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I Eat Plants: Tofu Noodle Soup

It’s a nasty flu season around here. I should know: I’m getting over the flu right now [1].

Is there anyone here who hasn’t at some point associated being sick with eating chicken soup?

Canned, takeout or homemade, chicken soup is king for colds and flu for many people out there. But what on Earth do you do when you eat a plant-based diet?

Take care of yourself, and get plenty of rest and fluids, of course!

In the last week, I’ve been drinking a lot of orange-ginger juice (simply juice 2-3 oranges along with a 1-inch peeled slice of ginger), eating oranges, and going through the stash of apple sauce I made back in the fall. These are all things that take very little effort to make and eat or drink, which is crucial when you’re exhausted from being ill.


Apples for applesauce, orange-ginger juice and a sliced Cara Cara orange.

But you may feel up to eating a little something more substantial. You might be craving soup.

You do have options for vegan chicken noodle soup substitutes. Were you a fan of canned soup? Amy’s Kitchen [3] has you covered with their No Chicken Noodle Soup, available at most grocery stores.

Don’t feel like going to the grocery store? There are of course, grocery delivery services, like Fresh Direct [4] or Peapod [5], either one of which can provide you with the Amy’s soup, but the miso soup available from your favorite Asian-take out place will probably also fit the bill.

If you feel up to cooking or you have a friend or loved one who will cook for you, a nice tofu noodle soup [6] does fit the bill! If you prefer to avoid tofu, chickpeas are a great substitute- just skip frying them. Don’t like cabbage? Skip it- this recipe is pretty flexible.

I Eat Plants: Tofu Noodle Soup

I Eat Plants: Tofu Noodle Soup


  • 1/2 lb Firm or Extra Firm Tofu, drained and pressed; cubed
  • 1 Tbs peanut or canola oil
  • 2 Carrots, sliced
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 2-3 loosely-packed cups Napa Cabbage, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, lightly smashed but still whole
  • 1 1-in slice of ginger, peeled
  • 2 oz whole wheat spaghetti or other noodle
  • 3-4 cups vegetable broth [8] (add a little extra thyme for a more "chicken-y" flavor)
  • several drops Sesame oil


  1. Cook noodles according to package direction
  2. Heat oil in medium-sized pot. Add tofu and fry until golden; remove from pot. Add carrots and scallions, cooking very briefly (30 seconds or so).
  3. Add broth, ginger and garlic. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.
  4. Simmer 10 minutes or so. Add cabbage and tofu and simmer for a couple of minutes longer.
  5. Turn off heat, fish out the piece of garlic and ginger.
  6. Divide noodles between 2 bowls.
  7. Divide soup between the 2 bowls over the noodle.
  8. Float a few drops of Sesame oil over each bowl.
http://food.lohudblogs.com/2013/01/31/i-eat-plants-tofu-noodle-soup/ [9]

I hope that if you have the flu or another winter ailment, you feel better soon! And if not- stay healthy! And eat this soup anyway, because it’s quite good. 🙂

I Eat Plants columnist Jodie Deignan went vegetarian in 2004 and fully committed to veganism in 2007. By day she’s a psychiatric nurse practitioner and by night she spends a lot of time cooking delicious vegan food for herself and her friends. She’s a bit of a picky eater, with a special distaste for mushrooms, seaweed, raw tomatoes, and eggplant, though she’s discovered along the way she’s a little more open-minded than she once thought. She blogs at The Picky Vegan [10]. Follow her on Facebook [11], Twitter [12] and Pinterest [13].