Poor Kid Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup

Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup
This Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup is hearty and flavorful. Tofu takes the place of chicken in this plant-based version of the beloved classic.

This Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup with Tofu is part of my Poor Kid Recipe Series.  Read more about the series here.

It’s officially spring.  But where I live, it’s still cold.  And rainy.

In fact, we’re experiencing a record rainy season.  So my family is still enjoying lots of soup for dinner. 

As of a few weeks ago, we added this vegan chicken noodle soup to our rotation.

Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup

Before I went plant-based, chicken noodle was never one of my favorite soups.  The chicken was such a prominent flavor, and it always seemed that, other than the noodles and a few carrots and celery slices floating around, the soup just didn’t have a whole lot going on.

I wanted my vegan chicken noodle soup recipe to be more filling and flavorful.  So, I added great northern beans and kale to the traditional noodles, carrots, and celery.  Italian seasoning [aff. link] and fresh rosemary add even more flavor.

And of course, there’s the tofu.  I substitute the chicken with my classic pan-fried tofu recipe.  Even after soaking in the soup broth overnight—this soup can feed a family of four over two nights—the tofu retains its texture and shape.  (Take a look at my method for cubing tofu here.)

Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup

Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup: a Poor Kid Recipe

This soup is everything I always wanted chicken noodle soup to be.  Even better, it’s fit for a poor kid, coming in at a price tag of approximately $12.00 for the entire pot of soup. 

That’s under $1 per bowl of soup.  (Read about my Poor Kid Recipe Series here.)

Keep warm these early days of spring, and make this soup for dinner tonight!

Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup

Soup Tips for Various Poor Kids

The 2 Tbsp flour in the recipe thickens the soup.  Make this soup gluten-free by substituting 2 Tbsp corn starch for the flour, and use gluten-free rotini.

For Fancy Poor Kids

I’ve included my simple recipe for mozzarella flatbreads on the recipe card below.  The soup stands alone without the flatbreads, but if you’re a fancy poor kid, make the flatbreads, too.

Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup

For Busy Poor Kids

This soup comes together in about 45 minutes, which is great for busy poor kids.  Even better, the recipe makes a ton of soup, and can easily feed a family of four over two nights.  45 minutes of work = 2 dinners.

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Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup
5 from 4 votes

Poor Kid Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup

This Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup is hearty and full of flavor. Tofu takes the place of chicken in this plant-based version of the beloved classic.
Prep Time8 mins
Cook Time42 mins
Total Time47 mins
Servings: 6
Print Recipe

Ingredients

For the tofu:

  • 1 15 oz block tofu, cubed (see photos here for my cubing method)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • Pinch of pepper

For the soup:

  • 4 cups veg broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 3 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced to ⅓ - ½ inch rounds
  • 1 cup celery, thinly sliced (about ⅓ inch)
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups rotini
  • 2-3 cups kale, roughly chopped or torn
  • 1 15 oz can bean great northern, don’t drain the beans
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • For the mozzarella flatbread:

6 flatbreads or pitas

  • 1 ½ - 2 cups mozzarella, freshly grated
  • Italian seasoning
  • Fleur de sel
  • Olive oil

Instructions

Fry the tofu

  • Cube the tofu into 36 cubes (see photos here for my cubing method).
  • Add the tofu, salt, garlic powder, onion salt, and 1 Tbsp olive oil to a nonstick skillet.
  • Cook/fry the tofu over medium-high heat for 15-20 minutes. Flip the tofu every 1-3 minutes to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • At the 12-15 minute mark, add the final 1 Tbsp of olive oil, and toss it into the tofu.
  • The tofu is done when each cube has browned and is slightly crisp. The pan will be mostly dry.

Cook the onion and garlic

  • While tofu cooks, add 2 Tbsp olive oil, the onion, garlic, and ½ tsp salt to large soup pot. Cook over medium-high for 4 minutes.
  • Add 1 Tbsp water to deglaze the pot, cook one more minute, then turn heat down to medium. Now add the carrots, celery, an additional Tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp rosemary, ½ tsp Italian seasoning, ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp garlic powder. Cook for 5 minutes.

Add the liquid

  • Now add the vegetable broth, water, 1 cup almond milk,, ½ tsp Italian seasoning, ½ tsp rosemary, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp turmeric. Cook over medium heat for two minutes.
  • While the soup cooks, add 2 Tbsp flour and 2 tsp of the soup to a small bowl with the remaining 1 cup almond milk. Whisk until everything is incorporated and there are very few lumps. Add the mixture to the soup pot, and stir until it’s incorporated.

Add the beans, rotini, tofu, and kale

  • Turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, add the beans, rotini, tofu, and 2-3 cup kale. Lower the heat to medium-low. Let the soup simmer for 8 minutes, then turn off the heat.
  • Let sit 10 min. Taste for salt and add 2 squeezes fresh lemon juice, or to taste.

Make the flatbreads

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Place the flatbreads on a standard-sized baking sheet. Sprinkle ⅓ cup-½ cup mozzarella over each flatbread.
  • Next sprinkle a little Italian seasoning and fleur de sel over the flatbreads. Last, lightly drizzle some olive oil over each flatbread.
  • Bake the flatbreads at 375 degrees for 10 minutes, until the mozzarella bubbles and is slightly browned.

Notes

This soup is vegan and vegetarian.
This soup is gluten-free if you use gluten-free pasta and substitute the flour with corn starch.
If the soup gets too thick as it sits, add an additional 1-2 cups water. Taste for salt, and add another scant 1/4 tsp sea salt, if needed.
© Copyright 2024 Vanguard of Hollywood

6 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    It’s still chilly here in the evenings, so a good bowl of soup is absolutely welcome. I love the addition of great northern beans here to bulk up this recipe! Homemade soup is always so easy, and it tastes SO much better than the cans from the store. Great recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    I’m realling loving the affordable recipes! It’s gloomy where I live too, so this has been a great soup to add in to my meal planning!

  3. 5 stars
    Spring, you say? We had snow (luckily, only a few centimeters) last Friday and Saturday! :) I’m a huge fan of hearty soup with noodles, beans, and vegetables. But I never would have thought of adding tofu; it sounds intriguing! While I don’t mind chicken in my soup, I’d give tofu a try, too!

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