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Vegetarian Chicken Noodle Soup

Vegetarian Chicken Noodle Soup

 

Whenever the weather goes back and forth between cooler days and warm ones, do you ever find yourself getting sick? There’s something about this kind of temperature fluctuation that makes people  sick. We’ve been getting that kind of weather lately, and what can we do? Obviously, there’s only one solution: chicken noodle soup.

So how does one go about making vegetarian chicken noodle soup? Well, in the past, We’ve avoided this question entirely by purchasing Amy’s canned no-chicken noodle soup. But that is cheating, and really nothing beats a homecooked soup. We adapted my recipe from Tyler Florence’s Chicken Noodle Soup,  because it is awesome. We 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! We also reduced the amount of noodles to cut calories a little. To replace the chicken broth, we 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.  This might not be chicken noodle soup like your grandma makes it, but it’s pretty darn close.

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Vegetarian Chicken Noodle Soup

Vegetarian Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

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

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8

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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79 Comments

  • Reply
    Liz @ ANIAN
    December 13, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    I’m going to try it but without the tofu!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      December 13, 2011 at 8:55 pm

      Ha! I knew that this recipe wouldn’t be popular with meat-eating readers, but these are the ones I always get search engine traffic for! It’s a trade-off. 🙂

  • Reply
    BKWilliams
    December 13, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Looks good, but when anyone in our family is sick we go by the Chinese restaurant and grab a quart of EGG DROP SOUP to go. It will cure nearly anything!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      December 13, 2011 at 8:53 pm

      Ooh, I haven’t had that in a really long time! I should figure out a way to make it. 🙂

  • Reply
    Jo
    December 13, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Looks delicious. Would love for you to share your pictures with us over at foodepix.com.

  • Reply
    Toni @ A Daily Dose
    December 14, 2011 at 6:42 am

    I am a meat eater but I do love me some tofu, the kids probably won’t eat it but I may have to make it for myself!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      December 15, 2011 at 2:56 pm

      It’s funny, even though I’m a vegetarian, I’m not a big tofu eater. It’s really good in this soup though! 🙂

  • Reply
    Kelly
    December 14, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Yum, that looks so good! And that picture is beautiful!

  • Reply
    Audrey
    December 14, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    We go to a chinese restaurant where we get soy beef and broccoli. It’s the best thing ever. When we have friends try it, they can’t believe it’s vegetarian.

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      December 15, 2011 at 2:50 pm

      Oh, I’m jealous! Back when we lived in Illinois, we moved to a town with a vegetarian Chinese restaurant & we were so psyched to try it and then we found out that it closed the week before we moved there. We still have yet to find another one. 🙁

  • Reply
    ElfRenee
    December 14, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Sounds perfect for a cold day!

  • Reply
    Virginia
    December 15, 2011 at 12:15 am

    There is just something about chicken noodle soup that makes you feel better when ill!

  • Reply
    Julie
    December 16, 2011 at 10:25 am

    I’m sick too. I’m functioning on massive doses of Dayquil today! Its so annoying. I always get sick around this time of the year which causes the days before Christmas to be a mad rush! This soup looks wonderful! I’m sticking my husband on it to make for dinner tonight!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      December 17, 2011 at 5:22 pm

      I hope it turned out well if you made it. I’m making more soup for myself this week. I am still sick–I don’t know if it’s a cold or some allergy/sinus deal. Ugh! I hope you feel better soon–at least in time for Christmas!

  • Reply
    Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family
    January 7, 2012 at 9:25 am

    I am part of a cooking challenge and we had to find a chicken noodle soup, from a fellow blogger, and make it. I chose yours because I don’t eat meat.
    This is really a wonderful recipe and I just wanted you to know my pictures of your creation will be up Noon today (EST).
    Hope you have a great Saturday!

  • Reply
    MegSmith @ Cooking.In.College
    January 29, 2012 at 1:47 am

    I love tofu and have always wanted to make a veggie version of chicken noodle soup. This is right up my alley, perfect for the next time I get sick. Thank you!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      January 29, 2012 at 6:13 pm

      Thank you! This is definitely good comfort food for when you’re under the weather. And it freezes pretty well, so you can keep it in your freezer just in case. 🙂

  • Reply
    Carolyn
    March 27, 2012 at 12:07 am

    Am making veggie chikin noodle soup as I type! I have not done the frozen tofu trick for my version, rather I’ve been using Trader Joe’s vegan chicken strips, which are not too pricey if you have a TJ’s near you. I’ve also used homemade seitan chunks for soups and they work out dandy. However, frozen and thawed tofu is one of my favorite things for stir fries, and I think I just might try your version the next time I do chikin noodle soup!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      March 27, 2012 at 10:33 am

      I thought about using seitan too, but I can’t buy it locally (have to drive 40 minutes to get it!) and I’m too lazy to make it myself. 🙂

  • Reply
    EB
    August 4, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Try this instead of tofu.

    http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51B75VF21HL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      August 6, 2012 at 6:22 pm

      A chicken substitute would definitely work too, but I don’t like meat subs which is why I used tofu.

  • Reply
    Sandy Sweeney
    August 26, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    I have my annual summer cold and wanted a “chikn noodle soup”. This did the trick! The only change I made was after I cubed my thawed/frozen tofu, I dry fried it with Cajun seasonings in a cast iron skillet. I’ve found that a dry fry before using in soup helps the tofu have more body and hold up better.

    Thanks for the great recipe, I feel it’s curing me already 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      August 26, 2012 at 8:34 pm

      Oh, those annual summer colds are the best, aren’t they?! ;( I get them too. I’m glad the soup helped–thanks for the idea to fry the tofu too!

  • Reply
    Megan
    October 17, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Do you think it would affect the tofu even more if I froze the soup? I’d be the only one eating it, lol. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      October 17, 2012 at 2:54 pm

      Nope, this soup freezes well! In fact, that’s what I had for lunch today. 🙂

      • Reply
        Megan
        October 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm

        Yay! Thanks! Off to grab some tofu!

        • Reply
          Louis Green
          January 3, 2013 at 10:01 pm

          What if you do not press the tofu ? I just nort wild about buying a tofu press for one reciepe. Also after you freeze the tofu then it is being boiled in the soup how does it stay firm ?

          • Kiersten
            January 4, 2013 at 5:24 pm

            You don’t need a tofu press to press tofu–I use one, but it’s also possible to press it between two plates with the bottom plate lined with paper towels to absorb the liquid. You can put a few cans, bags of beans, or something else on the top plate to weigh it down a little. Pressing the tofu helps it to absorb the flavor of the broth. I make soup with tofu all the time and it always retains its texture.

  • Reply
    sharon
    November 29, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    am clearing a bunch of stuff with cold like symptoms …just made the soup it is delicious. I used what I had in the fridge. No celery or tofu so I added an extra onions and a red potato and extra parsley..it is wonderful…thanks..

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 30, 2012 at 2:22 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! It’s definitely perfect for when you’ve got a cold. 🙂 I hope you feel better soon!

  • Reply
    Leah Ellis
    January 5, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Made this for a Saturday lunch. It was great! I fried the tofu in canola oil first, & used a fresh fettuccine pasta, which I cut into bite-size peices for my children. Yummy!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 7, 2013 at 3:06 pm

      I’m glad you and your family enjoyed it–thanks for letting me know! 😀

  • Reply
    Jen
    January 14, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Make sure you substitute no-egg noddles, otherwise this is NOT vegan.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 15, 2013 at 11:17 am

      That’s why this soup is called Vegetarian Chicken Noodle Soup–it’s not vegan. 🙂

  • Reply
    Kathy
    January 29, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Thank You so much for this recipe! I am Vegetarian but don’t eat alot of Tofu but this recipe is perfect! We have made this at least 4 times since discovering it a few months ago, SO Good! Even the Non-Vegetarians in the house eat it. 🙂 Thanks Again!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 30, 2013 at 1:37 pm

      Yay, I’m glad to hear it’s a hit! 😀

  • Reply
    Tracy
    February 2, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Thank you so much for this recipe. It looks delicious! My teen daughter is a vegetarian and says the only thing she misses is chicken noodle soup, especially when she is sick. I will make this tomorrow. I can’t wait to try some of your other recipes, too. Our whole family goes meatless at least a few times a week.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 2, 2013 at 4:07 pm

      I hope your daughter likes it! It’s one of my favorite soups–I always make a big batch whenever I’m sick. 🙂

  • Reply
    Cherri
    February 7, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    I just made this and it was wonderful. I adjusted it a little using what I had, including 1 quart of Veggie Broth, which added a wonderful flavor. I didn’t have tofu and wanted to make it right away so didn’t want to wait to freeze and thaw it (although I plan to try it in the future) so I used 1 cup of TVP instead and it was wonderful in the soup. Threw in some rice noodles (I’m vegan) and also some alphabet noodles. Was so yummy! Thank you for this recipe!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 8, 2013 at 10:56 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed it–thanks for your comment! 🙂

  • Reply
    Lindsey
    October 14, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    I was sick and searched for a vegetarian chicken noodle soup. I’m so glad I picked this one. I made it without tofu because I didn’t have any around the house and subbed angel hair pasta for the egg noodles b/c that’s what I had. I added some avocado after it cooked and the whole thing was delicious. It will definitely go into my regular rotation. Thank you!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      October 16, 2013 at 2:03 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! I hope you feel better too. 🙂

  • Reply
    Brandi
    October 24, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    I just made this and it was absolutely amazing! Instead of tofu I used a chicken substitute I found at whole foods by a company called beyond meat which gave the soup a liquid smoked flavor. Five stars from me!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      October 27, 2013 at 7:20 pm

      I haven’t tried that chicken sub before, but I’m glad it worked out! 🙂

  • Reply
    Amber
    December 9, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Made this using Quorn tenders instead of tofu & it amazing!! Added some Tabasco too.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      December 10, 2013 at 9:31 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  • Reply
    Caroline
    December 12, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Hi Kiersten,
    Thank you so much for your recipe. It looks very yummy…. 🙂
    I have a question. Might be a naive one, but oh well…. Why does the tofu need to be frozen and then thawed?
    Can’t wait to try it!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      December 12, 2013 at 8:57 pm

      You don’t have to do that step, but I like it because it gives the tofu a chewier texture. 🙂

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