It's that time of year again. That time of year when you just can't get warm - or at least if you live in Buffalo you can't. It seems like every year, by this time, I forget what warmth even felt like. And as I type this it is 20 degrees outside, making me long even more for some sunshine, maybe a beach, maybe, for a moment, the feeling that I need to cool off a bit. But that feeling won't come for at least another 5 months, so for now, I guess soup will just have to do.
I must admit, I'm not much of a soup girl. Not that I don't like soup, I do. But I guess I am just a little picky about which soup will satisfy me as a meal. And for that reason, I really never found the motivation to learn to make it. But this past week my husband has been suffering from the worst cold, and it was pretty clear: the man needed some soup. Being that I was, as I always am this time of year, on an active search for something to actually warm me up, it was the perfect storm. I was going to figure out the perfect, most satisfying, throat soothing, belly warming, vegan soup. And Italian Wedding Soup was all that kept coming to mind.
This recipe is pretty traditional with the exception of 2 substitutions: veggie broth instead of chicken, and homemade seitan meatballs. I hope you enjoy!
1 Cup Vital Wheat Gluten
1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast
1/8 Cup Chopped Parsley
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp garlic powder
2 1/2 Cups vegetable broth
For the Soup
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 White Onion, chopped
3 Carrots, chopped
2 Stalks Celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 Cups vegetable broth
2 Cups Pasta, I used rings but any small pasta will do
3 Tbsp fresh dill
12 ounces fresh spinach
1. Start by making your seitan. Combine the dry ingredients thoroughly in a medium bowl. Add 1 Cup of the broth and the soy sauce and knead for a minute or 2. Break into small pieces into a sauce pot, add the remaining broth, and simmer for about 20 minutes.
2. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed stock pot. Add the celery, carrots, onions and garlic and saute for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft and aromatic.
3. Add the broth, seitan, and remaining broth from the seitan pot and let simmer for 10 minutes or so.
4. Once the seitan is the desired texture, bring to a boil and add the pasta. Cooking time will vary depending on the pasta that you use, but let it go until it is just underdone.
5. Finally, add the spinach and dill, cover and let the spinach wilt for a couple of minutes.
6. When spinach is just wilted, spoon into bowls and enjoy!