The Best Tofu Noodle Soup

Today’s recipe is Tofu Noodle Soup. If you love tofu, you’ll love this recipe. If you don’t love tofu, don’t run away just yet! This soup will provide a satisfying hearty dish. 

Tofu noodle soup is a plant-based alternative to chicken noodle soup. It’s vegan and can easily be made gluten-free. It’s easy to make and full of flavor. | thislittleblogofmind.com

 

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The Base

The base of this soup is similar your typical chicken noodle soup. It contains onion, garlic, carrots, celery, parsley, and seasoning. Since this soup is plant-based it contains vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. This is made easy by the use of bouillon.

What’s bouillon, you might ask? Bouillon is the French word for broth. The word bouillon translates to “liquid which something has been boiled”. In the case of this soup, we are using vegetable bouillon. Vegetable bouillon is made by boiling vegetables in water until they are cooked down. The vegetables are then made into a paste that is then either sold as-is, or dehydrated and turned into cubes of bouillon. You can also make homemade vegetable broth but that’s a post for another day.

The brand Better Than Bouillon makes a “No-Chicken Base” that I have heard excellent things about. However, I do not use it and I’m not a huge fan of the ingredient list in it. But for those that are craving the flavor of a traditional chicken broth and want the benefits of sticking to a plant-based diet, it’s a great option.

The Tofu

If you have never cooked with tofu before then it might seem a bit daunting. But I’m here and below I guide you step by step. First, pick out a non-GMO tofu, ideally one that is organic. You also want to be sure you are using extra firm tofu, though firm would work as well. You do not want soft or silken tofu. 

Tofu has gotten a bit of a bad rap lately. There is an argument that too much soy is bad for us; though many researchers have conducted studies arguing against that. I do believe that we should be aware of how much soy we are consuming. Because of everything in moderation and partially due to the phytoestrogens produced by soy. That is why I read the labels on all processed foods. I challenge you to go in your kitchen and read ingredient labels on all of your processed foods. You may be shocked by how much soy you find. Most of the time that soy is GMO and not organic soy. It is also highly processed and typically in the form of oil or lecithin, neither which provide any type of health benefit.

Nutrition

On the other hand, tofu is somewhat a nutritional powerhouse. Tofu contains isoflavones which can help protect our bodies against some types of cancer, osteoporosis, and heart disease (it is proven to lower bad cholesterol).

One block of tofu contains:

Calories 177

Carbohydrate 5.36g

Fat 12.19g

Protein 15.57g

Calcium 421mg

Magnesium 65mg

Iron 3.35mg

Phosphorous 282mg

Potassium 178mg

Zinc 2mg

Folate 27mcg

Along with other b-vitamins (riboflavin, niacin, b-6), choline, manganese, and selenium.

So while there is research out there that states that consuming too much soy is bad for us; there is also plenty of research out there that proves otherwise. My personal opinion is that there is too much soy (mainly GMO and in the form of oil or lecithin) in processed foods.

Flavor

In this dish, the tofu is coated in coconut aminos and nutritional yeast after pan frying. You can use soy sauce or liquid aminos instead of coconut aminos, but I believe coconut aminos is superior to both soy sauce and liquid aminos.

Coconut Aminos v Liquid Aminos v Soy Sauce

Coconut aminos is made from the sap of a coconut tree and sea salt. It is naturally gluten-free, soy free, and low sodium. It does not contain any additives or preservatives.

Liquid Aminos, a product from Braggs, is produced from non-GMO soy. It is lower in sodium than soy sauce. However, it does contain additives and glutamate, otherwise known as MSG.

Soy sauce is (almost always) made from GMO soy. It has a very high sodium content; like liquid aminos, it contains additives and preservatives. Additionally, soy sauce usually contains wheat and does contain MSG.

Nutritional Yeast

If you’ve never heard of nutritional yeast it might sound a bit strange. If you’ve had nutritional yeast before though, then you probably are thinking “yum”!

Nutritional yeast, sometimes called nooch, is an organism, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It is grown on molasses. It provides a nutty, cheesy, umami type flavor to the foods it is added to. Nutritional yeast is gluten-free and vegan. It is also a great source of B vitamins.

Nutrition

One serving = 1/4 cup

Calories 60

Carbohydrate 5g

Fat 0.5g

Protein 8g

Calcium 6mg

Iron 1mg

Potassium 264mg

Thiamin 11.8mg

Riboflavin 9.7mg

Niacin 46mg

Vitamin B6 5.9mg

Folate 1828mcg

Vitamin B12 17.6mg

Tofu Noodle Soup

The Cast of Characters (aka Ingredients)

12 oz extra firm organic tofu

1.5 tbs coconut aminos

3 tbs nutritional yeast

1.5 tsp olive oil

2.5 cups chopped carrots

2 cups chopped celery

1.5 cups diced onion

3 cloves minced garlic

1.5 tsp dried parsley

9 cups water

3 tbs veggie bouillon – I’m partial to the low-sodium variety from this brand

12 oz pasta of your choice (choose a rice noodle for a gluten-free meal)

fresh ground black pepper to taste

The beginnings:

Tofu

First, we will get the tofu ready for our soup.

You need to drain/press the tofu to get out as much of the water as you can. I like to take the block out and place it between two clean dish towels and place a couple of books on top. I have heard a tofu press is the best way to do this. Though I would be more inclined to use something like this. Leave it pressed for a minimum of 30 minutes. One hour or more is ideal. 

Cut pressed tofu into 1/2 inch cubes.

Now it’s time to pan-fry the tofu. Drizzle a little olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, place the tofu in and get it brown on all sides (approximately 5 min per side). 

Place the cooked tofu in a bowl and toss with the coconut aminos and nutritional yeast. 

Set the tofu aside.

Soup

Get a heavy saucepan and drizzle some olive oil in it over medium-low heat. Place your diced onion, garlic, carrots, and celery in the pan. Sauté your vegetables until the onion turns translucent. Stir frequently, so as to not let anything burn.

Add your dried parsley once the vegetables are nicely sautéed.

Add your water and turn the heat up to high to get it boiling. Stir in the veggie bouillon. 

Once boiling, add in your noodles and cook until tender, follow package directions being careful to not overcook. 

Turn the heat off and add in the prepared tofu, making sure to scrape all of the extra nutritional yeast into the soup.

Stir and let the flavors meld together for about a minute before serving.

Enjoy! 

*TIPS*

Some grocery stores sell already pressed tofu. Using pre-pressed tofu will save you an hour plus of prep time.

If you anticipate leftovers you will want to store the noodles separate from the broth or the noodles will absorb the broth. To do this you have two options: you can either cook the noodles separately or use a slotted spoon to separate the noodles from the broth for storage. 

How Was It?

Did you make the soup? Do you regularly cook tofu or was this your first time? Don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll always have the latest updates and be the first to know about new posts!

Till next time…

~B

Tofu Noodle Soup

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy-moderate
  • Print

Ingredients:

12 oz extra firm organic tofu

1.5 tbs coconut aminos

3 tbs nutritional yeast

1.5 tsp olive oil

2.5 cups chopped carrots

2 cups chopped celery

1.5 cups diced onion

3 cloves minced garlic

1.5 tsp dried parsley

9 cups water

3 tbs veggie bouillon – I’m partial to this brand

12 oz pasta of your choice (choose a rice noodle for a gluten-free meal)

fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

Tofu

First, we will get the tofu ready for our soup.

You need to drain/press the tofu to get out as much of the water as you can. I like to take the block out and place it between two clean dish towels and place a couple of books on top. I have heard a tofu press is the best way to do this. Though I would be more inclined to use something like this. Leave it pressed for a minimum of 30 minutes. One hour or more is ideal. 

Cut pressed tofu into 1/2 inch cubes.

Now it’s time to pan-fry the tofu. Drizzle a little olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, place the tofu in and get it brown on all sides (approximately 5 min per side). 

Place the cooked tofu in a bowl and toss with the coconut aminos and nutritional yeast. 

Set the tofu aside.

Soup

Get a heavy saucepan and drizzle some olive oil in it over medium-low heat. Place your diced onion, garlic, carrots, and celery in the pan. Sauté your vegetables until the onion turns translucent. Stir frequently, so as to not let anything burn.

Add your dried parsley once the vegetables are nicely sautéed.

Add your water and turn the heat up to high to get it boiling. Stir in the veggie bouillon. 

Once boiling, add in your noodles and cook until tender, follow package directions being careful to not overcook. 

Turn the heat off and add in the prepared tofu, making sure to scrape all of the extra nutritional yeast into the soup.

Stir and let the flavors meld together for about a minute before serving.

Enjoy! 

*TIPS*

Some grocery stores sell already pressed tofu. Using pre-pressed tofu will save you an hour plus of prep time.

If you anticipate leftovers you will want to store the noodles separate from the broth or the noodles will absorb the broth. So you have two options: you can either cook the noodles separately or use a slotted spoon to separate the noodles from the broth for storage.

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