Seitan Soup ““ Not as Blasphemous as it Sounds!

Ailanthus-altissimaVeg*29 Comments

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I know “seitan” has a totally inoffensive pronunciation, but in my household, it is always pronounced “say-tan.” Yep, just like El Diablo himself. I’d expect myself to grow out of thinking that calling texturized wheat gluten the same name as the Dark Lord (wait is that Satan or Voldemort? Or both?), but given my “advanced” age, I don’t know that there’s much more growing up I can do.

But the ability to chuckle about how sinful my food is and how far it has fallen and how its presence in my kitchen makes it a hell on earth is definitely not the best thing about having seitan sitting around. For starters, it has a really A+ texture. For seconders, it’s just fun to cook with. And for thirders, I like how it tastes. Have you ever had a pulled seitan sandwich? It’s the best veg* alternative to pulled pork and it’s just as messy. It is a BBQ party in your mouth (and, due to the messiness, on your hands, face, and shirt).

Today isn’t about BBQ, though: today is about soup! What’s better on a blustery winter’s day than a big old bowl of seitan noodle soup? Nothing, that’s what. Here’s how you can make that dream a reality in your home:

Take

  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 yellow onion (or a half if you don’t like onion as much as I do)
  • 3 carrots
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 package of seitan
  • 4 cups of broth
  • 1 box of noodles (your choice)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  •  Salt and pepper to taste

Then, chop up the celery, onion, and carrots into soup-sized pieces (I like them big, but not so big they can’t fit on a spoon). Heat them in a pan with the olive oil until the onion is nice and translucent. In a pot, get the broth, garlic, cooked veggies, herbs and spices, and seitan together. Let it simmer for a while. In the meantime, cook the pasta. Once the soup has been simmering for 20-30 minutes, add the pasta. Let it cook for another 5 or so, then turn off the heat and ladle.

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Ailanthus-altissimaSeitan Soup ““ Not as Blasphemous as it Sounds!

29 Comments on “Seitan Soup ““ Not as Blasphemous as it Sounds!”

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  1. Profile photo of freckle [M]
    freckle [M]

    This is the first time I hear/read about seitan. Maybe it has a different name in Dutch, of course, which would be a shame because “Wil jij een koppie Satan” (trsnl: Want a cuppa of Satan?) sounds worth the encounter.

  2. Profile photo of jen*
    jen*

    ok.  So I can’t help it.  Every time I read the word I am saying Say-tan in my head.  How do you say it correctly?  Sigh-tan?  See-tan?  See-tAHn?

    I tried this confounding-word-food in a sandwich once and it was a bit too salty, but the texture was cool.  I don’t see it in stores around here to buy though – only tofu.  However, I live in Podunk, so that may be why.  (When I tell people around her that I am a vegetarian, they stare.  And then ask – “so what do you eat?”)

  3. Profile photo of mxandb
    mxandb

    I’m sorry, I’ve been scrolling back and forth past this post ALL THE WHILE thinking it was about soap – like some sort of vegan soap.

    Now, I understand. And now I’m hungry…

    I wasn’t hungry when I was thinking it was soap…

    1. Profile photo of paperispatient
      paperispatient

      It may just be because I’m tired, but this is cracking me up! (I read a post on Tumblr last night thinking the person was talking about pens when they were really talking about pans, and I was briefly SO befuddled.)

  4. Profile photo of Caitlinface
    Caitlinface

    I’ve wanted to venture into seitan. Does anyone have a brand recommendation? I might make this soup to eat something meatlessly delicious and, won’t lie, to win points with the veg* mister.

  5. Profile photo of forestine
    forestine

    I wanted to like seitan, I really did.  It would be cheap if it was a thing I could have, so even though the texture was kind of gross, I made it a few times.  It seems to give me really horrible indigestion.  My dad’s gluten intolerant, so maybe I partially am(I eat bread, but don’t normally eat hunks of gluten like that).

    1. Profile photo of Ailanthus-altissima
      Ailanthus-altissima

      Yeah you basically sum up my feelings about tempeh. Everyone has their something, and my something is thinking that tempeh is terrible.

      But yes, I hope you tune in next week where I’ll probably not be talking about seitan again…unless I have a really funny story about trying to make it myself.

      1. Profile photo of Slay Beau
        Slay Beau

        I used to hate tempeh, too.  But for some reason I kept trying it and have come to appreciate it.  I won’t say I love it, but I cook with it regularly.  It’s just so easy cook badly or wrong.

        I council patience.  I use it now as a sausage substitute, in vegetarian crab cakes, in not-beef bourgignon, sloppy joes, stroganoff, and on and on.

         

  6. Profile photo of Slay Beau
    Slay Beau

    I can only get seitan in one place, and I hate it there.  I tried making my own and it was a disaster.  Ok, that’s unfair.  My sweet potato latkes were a disaster.  But my seitan was not good.  Ever make it?  That’s the article I wanna read next.

    1. Profile photo of Rachel
      Rachel

      Seitan is very tricky to make. I’ve made it a few times and it’s come out horrible and amazing. The more times I make it, the better it gets. The easiest to follow recipe that I’ve found is in Vegan with a Vengeance.

      If you let it cook too long, it gets spongy and inedible. If you make the pieces too big, the middles won’t have the right texture. You have to let it cook juuuuuust the right amount of time. The good thing is, when I’ve made it and it’s come out spongy, I can still shave it and use it to make BBQ sandwiches.

      The best thing about making it yourself is you can flavor it however you want. It absorbs the flavor of whatever you cook it in perfectly!

    2. Profile photo of Probiscidea
      Probiscidea

      I’ve made the poached version and the baked version. Liked both. Especially like making it myself because you can control the salt levels and other flavors.

      Poached: Totally agree, you have to form the pieces small enough to cook all the way through, and small enough so that when they puff up they still fit in the pan of water (they expand about 3x-4x), and you have to cook it the right amount of time. I don’t know, maybe I have low standards, but I’ve never made a batch that I wouldn’t eat. It’s fluffy and moist, not as chewy as a chicken breast, more like a light meat loaf in texture. I think you can saute the poached pieces and get a sort of crust effect; goes well with sauces on top. Recipe

      Baked: Much much much richer and chewier than poached seitan. A little goes a long way, in terms of density, texture, taste. After it’s baked, you can slice it kind of like ham or a steak or bacon, and it can be substituted in recipes that call for a dense hunk of chewy and flavorful meat. Recipe (note, don’t cook it too long or it gets too chewy) (also, that recipe makes a big horking loaf that will last for approximately one thousand recipes’ worth of meat substitute) (I bet it would be good ground, too)

  7. Profile photo of fun back in sin
    fun back in sin

    This sounds great!

    I always pronounce it “say-tan” as well, because of this time in college where my friends and I went to a restaurant famous for its fake meat. “What’s the chicken made out of?” my friend asked, and the waitress brightly responded, “oh, that’s say-tan!” There was a long pause from my friend, who was not a vegetarian and I suspect had never heard of seitan. He finally said, “I’ll have the pork.”

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