Recipe | Vegetarian Chicken Noodle Soup

Vegetarian Chicken Noodle Soup
Whenever the weather goes back and forth between cooler days and warm ones, I find myself getting sick. I don’t know what it is about this kind of temperature fluctuation that makes me sick–I guess my body is just a big ol’ wuss about everything? We’ve been getting that kind of weather lately, and like clockwork, I’ve started getting pressure in my sinuses and a near-constant sore throat. Obviously, there’s only one solution for my health woes: ice cream chicken noodle soup.

So how does one go about making vegetarian chicken noodle soup? Well, in the past, I’ve avoided this question entirely by purchasing Amy’s canned no-chicken noodle soup. But I really felt like homecooked soup this time. I adapted my recipe from Tyler Florence’s Chicken Noodle Soup, mostly because it was the first result when I Googled. (I’m so lazy, right? Normally I don’t do this, but for something like chicken noodle soup, I figured there really couldn’t be too many variations, right?) I thought about using seitan in place of the chicken, but went with tofu instead. By freezing the tofu first, it gives it a nice chewy texture–don’t skip this step! I also reduced the amount of noodles to cut calories a little. To replace the chicken broth, I used a chickenless chicken broth–you can find these at most natural food stores. (Oh, and if you want to make vegan chicken noodle soup, use noodles that aren’t made with eggs.)

Clearly tofu is not chicken, but the texture comes pretty close to the chicken bits in canned soup. (I guess that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement?) This might not be chicken noodle soup like your grandma makes it, but it’s pretty darn close.

Vegetarian Chicken Noodle Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 8

Vegetarian Chicken Noodle Soup

A vegetarian chicken noodle soup recipe adapted from a (non-vegetarian) recipe by Tyler Florence.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 medium carrots, sliced
  • 4 celery ribs, sliced
  • 8 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1-14 oz. package extra-firm tofu, frozen overnight, thawed, pressed for 30 minutes (I use the Tofu Xpress), and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 quarts no-chicken broth
  • 12 oz. dried wide egg noodles
  • 1/2 c. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme and bay leaf. Cook and stir for 3 minutes; add tofu. Cook for an additional 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened, but not browned.
  2. Add broth and bring to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, add egg noodles and simmer for 8 minutes. (The noodles will be slightly undercooked, but don't worry--they'll continue cooking after removed from heat. This way, the noodles won't be mushy.)
  3. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley before serving.

Notes

No-Chicken broth and bouillon cubes are sold at Whole Foods, natural grocery stores, and many supermarket chains. If you can't find either of these, you can use vegetable broth.

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Kiersten Frase

About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies. She loves cooking, trashy reality shows, and Hello Kitty. Kiersten also blogs about blogging at kierstenfrase.com.   Read more from Kiersten →

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Comments

  1. Beth says

    Love this soup so much – as does my 15 mo old. The only difference is I baked small tofu pieces in the toaster oven with garlic powder and a little soy sauce for about 15 mins at 375. adding the tofu pieces in at the very end. yum!

  2. Rottenham says

    I gave up meat voluntarily. I do not look for recipes that are “almost like meat.” If I wanted chicken, I would eat chicken. If I want tofu, I’ll eat tofu. This recipe would be just as good without the tofu.

    However, I would use LS chicken broth, as it is healthier and tastier.

    My 2 cents.

      • Natalie says

        I’ve made this soup several times, and it hits the spot, and sorry, Rottenham, but there ARE some voluntary vegetarians who crave comfort foods of their past at certain times, chicken soup while sick is one of them. And the last time I checked, tofu isn’t simply a meat replacement like mock meats. I like the inclusion of it in this soup to add protein, which helps a lot when you’re feeling down and achy. But to each their own — no need to be nasty about it. This is why carnivores think vegetarians are super judgmental mega douches. Kiersten, thank you for sharing your fantastic recipe. It has helped both veggies and meat-eaters in my family feel better.

        • Kiersten Frase says

          Yeah, in my years of blogging, I’ve learned that it’s impossible to make everyone happy! :) I don’t find myself craving meat, but I do find myself craving the comfort foods I ate when I was a kid, which is why I love doing vegetarian remake recipes. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe!

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