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Hearty Vegan Chicken Soup With Italian Herbs & Rice

With Winter coming, my family is dealing with the lingering effects of a cold. To my mind, that means it’s time to break out wholesome, nutritious, and delicious soup! Soup is just one of those all around good-for-you foods. Serve a sandwich or salad on the side, and you’ve got yourself a great little dinner there.

This soup is a favorite of mine because you nearly always have the ingredients on hand. Another thing I love about it, is that it includes two cups of shredded greens. Greens are the superstars of the culinary world. I have a cousin who is a nutritionist, and she once told me that a kid could basically eat mac and cheese every day for a month, but if his mother served him kale just once during that month, he’d probably be okay. Kale is just that nutritious. Spinach, Collard greens and Swiss Chard also pack a punch so adding them to the soup makes this soup not only tasty, but a Good-for-you Treat.

You could, of course, turn this into a vegan chicken soup by adding grill chicken seasoning and some vegan noodles or thinly chopped seitan. But to my palate mock or vegan chicken soup never comes out that well (here’s a nice step by step guide). So we stick to this soup when we are under the weather and need its healing properties.

Hearty Italian Vegetable Rice Soup

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 cups shredded greens (Fresh Spinach, Kale, Collard Greens or Swiss Chard are all good)
  • 1 cup diced potato (¼ “ dice)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup thin-sliced celery
  • 1 cup thin-sliced carrots
  • ¼ cup white rice
  • ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 clove, crushed, minced garlic
  • 5 ½ cup vegetable broth, or water (yes, you can use water, but please use stock – buy it if you don’t have time to make it yourself)
  • Salt, pepper

In a large 5 qt. Sauce pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

Add the greens, potatoes, onions, celery, carrots, garlic and rice, and stir to coat.

Cover with a lid and turn the heat down to low.

Cook for 20-25 minutes, until vegetables are wilted and soft, stirring every now and again.

Add the vegetable broth and the parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Bring to a boil and cook for at least another 30 minutes, or up to another 2 hours.

Check for salt. I like this soup to be a bit on the saltier side. This goes back to my gramma who served soup when we were sick. She served chicken soup, of course, but she said it wasn’t so much the chicken, but that the stock had to be salty. She said something about how the salt helped your body heal. Gramma knows best, I’m sure, and now when I’m feeling sick-ish, this soup is sure to do the trick!

Photos: mg7/iStockphoto


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