It’s sick season! Doctors’ offices and drugstore chains are officially pushing the flu shots and people are starting to get the sniffles and coughs, myself included.
This weekend I was unfortunate enough to come down with one of the worst colds I’ve had in awhile. I got the full blown package of head congestion, sore throat and cough…the trifecta. I lowered myself to a little bit of whining, which I’m not proud of, but first I went through the “cleansing” phase which is something I always do the first day I get sick. I go insane cleaning the house- sanitizing doorknobs, organizing and even dusting behind things that haven’t been moved in three years. I also cook more than ever.
I first woke up feeling horrible Sunday morning- so what do I do? I baked. I made some quick cinnamon rolls. Then for lunch I whipped up some vegan “egg salad” and later when I really started feeling bad I made vegan “chicken” soup. I’m not sure why I feel the need to accomplish these things when I’m sick- perhaps denial- but I did and then have paid for my lack of rest every day since. Monday I was a mess and really couldn’t move. It hurt to think. It unfortunately carried over into my birthday on Tuesday and is still lingering a bit now even. (ps- happy birthday to me! ha) Anyways, here is the recipe for the soup that provided me with several days of comfort as I sniffled and whimpered like a big baby.
ps- This soup is great with homemade french bread…yes I did that on Sunday too.
Vegan "Chicken" Soup
A great, comforting vegan alternative to chicken soup that will get you through the toughest of colds.
1/3 lb acini de pepe pasta (note: check the ingredients of the brand you buy to see if it's vegan)
In a large pot, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil on medium heat. Add the celery, onion, carrots and garlic and saute until slightly translucent- about 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Add stock, salt, pepper, thyme and bay leaf. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 30 minutes to develop flavor, stirring occasionally.
Carefully taste the broth and add a touch more salt if needed. (As different brands of broth vary, it's important to taste for seasoning as you go.) Add the pasta and cook on medium heat about 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400º. Lay out the sheet of puff pastry on a silpat mat or baking sheet. Fold the edges over from about 1/2" from the edge. Using a fork, gently poke some holes in the center.
Dice the onions. In a pan on medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and tablespoon of butter until butter is melted. Add the onions. Saute until they start to become slightly translucent. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook until reduced and the onions are caramelized. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Cut several pieces of the goat mozzarella (however much you want on the tart. It does not need to be covered in goat cheese as that will be overwhelming.)
Place the onions in the center of the tart. Put dabs of the goat cheese mozzarella spaced out over the onions. Bake about 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the edges of the tart are brown. Remove and allow to cool at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
It’s hot- really hot for some people lately. I wanted to make a refreshing, cool drink that’s not too sweet and is refreshing on a hot, humid day. I decided to do a blend of melon to keep it light with a little added strawberry for a touch of sweet. Topped with a little sparkling water, this will surely quench your thirst.
Ever get to the end of a Sriracha bottle and can’t get that last little bit out? I have a tip for what you can do to use every last drop of your rooster sauce as well as repurpose the bottle. Thanks to the wonderful team at CHOW, I was able to share this tip in a CHOW Tip video!