Nothing warms up the soul quite like chicken soup.
To be honest, I completely forgot about the existence of chicken soup, since I haven’t had this since I was a kid. However, thanks to a recommendation from one of our followers – Sandy – the idea of chicken soup re-emerged in my brain.
Via our contact page, Sandy let us know that her favorite childhood dish was “Mom’s Chicken Soup,” and while I’m not a mom nor do I eat chicken, I reckon I can whip up a mean soup that taste gosh darn similar to the original!
For starters, good homemade broth is essential. To give the broth the depth of umami flavor, as would normally be provided by chicken bones, we used sautéed shiitake mushrooms, which creates a full-bodied base to be built off of. Composing the rest of the broth make up is carrots, yellow onion, celery, crushed garlic, fresh thyme, black peppercorns, two dry bay leaves, and a few whole cloves for that little extra something. Then, at the end, a little bit of nutritional yeast is added to further enhance the savory qualities of this broth.
Tempeh plays substitute teacher in place of chicken, lending a meaty texture for the eater to sink his/her teeth into while sipping the luscious broth. And, as an optional add-in, shirataki spaghetti noodles (aka miracle noodles) can be added to transform this into chicken noodle soup, which is an upgrade that ups the nostalgic feels of this dish to a whole new level.
Thanks again for the recommendation Sandy! We hope you enjoy our variation of your favorite childhood dish half as much as you enjoy your mama’s.
If there’s a dish that you’ve always wanted to see veganized, submit it here and we’ll head into the lab to test how well we can transform the flavors of your adolescence into a flavorful & healthy recipe.
All the best,
Ryan & Kim
Heart warming vegan rendition of the childhood classic, chicken noodle soup.
- 12 cups of water
- 3 cups small shiitake mushrooms (about 45 mushrooms), cut in half*
- 1 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 bunch of celery, larger pieces cut on the bias & small pieces left whole
- 3 large carrots, cut in rounds
- 5 large cloves of garlic, smashed
- 10 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 tbsp tamari sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 5 whole cloves
- 2 dry bay leaves
- 12 oz tempeh, cut into desired shape
- 1/4 c nutritional yeast
- 2 packets (14 oz) rinsed & drained shirataki “miracle noodles” (optional)
- To a large soup pot over medium-high heat, add olive oil followed by mushrooms and tamari sauce. Sauté, stirring rarely, until the mushrooms are deeply browned on at least one side. 5-7 minutes.
- Add the water, along with the rest of the vegetables and spices, including salt.
- Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Then drop heat to low, cover with a lid, and simmer for an hour.
- Once the hour’s up, strain out veggies and spices from broth by carefully pouring the soup into a colander that’s rested above a large bowl or another large pot. You can use this new pot for the remaining cooking, or return the strained broth to the original pot. Don’t discard the veggies.
- Place broth back over high heat, stir in tempeh & nutritional yeast, and bring to a boil – uncovered – for 15 minutes.
- Add in miracle noodles at this time and boil for an additional 5 minutes. Taste broth and sprinkle in more salt if desired.
- Serve in large bowls with lots of broth, several pieces of tempeh, plenty of noodles (if you choose to add them), and some of the remaining veggies that you strained out in step 4.
*If you can’t find shiitake mushrooms, use crimini, oyster, baby bella, or portobello mushrooms; full-flavored, brown mushrooms work best in this dish.