As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. One of the great comfort foods that we all know and love is mom’s homemade chicken soup when we’re sick, or even just when we need that extra level of comfort. For any vegans that are worried about not getting to have chicken soup anymore, don’t worry: my mom found a way to make it vegan and this is her recipe!
Basically, it’s as simple as replacing the chicken with tofu, but in a specific way. The main value of the soup is in the vegetables (did you know that celery is a mild steroid?), and the chicken/tofu is mainly just to provide protein. In fact, tofu provides over 4 times as much iron as chicken, and iron has been shown to help boost the immune system so this swap may even be making the vegan version of this classic recipe even healthier than the original!
I might be biased, but I think my mom’s chicken soup recipe is one of the healthiest versions of this soup. If you’re looking for the real deal – a true get well soup full of wholesome goodness – that’s what my mom makes. She has made the vegan version of this soup many times now and it’s such a relief on cold winter days. Check out her recipe below, and I hope you get well soup!
Get Well Soup
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 1/2 celery bunch (with leaves)
- 1/2 bag of carrots
- 2 potatoes
- black pepper
- extra firm tofu
- small pasta (orzo, acini de pepe, etc.)
- Clean the vegetables
- Place all vegetables in a large pot of water
- Top with a generous amount of parsley and black pepper
- Add a small sprinkle of salt
- Simmer (medium heat) for 1 hour
- Cook the pasta separately
- Slice the tofu and bake it on an ungreased pan for 20 minutes at 400°F, flipping halfway.
- When all parts are ready (soup, pasta & tofu), add to a bowl to serve.
- It's important to not add the tofu to the soup until you're ready to serve as the tofu will absorb the moisture of the soup and lose its consistency.
- Can be topped with non-dairy parmesan if desired.
Why the Soup May Help
- Celery is a mild natural steroid.
- Carrots are packed with vitamins (A, K, lots of B vitamins, potassium, manganese, etc.).
- Onions have sulphur, which is antimicrobial (helps fight bacteria & viruses).
- Potatoes are high in vitamin C, which may boost the immune system.
- Parsley is also packed with vitamins & may boost the immune system.
- Black pepper helps all these nutrients absorb (and one study showed it also can help fight bacteria and lower fever).
- The pasta & potatoes provide the energy (carbs and protein).
- Tofu adds even more protein and also iron (which may help boost the immune system as well).
- Plus, it’s soup! Hydration is key.
If you would like more information about the iron absorption differences between a vegan and non-vegan diet, check out our guide on The Essential Iron Information for Vegans.
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Thanks for visiting and if you get sick or just need some comfort, I hope you get well soup!
Thanks Mom! I love you!