As food prices soar, my commitment to Meatless Mondays looks smarter than ever. I took the pledge to eat no meat on Mondays about a year ago because I’m concerned about meat’s huge impacts on the environment and my family's health. The meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that accelerate climate change, according to the United Nations, and a single pound of beef requires 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water. All of that matters, but the bottom line is top of mind for me this week as my food budget gets squeezed. An organic chicken to make soup would put me over the top this week—but organic veggies are manageable—so tonight I’m making Tanya Carwyn’s excellent Faux Chicken Soup from the Natural Home archives. We’ll never miss the chicken.
Faux Chicken Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 potato, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 to 5 cups vegetable stock
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
1. Heat oil or butter in a large saucepan or cast iron pot. Add onion and sauté over medium heat until golden.
2. Add celery and carrot and sauté for 5 more minutes.
3. Add broth, potato, garlic, thyme and bay and bring to a simmer. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
4. Remove bay leaves. Season well and serve hot.
Faux chicken soup is easy to make and tastes great with a grilled cheese sandwich. Photo by Joe Lavine