I am sharing one of my go-to favorite soup recipes today. My Vegan Chicken Soup is the bowl I crave when I want something classic, simple, warming and nourishing. This soup feels very healing to me, not just because of the stereotype of “Mom’s healing chicken soup,” but really just because the ingredients are so pure and hearty, the spices so warming and peppery, and the broth so fantastically light and rich at the same time.
I have a similar recipe in my cookbook Healthy Happy Vegan Kitchen, but today I am sharing it with everyone! Just in time for the harsh late fall and winter months season when everyone needs a bit of an immunity boost. This soup contains garlic and onion and cayenne and optional turmeric.
Oh, and I was inspired to make and post this recipe because of a celebrity headline I recently read. Yes, celebrity headline. Ha. Go with me on this one! Plus, I am talking about the shifting dietary tides here in America, as we are swiftly moving plant-based from niche to mainstream…
This recipe is comfy, cozy like this… (ps. Sochi had his two-week checkup today and his mouth is healing great. Yay!)
Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup
This comforting recipe is perfect when you are not feeling well. Those veggies and this peppery broth is so soothing and hydrating. Plus the onion and garlic pack a wellness punch.
The Shift Towards Meatless…
If you told my 17 year-old, vegetarian, self that I would someday be reading the following headline in Fortune Magazine, I would have been completely stunned..
“Leonardo DiCaprio Is Investing in the Plant-Based Food Startup Beyond Meat”– Fortune
Why Less Meat (And More Plants) is a Great Idea.
We all know that Leo is passionate about climate change, well I am so happy that his foundation, as well as other major environmentalist organizations, are starting to acknowledge and speak to the correlation between animal products and the environmental damage being done to our planet.
“Livestock production is a major contributor to carbon emissions,” DiCaprio said in a statement. “Shifting from animal meat to the plant-based meats developed by Beyond Meat is one of the most powerful measures someone can take to reduce their impact on our climate.”
One of my favorite environmental + plant-based positive docs is Before the Flood, which is produced by and narrated by Leo. I loved it so much, that I did a post reviewing it and highlighting some of the startling facts and figures gives in the film. The cinematography is just gorgeous in its own tragic way.
Celebrities and Veganism. I know some vegans get annoyed when people obsess over “celebrities gone vegan,” and truth be told, who even knows for sure if Leo is vegan – or any of the “vegan celebs” we hear about so often, but I love any free positive PR veganism can get! And because of these dainty social signals and mainstream markers, we can see how we are all at a major turning point with the American diet. Amazon buying Whole Foods – WF is a hugely vegan-positive grocery store. And other huge companies buying out smaller plant-based companies (innovators in their market like Daiya and Sweet Earth Foods).
And now big investors (and some celebrities) hopping on the plant-based bandwagon. Seeing that this is truly the way the world is turning and in the future, all those folks who ‘got in early’ to the plant-based game will be winning financially.
Vegan is becoming a good investment.
And that isn’t because plant-based diets are a come-and-go trend. That is because they are an ever evolving, dominating component in the American diet. Vegan options becoming more plentiful and reaching into new corners of our country (and the globe!) We simply cannot keep up the “meat and dairy habit” that Americans and much of the world also has. We need to cut back. Scale down meat consumption. In our lifetime, there will always be meat and animal products, but as a generation, we can make a hugely positive impact simply by scaling back on meat. I preach it a lot here on my blog: progress and not perfection. Adding one, two, three vegan dinners to your week is a positive step. You can read more about my goals for this blog and the message I have shared for over ten years, on my about me page.
How do I Make Small Changes in my Diet?
Switcheroos! Easy switcheroos. The key to transitioning your recipes and your diet is to keep the same diet you love and add in plant-based substitutions. Then a bit down the line, you can add in mealtime upgrades like swapping the take-out burrito for a homemade vegan burrito bowl on some nights. Or only eating a few slices of pizza and adding in a huge entree salad.
There is pretty much a vegan version of everything these days. Seriously. Ice cream? SO easy. Milk? Easy. Yogurt? Easy. Meat? Not soooo easy, but getting even better for those who want ‘meat mimicking’ products.I love these chicken strips. And they are super versatile for things like soup, salads and even sandwiches.
And if you are curious about the conversation involving ‘fake meat’ products, read my vintage article: Fake Meat Products: Defeating or Defending the Point?
So that brings me to one of my favorite switcheroo recipes!….
Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup.
The funny thing about THIS generation we are living in today is that most vegan bloggers and recipe authors have actually tasted ‘the real things’ when it comes to recipes. There is going to be a whole new generation of veggie kids who have never even tasted meat! How crazy (awesome) is that? But me, I remember my mom making chicken soup for me when I wasn’t feeling well, or when it was cold out or just because. So when I craft my recipes, I really try to maintain the positive memories that we all have with certain recipes.
And for me, this soup is all about the broth! Rich and opaque, yet still light. Peppery and warming. I like to add enough ingredients so the broth gets this gorgeous complex, soothing flavor, yet the soup still stays brothy, not mushy.
The cool thing about Beyond Meat strips is that they can peel and shred just like real chicken. If you want that texture, it is possible.
Ingredients for Vegan Chicken Soup.
These ingredients are colorful and diverse in textures! I don’t like to over-simmer this soup. I really like the pasta to maintain its shape and the broth to be in great contrast to the chunky ingredients, while all having a rich and lovely flavor that mingles everything together: garlic, carrots, celery, potatoes, pasta, pepper, cayenne, parsley, nutritional yeast and a hint of olive oil and sea salt. Turmeric and smoky paprika are two spices that I love to add in, but are optional.
So if you are needing a big bowl of comfort food soup, let this be your recipe to try!
The Beyond Meat chicken works really well in this and adds a great boost of protein. But a few other options include:
- white beans
- cubed tofu, firm
- wild rice
- seitan or vegan sausage
And the best part about this recipe? It takes just about thirty minutes to whip up. The soup just needs about twenty good minutes to simmer, enough time to cook the pasta and soften the potatoes and carrots.
If you do not already have my cookbooks, now is a great time to snag one or both! MY smoothies book has smoothies that are delicious year-round. And Healthy Happy Vegan Kitchen contains loads of hearty vegan dinner recipes, and even a bunch of holiday-perfect recipes as well. Like my Gingerbread Bundt Cake with a vanilla bean glaze, and many more.
Vegan Chicken Soup
- 4 cups no-chicken broth, or vegetable broth
- 1-2 cups water, add to taste
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped – medium
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 large carrots, sliced into rounds
- 1 ¼ cups celery, chopped
- 1 ½ cups potato, chopped – any variety
- 1 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1 ½ cups pasta, any variety
- 1 cup Beyond Meat chicken-free grilled strips, or tofu
- ⅓ cup nutritional yeast
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- optional: turmeric and smoky paprika to taste
- Prep all your veggies.
- Add olive oil, garlic, onion, celery and bay leaf to a large soup pot. Saute for 3 minutes, just to soften and lightly brown the edges of the veggies.
- Add in the potato, carrots, parsley, vegan Beyond Meat or chicken alternative like beans, pasta, nutritional yeast, spices, broth and water (start with one cup of water and add more if needed.) Bring mixture to a boil, stirring a bit, then reduce heat to low or medium-low and cover with lid. Simmer for at least twenty minutes, enough time to at least cook the pasta and soften potatoes. The longer you simmer, the softer the ingredients will become and the more bold the flavors will become as well from the soup reducing a bit. Season your soup to taste. You might want to add more heat or more salt and pepper. I like a lot of black pepper in this soup, so I usually end up adding in more that ⅛ tsp.
- Serve warm with a garnish of parsley. Sometimes I like to add in vegan Parmesan cheese over top. I like to serve with sourdough toast, spread in hummus or vegan mayo. This soup is delicious the next day as well.
- soup pot
- nutritional info was calculated using tofu in place of the chickenless strips
nutrition estimate | per serving
And more Sochi photos because cozy cats pair so well with comfort soup!..
disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link for my cookbook.
BTW. This is not a sponsored Beyond Meat post. I just really love this product.