Vegetarian Chicken Noodle Soup

February 18, 2018

This simple vegetarian version of a chicken noodle soup has become of my favorite Instant creations. The broth is super simple but gives you the comforting feeling of what I imagine drinking warm, liquid butter would be like. I spice it up with white pepper and add a healthy squeeze of lemon juice to round it out. The recipe is below and based on this stovetop recipe from 101 Cookbooks (which also has a ton of great Instapot recipes).

Vegetarian Chicken Noodle Soup


  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped or smashed
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper powder
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and quartered into 1 inch chunks
  • 8 cups water
  • Salt to taste
  • 8 ounces pasta
  • 1/2 package tofu, cubed into 1/4 inch pieces


  1. Put the Instapot on sautee mode and add about 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil.
  2. Add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic to the Instapot. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add turmeric, oregano, bay leaves, white pepper powder and nutritional yeast. Mix well and cook for another 3-4 more minutes.
  4. Add the potatoes and water.
  5. Close and seal the pot on MANUAL for 5 minutes. Quick release and open the pressure cooker carefully.
  6. Stir in salt to taste and lemon juice.
  7. Separately cook the pasta on the stovetop until al dente. Add to the finished soup.
  8. Place the tofu on aluminum foil and sprinkle with olive oil. Bake in toaster oven for 5 minutes until golden. Add to the finished soup.


Recipe can be found here.

Being different when I was a kid growing up in the South was not, it felt, a thing to be celebrated. And showcasing your differences felt like an even worse idea. It was bound to be met with teasing and exclusion.

So when one of Surya’s 2nd grade classmate’s moms asked if I wanted to read a Diwali book to Surya’s class, I hesitatingly said yes. When she asked if I wanted to make Diwali treats for Surya’s class, I started to get a little nervous. When she asked if I wanted to wear Indian clothes to the school, I started to have flashbacks to elementary school.

Like cold sweat, sour stomach flashbacks.

Then I realized whatever I made was going to need to be vegan. gluten-free. and nut free. And like that my fears were distracted by the challenge.

The morning of Diwali, I was going to carry my Indian salwar to work to change before heading to school. But the idea of schlepping an extra set of clothes along with Diwali snacks on the PATH train was making me drag my feet. I decided to just wear my salwar on the train and straight to work.

Not a single head turned. No one. really. noticed.

A few colleagues complimented my salwar. Turns out jutis are comfortable to commute in on mass transit.

I was in for even more pleasant welcome at Surya’s school. The kids were excited to learn about Diwali and its meaning. They wanted to see the photos of divas. They wanted an up close look at my bindi. They wanted to touch my dress.

And they inhaled these Coconut Ladoos. And asked for seconds. Thanks to Vegan Richa for the gluten free, nut free, vegan dessert.

The inclusiveness of our culture and celebration of our differences gave me much hope for the future.

Note: I used Bob’s Red Mill Chickpea Flour instead of an Indian brand Chickpea Flour known as Besan because most Besan did to state it was gluten-safe.


Crunchy Zucchini Koftas

April 14, 2017

Crunchy on the outside. Melty on the inside. Light all around. That’s the best description for these zucchini koftas.

This is an oldy but goody from May 2011. The last time I made these, we dunked them in a zaatar sumac spiked yogurt dip. This time around, they disappeared so quickly from the counter that there was no time or need for a sauce.

You can find the recipe and original post here.


Blizzard Recipe Roundup

My first thought when I heard of the impending blizzard bearing down upon the Northeast was to consider what I would cook. Not in a practical what-will-I-cook-that-can-sustain-a-loss-of-electricity way. More in a what-deliciousness-can-I-make-then-curl-up-on-my-sofa-and-eat way. My plans for tomorrow include making a creamy, crunchy mac n cheese. Here are some of my favorite recipes that might warm […]

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Toasted Coconut Lentils


Because I get excited about odd things, I have been spending a lot of time thinking about this salty, nutty mixture of coconut, crunchy spices, little nuggets of garlic and strands of spicy ginger. Simple ways to create comfort food with that perfect balance of salt and spice and nutty-hug-yourself goodness. It’s one of my favorite […]

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Fall Frittata with Crispy Potatoes and Soy Chorizo


In New York, Fall is here and gone before we even realize the weather has changed. Mornings with a hint of sunny heat and just right breeze get away from us faster than we’d like. Frittatas stretch those mornings a little longer. Fast to make. Ready to take on whatever’s in the refrigerator. Delicious to […]

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Kale Sprouts with Spices and Lemon


Kale and Brussels Sprouts. Kale Sprouts. What miracle of heaven occurred to bring two of my favorite vegetables together? I don’t want to know. I just want to eat as many of them as possible as quickly as possible. There could be worse things…I think (see above that I don’t want to know how this […]

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Mason Jar Lunch – Lentil Rice, Peas and Yogurt


Lentils, tender green peas and rice with tempered spices tucked into a mason jar. The jar appears precious and hipster but is actually totally practical – a perfect fit for a woman’s work bag.

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