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.
A vegetarian chicken noodle soup recipe adapted from a (non-vegetarian) recipe by Tyler Florence.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.)
- Season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley before serving.
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.