Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Chick’n Soup with Chard, Cannellini and Farro

Here’s a vegan version of a classic soup to warm the bones and soothe the soul. (photos from Deborah Brooks)

With the temperatures dropping and the world in crisis it seemed fitting to make a big kettle of comfort to warm the bones and soothe the soul, this week. Especially as I was going up to Solvang for my bi-annual women’s retreat and promised dinner for my dear friends, many of whom are going through personal tough times.

Growing up, the unwritten motto was: “When the going gets tough, the tough make chicken soup.” As I’ve stated in previous articles, recreating beloved foods, that have been traditions for generations, is the key to my role as a plant based recipe creator.

So, how does a vegan make a pot of chicken soup that will evoke the sights, smells and tastes of childhood using only plant-based ingredients? Simple. Use the right plant based ingredients. Daring Foods has created a vegan product very close to hen chicken that I’ve used in many recipes. It even shreds like chicken. I put it to the test with this soup and it came through beyond my expectations. Just ask my girlfriends, one of whom, stated, “this soup is so good I forgot to drink my wine with dinner.” Trust me, this woman never forgets to drink her wine with dinner.

Now, you’ll note from the cover photo, this is not a typical chicken soup in more ways than one. In addition to it being vegan, it’s chock full of stick to your ribs bits of comfort that my grandmother never used. Its actually way more bits than broth, which is how I like a soup to be. Farro is an ancient grain, that’s got a nice chew and adds texture. Cannellini beans are sweet and creamy and add a velvety quality to each bite. Swiss chard brightens the soup with its vibrant green color and mild, earthy taste. Finished with a good squeeze of lemon to intensify the flavors, this soup is ready to eat by a crackling fire, which is exactly what we women did. Nirvana in a bowl.

Chef’s Notes and Tips:

  • This recipe makes a big pot of soup and serves 10-12. Cut the recipe in half for a smaller pot of soup. Please note that this soup freezes well if you have a lot of leftovers.
  • This soup pairs well with a crisp side salad and warm bread
  • Daring Vegan Chicken Pieces is available in the freezer section of most markets. It must be cooked in a nonstick pan. While you can cook the Daring chicken frozen, I prefer to cook it thawed.
  • You can replace the chard with spinach or kale
  • Nutritional yeast adds an umami flavor to the vegetable broth. It’s chock full of B vitamins and is a great product to have in your pantry.
  • Making a bouquet garni is very simple. Tie the herbs together with string or silicon cooking bands. Don’t skip this step. It adds lots of fresh herb flavor.
  • Both the farro and the vegan chicken will absorb a lot of the broth. You can add more broth if you like a thinner soup and to reheat leftovers.
Fresh Herb Bouquet Garni

Chick’n, Chard, Cannellini and Farro Soup
Serves 10-12

Handful of Italian parsley
Several sprigs of fresh thyme
Handful of fresh dill
Olive oil
2 packages Daring Plant Based Chicken Pieces, thawed
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
2 cups sliced carrots
2 cups sliced celery
4-5 large cloves garlic, finely minced
12 cups vegetable stock
2 T nutritional yeast
2 cups uncooked faro
2 cans of cannellini beans drained and rinsed
1 large bunch of Swiss chard, stems removed and leaves chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
One lemon

You will need an 8-quart stockpot and a very large nonstick pan.

Wash and dry the fresh herbs and tie them up with string or silicon bands. Set aside.

Have all your veggies and garlic chopped, sliced, or minced as the recipe states and ready to add.

In the nonstick pan heat 2 T olive oil and sauté the Daring vegan chicken until lightly browned. Set aside. When cool enough to handle shred into bite-sized strips.

Meanwhile, in the large stockpot heat another 2 T olive oil over medium heat. When shimmering add the onion and sauté gently for 2- 3 minutes being careful not to brown the onions. Add the carrots and celery and sauté another 4 minutes or so until the veggies are starting to soften. Again do not brown the veggies.

Add the minced garlic stirring into the veggie mix. Cook for about a minute until fragrant. Do not brown the garlic.

Add the broth and bouquet garni and bring to a boil. Add the nutritional yeast and farro and stir up. Lower the heat to a rolling simmer and cover the pot. Simmer the farro for about 20 minutes until softened but a bit chewy. Stir up the soup to make sure no farro is sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Add the shredded vegan chicken and beans and heat through.

Add the chard and cook on a rolling simmer for 2-3 minutes until the chard is just softened but still bright green and the soup is hot.

Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

Squeeze the juice of half to one whole lemon according to taste. Stir it all up to combine all flavors.

Serve immediately

Refrigerate leftovers

Freezes well

Daring plant-based chicken, farro, and beans are the main ingredients for this recipe for Chick’n soup with chard, cannellini beans, and farro.

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Deborah Brooks
Deborah Brooks
Deborah is currently a documentary film producer. She is also a former certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition coach. The shutdown of business due to Covid-19 and the implication of an animal wet market connection caused her to rethink her high animal protein food lifestyle. She has spent the last year exploring the world of plant based eating for her own health as well as the health of the planet and all of its sentient beings. Her recipes can be found on Instagram. She would love you to follow along on her journey.

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