Cooking is always difficult for me when I’m sick. My appetite is almost non-existent, and I’m so fatigued I often can’t bring myself to walk to the microwave to re-heat some leftovers, much less cook a complete meal. Tonight, I found myself without leftovers or someone to cook me food (Mom? Boyfriend? Anyone?) so I grudgingly dragged myself to the kitchen to throw together something, anything, with some semblance of “healthy.”
Despite my commitment to meatless eating, I tend to want something like chicken noodle soup when I’m sick, so tofu noodle soup is this vegetarian’s cure for a sore throat and the sniffles. I can see why chicken noodle soup is the quitessential remedy for a cold. The chicken (or tofu, in this case) provides protein, the pasta some carbs for a quick boost of energy, and the vegetables essential vitamins and nutrients. The salty broth soothes a sore throat and the steam works as a natural de-congestant.
Tofu Noodle Soup
1 quart vegetable stock
1 block firm tofu
1 small red onion
1-2 stalks celery or bok choy
2-3 handfuls egg or rice noodles
(Clearly, you can see by my measurements I was just throwing stuff in a pot. I won’t judge if you do the same.)
1. Dice onions, carrots, and bok choy/celery. Cook on low heat in the bottom of a large stockpot with olive oil, salt, and pepper until fragrant. Add vegetable stock and bring to a simmer.
2. In a separate pot, cook your noodles. I only had spaghetti on hand, and noodles in chicken noodle tend to be short, so I broke them into shorter pieces before tossing them in the pot. (I may have apologized to my italian great-grandmother for breaking spaghetti beforehand…)
3. Dice tofu into cubes and add to the pot.
4. When the noodles are finished cooking, drain and rinse with cold water. Add to the pot.
5. Adjust the seasoning by adding more salt, pepper, or any other spices as needed. I kept it simple and added more salt, cracked black pepper, and garlic powder.
To feel (almost) human again, follow up this meal with some Neti pot action.