Delicious and comforting, this vegetarian "Chicken-less" Noodle Soup, loaded with fresh chunky vegetables, is one of my favorite make-ahead, grab-and-go lunches -- especially when there is a chill in the air. And the substitution of fresh turnips for potatoes in this pretty basic soup recipe not only intensifies the flavor, but it raises the already high nutrition value while lowering the calorie count, making it an excellent light yet savory lunch choice. —Mandy Bora
Whole wheat noodles (eggless)
Vegetable broth (I prefer Manischewitz)
Italian flat-leaf parsley
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
Bring about 2 cups of water to a boil and cook the noodles al dente, according to package directions. Then rinse them in cool water and set them aside. Since the noodles will soften more when added to the soup, it is best not to cook them too much at the outset.
While the noodles are cooking, wash, trim and slice the leek into bite-sized chunks, including some of the tender greens; peel and slice the carrots into nice bite-sized chunks; peel and slice the turnip into thin wedges (just as you might a potato); and cut the mushrooms into bite-sized chunks. (Because I love vegetables so much, I cut them into rather large chunks that I can bite into and really taste and savor. Tiny vegetables just get lost.)
Next, sauté the leek and carrot slices in just a bit of olive oil (about a tablespoon) over medium heat for about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently to make sure the leek does not brown. Then add in the turnip and mushroom slices and saute for a few more minutes.
Add the vegetable broth and the cooked noodles to the pot, and stir everything together. Bring the soup to a boil, and then let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. It is done cooking when the carrot and turnip slices are "just" tender.
Season the soup with salt, pepper, and a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice, and garnish each serving with some chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley and a thin wedge or lemon.