Here is my meatless adaptation of the traditional chicken noodle soup using chickpeas rather of chicken. When I’m feeling under the weather or want some classic, comforting flavors, this soup is just what I want to eat.
This winter, it seems like everyone—including me—has contracted at least one cold. I’ve been a vegetarian for years, so I haven’t had chicken noodle soup in a long time.
I always wonder why I don’t have a recipe for a healing soup when I’m sick, but I don’t have the energy to research it. I eventually feel better and go on to tastier dishes. Thus it is.
I’m thrilled to share this recipe with you today because we were finally able to break the cycle. It’s the ideal dish to make for a friend who is ill, and it’s easy enough to put together even if you’re not feeling well.
Notes for Vegan Noodle Soup
A few months ago, I developed a winter cold and was miserable as I sniffled on the couch. My boyfriend was adamant about making me vegetable noodle soup. He improvised, as he usually does, and it worked out pretty nicely, just as his meals do. He’s a talented chef.
He substituted big servings of veggies, traditional egg noodles, and a surprising addition of curry powder for the chickpeas. It was understated but intriguing, cozy and warming all at once. I made sure to incorporate some in my chickpea version because I really enjoyed it.
I also included some turmeric, which is used in certain recipes for chicken noodle soup because it adds a golden yellow hue. You can see how this soup thought might not be such a strange idea after all as chickpeas are a staple in Indian cuisine and turmeric is one of the primary ingredients in curry powder.
However, if you’re unsure or need a very simple noodle soup for someone who is seriously ill, you can omit the curry powder.
For increased protein, fiber, and texture, I included chickpeas. Additionally, the phrase “chickpea noodle soup” has a cute plant-based ring to it. I believe you’ll really like this alternative to standard chicken noodle soup, whether you eat meat or not.
Also read: Ratatouille
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 cup thinly sliced celery (about 2 long stalks)
- 1 cup carrots, peeled and cut into thin rounds (2 medium or 4 small)
- ¼ teaspoon salt, more to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon curry powder (optional)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
- 8 ounces spiral pasta*
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus extra for garnish
- 2 quarts (8 cups/64 ounces) vegetable broth
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Warm the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the onion, celery, carrots and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are turning translucent and softening, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the turmeric and curry powder, if using, and stir constantly for about 30 seconds to wake up their flavors. Add the bay leaf, chickpeas, pasta, parsley and broth.
- Raise the heat to high and bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and continue simmering until the pasta is pleasantly tender, about 10 to 20 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and season generously with pepper. Add more salt, to taste, if necessary (I usually add another ¼ teaspoon). Serve while hot, with some extra parsley and pepper on top as garnish.
- Once cool, store the soup in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days.