Blooming in Winter

I just finished reading Estèe Lalonde’s book Bloom. In addition to tips on how to add a chic patina to any lifestyle, tussle with mental wellness, and find a comfortable capsule wardrobe, Lalonde finishes the book by sharing some of her favorite recipes— always a welcome addendum! I was deeply gratified to see some of them were already vegan, but the chicken noodle soup that features prominently was (obviously, perhaps) not.

Reading about how she and her partner share this meal and how cozy and loved it makes her feel reminded me of when Aaron and I first started dating in college. I would always make him this super spicy ramen whenever it was cold out and we wanted to spend a night in, which was often. I realized I hadn't made this soup since we went vegan, so I thought I would try it out!

Here is my veganized version:

1 medium onion
3-5 cloves garlic
2 TBS Fresh ginger
2 TBS Turmeric
2 TBS Paprika
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

1/4 cup Nutrional Yeast
2 Bay leaves
3-4 medium Carrots
1 cup Spinach
1 package Ramen or soba noodles
1 cup Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP)

Stuff an onion with about 4-5 cloves of garlic and coat the whole bundle in olive oil, black pepper, and coarse salt. Roast this baby in the oven for about 35 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. It should be a little soft when you take it out.

Either pulse the onion with the garlic and ginger in a food processor or dice them very fine. Mix with 2 tablespoons each of turmeric and paprika (I use smoked for a more earthy flavor).*

Simmer 2 TBS of stock on the stove with 3 cups of water. Once boiling, add all but a quarter cup of the stock to the TVP and let stand until rehydrated. Mix in Sriracha or cayenne to taste.

Add an additional 2 cups of water to the saucepan, mix in 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast and the bay leaves, and lower to a simmer for 15-30 minutes-- the longer, the better! Add thinly sliced carrots and noodles and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.

To serve, place a small handful of spinach in the bottom of the bowl and ladle the hot broth over the top. Then, add in the spicy TVP and sprinkle the fresh parsley or cilantro over each bowl just before serving. If I had one, I would normally garnish with a lime as well!

Let me know how it turns out and whether or not you have any suggestions! Once I finish my soup, I’m off to cull my wardrobe (à la Lalonde) and start my next read.

*You can freeze this mixture into ice cube trays and pull them out as needed for any dish that needs a boost. I treat it the way some cooks treat chicken stock, adding it to stir fries, soups, risotto, etc. whenever impulse strikes.


  1. Could you substitute kale for the spinach?


    1. Hi Devan! You could, but you wouldn't be able to cook it with the broth the same way. I'd tear it up a little and massage it with some salt until it turns dark green, then add the broth over the top! Otherwise you could just add it straight in with the noodles. <3 thanks for reading, my dear! I miss seeing you!


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