chik’n Bouillon cubes)
- 1/2 sweet onion
- 3 stalks of celery
- 3 carrots
- 2 parsnips
- 1 medium zucchini
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- a tiny pinch of turmeric powder (less than 1/8 tsp)
- about 6 large stems of Italian parsley
- 4-6 stems of fresh dill (optional – I didn’t have any on hand when making this batch)
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
Add 5 cups of water and your brown rice to a medium sized soup pot along with the bouillon cubes (mix to dissolve) and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Roughly chop the onion and throw in to the pot, cover and cook for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, slice each celery stalk lengthwise and then slice into 1/4″ pieces. For the carrots and parsnip, peel and then slice lengthwise into eighths, then cross-cut into about 1-inch long sticks.
Add the carrot, celery and parsnip to the pot along with the olive oil and turmeric, and boil for another 10 minutes, covered (lowering heat as needed to make sure it doesn’t boil over).
Slice the zucchini the same way you did the carrot and parsnip. Finely chop your parsley (and dill if you have it).
Add the zucchini to the pot and let it cook for another 3 minutes. Test for doneness (all veggies should be tender, rice should be fully cooked) and turn off the heat. Add the parsley and dill, and some fresh ground black pepper if you like.
Enjoy steaming hot. To your good health!