Here’s my meatless version of classic chicken noodle soup, made with chickpeas instead of chicken! This soup is exactly what I want to eat when I’m feeling under the weather or craving some familiar, comfort food flavors.
It seems like everyone has caught at least one cold this winter season, me included. As a longtime vegetarian, I haven’t eaten chicken noodle soup in years.
Every time I get sick, I wonder why I don’t have a restorative soup recipe, but don’t have the energy to figure it out. Eventually, I get well again and move on to more exciting meals. So it goes.
We finally broke the cycle and I’m excited to share this recipe with you today. It’s the perfect meal to bring to your friend who isn’t feeling well, and it’s simple enough to pull together if you’re not feeling well yourself.
Vegan Noodle Soup Notes
I caught a winter cold a couple months ago and was feeling quite sorry for myself as I sniffled on the couch. My fella insisted on making me a vegetable noodle soup. He winged it, like he does, and it turned out really well, like his meals generally do. He’s a great cook.
His version didn’t include chickpeas, just a generous amount of vegetables, egg noodles (classic), and one surprise ingredient—curry powder. It was subtle, but interesting, warming and comforting at the same time. I loved it and made sure to include some in my chickpea version.
I also added some turmeric, which you will find in some chicken noodle soup recipes because it offers some golden yellow coloring. Turmeric is one of the main ingredients in curry powder and chickpeas are a staple in Indian cuisine, so you can see how this soup concept might not be so crazy idea after all.
That said, you can leave out the curry powder if you’re suspicious or need ultra-basic noodle soup for someone who’s really unwell.
I added chickpeas for some added protein, fiber and texture. Plus, “chickpea noodle soup” has a fun plant-based ring to it. Whether you’re a meatless eater or not, I think you’ll really enjoy this alternative to traditional chicken noodle soup.
Please let me know how you like this noodle soup recipe in the comments! I hope you it’s exactly what you need.
Chickpea Noodle SoupCourse: SoupsCuisine: vegan
This noodle soup is made with chickpeas instead of chicken! It’s the perfect meatless soup when you’re feeling ill or craving familiar comfort food flavors. Recipe yields 6 big bowls of soup.
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.
- *PASTA OPTIONS: I’ve used whole grain noodles (DeLallo fusilli) and gluten free noodles (see below) with success. Egg noodles are a classic choice. Orzo would also be nice.
- MAKE IT GLUTEN FREE: Substitute gluten-free noodles. I had good luck with Ancient Harvest rotini (a corn and quinoa blend).
- CHANGE IT UP: Omit the curry powder for more mild, traditional flavor—but it’s subtle as is. You could also substitute Great Northern beans for the chickpeas.