No Chicken Noddle Soup

Comforting, warming, and hearty soups are staples in my winter recipe collections. This No Chicken Noodle Soup is a plant-based alternative to Chicken Noodle Soup and became a staple in my kitchen in the winter of 2022. It’s packed with flavor, vegetables, and texture. It is customizable so you can add your favorite plant-based proteins of choice. Think of it as a Build-Your-Own soup!  No need for store-bought vegetable broth, in this variation you just blend up some of the veggies with water to create a flavorful broth with ingredients you are already using.  

Feel free to double this recipe! I love to have a big batch of it on-hand for quick go-to meals. From my experience, I didn’t find this recipe to be one that freezes and thaws the best. There is a lot of celery in this recipe, and when celery thaws- it’s a bit soggy. Everything else in the main portion of the soup freezes and thaws well, so if you plan to make this to freeze- you could try adding less celery initially (you will want some for the broth) and then add most of it when preparing the thawed soup. 

The 2022-2023 winter was a difficult season of life for me, and this No Chicken Noodle Soup became my go-to comfort soup to help nourish me through the hard days. In November 2022, our fur baby Sophie became very sick and passed away on November 20th. She was 15 years, 7 months, and 8 days old when she passed. It was a very difficult for me to lose her. I will always remember how much joy that girl brought me- even on the hardest of days. 

No Chicken Noodle Soup became my go-to comfort soup during this season of life. I knew once I started to feel better, I would add this recipe to my blog. No matter what season of life you are in, or even if it’s just an ordinary day- I hope this soup brings you comfort and nourishment you need too.

A few notes before you get started:

POTATOES: I typically just use russet potatoes for this. You can use any kind of potato you prefer. I have not tried this with sweet potatoes, but that will be on my list to test one day. When I do, I will be sure to update this blog with any notes. When prepping white fleshed potatoes (like russets),  I always remove any bad spots and any green under the peel.  To make it easier, sometimes I will just peel my potatoes completely.

NOODLES: I like to prepare my noodles on the side and then add them when serving. Many legume-based pastas do not hold up well when added to broth, especially if you plan to have it as leftovers.  My favorite brand to use is the Whole Foods legume-based pasta or the Tolerant brand noodles. I have also made this soup many times without adding any noodles, so feel free to skip the noodles too.

PROTEINS (CHICKPEAS/ TOFU): Since this is a No Chicken Noodle Soup, that means it’s a plant-based soup. So the proteins will come from—you guessed it–plants! My favorite plant-based proteins to use in this recipe are roasted chickpeas (they add a nice crunch), tofu (so many ways to prepare it-and each gives it’s own texture), and legume-based noodles. You can also use soy curls, for more of a chicken-like texture. You can prepare as many or as few of the protein add-ons as you like and then add them to the soup when you serve. It’s like a build-your-own soup!

BROTH: When we were first making this recipe, we used the No Chicken Broth sold at Whole Foods. It’s incredibly delicious, so feel free to use that in place of my suggestion to make your own. I love this version with a homemade broth because it uses ingredients you already will have in the soup, and miso for the salty flavor. While miso has sodium in it, it’s an honorary salt replacement due to the health benefits of miso. If using store-bought salt, you may want to skip the miso all together or it will be super salty. To cut down on the salty store-bought broth, you can mix half water, half broth too.


No Chicken Noodle Soup

Kristina DeMuth, MPH, RD, LD
A Comforting, warming, and hearty soup that is bound to become a staple in your winter meal routine. It's packed with flavor, vegetables, and texture. This No Chicken Soup is a plant-based alternative to the classic Chicken Noodle Soup. It is customizable so you can add your favorite plant-based proteins of choice. Think of it as a Build-Your-Own soup! 
Servings 4


Soup Base

  • 5-6 cups water, divided (or more as needed)
  • 1 large onion, chopped 
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoons minced garlic)
  • 3 cups diced celery (about 12 ribs)
  • 2 cups diced carrots (about 3-4 large carrots) 
  • 3-4 cups diced potato (about 4 small-medium russet potatoes)
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • ½-1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried sage 
  • ¼- ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ cup white miso paste 
  • black pepper, to taste
  • cayenne, to taste (optional)
  • fresh parsley, to taste (optional)

Additional Add-ins

  • 8 oz legume-based or whole grain pasta
  • 1-2 (14-16 oz) package(s) of organic firm or extra firm tofu, cubed
  • 1-2 (15 oz) can(s) chickpeas, drained and rinsed


For the Soup Base

  • In a large pot, add ⅓ cup water and bring to a simmer. Add the chopped onion, garlic, and celery. Sauté for a few minutes until the vegetables start to soften. Add the carrots and potatoes, and continue to cook. 
  • Add the thyme, parsley, turmeric, sage, and paprika. Stir well. Add any additional water, as needed, to keep the vegetables from sticking. Start with 1-2 tablespoons of water at a time. Simmer the veggies until soft, about 10 minutes. 
  • In a high speed blender, combine 2 cups of the vegetable mixture, with the miso, and 5 cups water. Blend the broth until smooth and then pour back into pot with the remaining vegetables.
  • Add any additional water, as desired, for thinning. Bring the soup to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook on low for 15-20 minutes, or until the vegetables reach desired texture. Add black pepper, cayenne, and fresh parsley to taste.

For the Noodles

  • Prepare the noodles following the instructions on the package. If using whole grain noodles, feel free to add into the soup directly. Legume-based noodles will hold up best being added when serving the soup.

For the Tofu

  • If using tofu, add it directly to the soup as is or roast/ air fry the tofu for added texture.
  • To air fry, add the tofu to the air fryer basket or tray and air fryer for 15-20 minutes, adding more time as needed until desired texture is reached.
  • To roast in the oven, add the tofu to a lined baking sheet and roast at 425F for about 30 minutes (flipping 1/2 way through), or cook until reaches desired texture.
  • The roasted tofu can be added to the soup right when serving or it can be added when boiling the soup at the end. The tofu will change textures depending when it's add to the soup, so feel free to play around with this step.

For the Chickpeas

  • If using chickpeas, add the cooked chickpeas directly to the soup as is or roast them for a crunchy topping.
  • To roast the chickpeas, either add them to an air fryer basket or place them on a lined baking sheet. Roast at 425F for 20-30 minutes, or until crunchy. Air fry for about 20 minutes, or until reaches desired texture. To avoid burning, check the chickpeas at about 10-15 minutes and stir around.

To Serve

  • In a bowl, add your soup as the base top with the added-in ingredients of choice. Serve topped with avocado, if desired. Enjoy!