Vegetarian chicken noodle soup doesn't quite sound right, does it? Can you really have a chickenless chicken noodle soup? Or how about a vegan chicken noodle soup recipe?
These days, replicate almost any meat dish with the help of a little bit of tofu and carefully selected ingredients. No longer does your chicken recipe need require actual chicken! You can make an entirely vegan version of tofu noodle soup that tastes surprisingly similar to chicken when you master the flavours behind a vegan chicken broth!
In today's recipe, we take a look at how to prepare a soothing vegetarian chicken noodle soup with tofu.
Tips and FAQs for vegetarian chicken noodle soup
Have we convinced you of the delectable delights of our chickenless chicken noodle soup yet? It's outrageously savoury and surprisingly authentic, but with a few extra tips and tricks, you can make it even more irresistible for the taste buds.
We got with our top chefs for their best advice. Here are our most important tips for preparing vegetable tofu soup and a few answers to a few frequently asked questions we receive for this recipe.
How to make tofu taste like chicken?
That's the most important question of the recipe! For a chickenless chicken noodle soup, the trick is to manifest your tofu into 'chicken.' This can be a little challenging on its own, but here is how our chefs suggest you accomplish it.
The secret is in the marinade, and our secret ingredient is the tamari sauce. This sauce isn't necessarily a common cooking ingredient, but if you've never used tamari sauce before, you'll quickly see that it's a lot like soy sauce.
Tamari sauce is darker and not quite as salty as soy sauce, however. It gives the tofu a deep, almost meat-like flavour that complements the crispy fried texture the tofu takes on when frying it.
The longer you can leave your tofu to marinate in the tamari sauce, the more flavour the tofu is going to absorb. Of course, you'll never get the exact taste when it comes to chicken vs tofu, but you will get pretty close.
What tofu should I use for vegan chicken noodle soup?
Picking out the right texture of tofu can be tricky if you have no clue what you're looking for. There are several types of tofu available in most stores, and they are designated by their relative firmness or how soft they are. The most delicate tofu is known as silken tofu. After this comes soft, then firm, then extra firm tofu.
It's essential to use the extra firm tofu for this recipe to replicate the thick texture of chicken. Extra-firm tofu holds its shape together better in the broth, allowing you to create chicken-like tofu that doesn't fall apart and turn to mush, as you would get with silken tofu. Because it has so little moisture in it already, the extra-firm tofu also allows for more flavour to be absorbed into it while it marinates.
Do I need to press the tofu before cooking?
Tofu blocks contain a large quantity of liquid, and to get the best texture and taste for your chicken noodle soup without chicken, you need your tofu to be pressed.
Pressing the tofu squeezes out excess liquid, creating a more substantial texture that is better able to absorb the flavours around it. That's particularly important when you're marinating your tofu to taste like chicken. If it's too liquidy, it will taste bland and watery, especially so when you add it to a broth.
You can press tofu using paper towels and a chopping board, but it's much easier if you use a dedicated tofu press. With a tofu press, you'll get rid of more of the excess liquid, leaving you with much firmer tofu for your vegan chicken noodle soup.
Are noodles vegan?
We wanted to make sure that our recipe is entirely vegan, so we specifically listed vegan noodles on the ingredients. However, not all noodles are going to be vegan, so always double-check before purchasing them in the store.
Traditionally made noodles contain a high egg content, and most fresh noodles have eggs unless they explicitly say they are suitable for vegans. Dried noodles, on the other hand, are often made without egg, as this allows them to last longer without going off.
Most types of dried spaghetti noodles or other dried pasta noodles are most likely vegan friendly, even if they don't outright say it on the packet.
Can I reheat no chicken noodle soup later?
Store any leftovers away in the fridge in sealed containers for a few days without worrying about it. You can reheat the noodle soup over medium heat on the stovetop, just as when you cooked and simmered the broth originally. Make sure it's heated thoroughly before serving again.
Noodle soup doesn't save well in the freezer, however. The tofu loses its shape while the ingredients quickly lose their freshness. So, if you attempt to eat it after it's been frozen, you'll likely end up with a mushy, awkward-tasting mess. Try to finish off the leftovers rather than freezing them!
Is vegetarian chicken noodle soup healthy?
Our recipe contains around 400 calories per serving, although, of course, that always depends on the size of your serving. It's a low-calorie dish, but given the amount of tofu in the recipe, it's also high in protein. You can not only make your tofu taste like chicken, but you can rival the nutrients you're gaining too.
You'll benefit from the vegetables too, of course, while the noodles provide carbohydrates for energy. It's vegan comfort food, and you know that a big bowl of vegetarian chicken noodle soup is going to keep you feeling happy and healthy!
Create vegetarian chicken noodle soup at home
It sounds slightly crazy, but yes, chickenless chicken noodle soup is a winner! If you don't believe us, we dare you to try it for yourself!
With some pressed tofu, a little bit of vegan chicken soup broth, and plenty of time to simmer, you can create an authentic dish that has absolutely zero meat in it. Even if you're not convinced that it tastes identical to chicken, we're confident that you'll love the tastes and the flavours regardless.
So, why not add our vegan chicken noodle soup recipe to your recipe repertoire of tofu dishes?
Vegetarian "Chicken" Noodle Soup With Tofu
8 oz of extra firm tofu
1 tsp of olive oil
1 tbsp of tamari sauce
1 tbsp of nutritional yeast
1 tsp of olive oil
1 1/2 c of carrots, chopped
1 1/2 c of celery, chopped
1 c of onions, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp of thyme
1 tsp of parsley
1 bay leaf
6 c of vegan chicken broth
8 oz of vegan noodles
1 tbsp of lemon juice, freshly squeezed
Salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients for chicken flavoured tofu
Ingredients for soup broth
Directions for chicken flavoured tofu
To begin, press tofu blocksusing a tofu press or a cutting board to remove any excess liquid.
Slice the tofu blocks into small cubes.
Warm up a drizzle of oil at medium heat in a large skillet.
Place your tofu cubes into the oil and fry them until crisp. This should take around 5 minutes on each side.
When cooked, place your tofu into a mixing bowl and pour over the tamari sauce to evenly coat the cubes.
Follow the sauce with an even sprinkling of nutritional yeast.
Cover and allow to marinate while you prepare the broth for your noodle soup.
Directions for vegan noodle soup
Finely chop your carrots, celery, and onion, before mincing your cloves of garlic.
Pour a drizzle of oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Sautee your chopped vegetables in the pot until they are just starting to soften. (About 5 min.)
Add the bay leaf, alongside the rest of your herbs, followed by salt and pepper to taste.
Prepare the vegan chicken broth by dissolving it in hot water, then pour 6 cups into the pot.
Once the broth begins to boil, reduce the heat and add in your vegan noodles.
Allow the ingredients to simmer for 5 min, before adding in the marinated tofu (your vegan chicken).
Top the broth off with freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Allow your vegan chicken noodle soup to simmer until cooked thoroughly.
When you're happy with the consistency, it's time to serve your chickenless chicken noodle soup!