Tofu Noodle Soup is the easy vegetarian version of the classic and comforting chicken noodle soup. It is packed with veggies, tofu, and noodles in a light, flavorful and delicious broth that hits the spot on a cold evening or when you're feeling under the weather. Healthy, nourishing, soul-satisfying, one-pot balanced, and complete meal.
My kids love this Tofu Noodle Soup!! I often made the chicken noodle soup, especially during the cold season but my husband is a vegetarian and couldn't eat it so I decided to make the vegan chicken noodle soup which off-course doesn't have the chicken but the tofu instead. It was an instant hit!!
What is Tofu Noodle Soup
Tofu Noodle soup is a light, healthy, and low-fat broth-based soup just like its classic version "The Chicken Noodle Soup".
Most importantly, it's an easy one-pot throw everything together kind of meal which has been my go-to these days.
I love making this noodle soup in my Instant Pot but you can also make it on stove top.
This tofu noodle soup has a base of vegetarian broth flavored with garlic, ginger, turmeric, black pepper, oregano, thyme, and lemon.
It's loaded with tons of veggies which also impart their taste to this soup and make it hearty.
Last but not least, it has some extra-firm tofu for proteins and pasta/noodles for carbs.
Overall a complete one-pot nourishing meal that is comforting, light yet satisfying and doesn't make you feel heavy after eating!!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Easy and customizable
- Ready in 30 mins
- A complete one-pot nourishing meal
- Vegan and can be made gluten-free
- Healthy and delicious
With the seasons changing, the cold cough, and flu are common sights in most homes. My younger one is in daycare which means passing germs to each other is a breeze.
She often comes home with a runny nose or a minor cough. My meal plan immediately changes to this Tofu noodle soup.
This soup has ginger, turmeric, black pepper, and lemon - a combination known for fighting cold and flu symptoms.
Also, it has the right balance of vegetables, carbs, and protein and is light on the stomach.
I find my kids sleep better at night as this helps loosen up some of the congestion and provides the needed boost of immunity to fight the symptoms.
So without further ado, let's see how to make tofu noodle soup.
Noodles - I have used egg noodles(egg-free) but you can use any noodles or pasta of choice. To make it gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta or noodles.
Veggies - Traditional chicken noodle soup uses basic veggies like onion, celery, and carrots. In addition, I've used a few more that my family likes - red bell pepper, corn, and green peas. Use veggies of your choice.
Aromatics - Ginger and garlic are a must. They add a nice depth of flavor to this soup.
Spices - I love using turmeric, black pepper, oregano, thyme, and salt to flavor this noodle soup. You can definitely experiment and add species of your choice.
Broth - You can use broth of choice or simply use water. I prefer using water mixed with better than bouillon vegetable base to create my broth. But you can use your favorite one or gluten-free option.
Tomato Paste - I like a subtle hint of tomato in this soup that a tablespoon of the paste provides without overpowering it. It can be skipped too.
Tofu - Use extra firm tofu. Instead of Tofu, you can also add paneer or some canned chickpeas or take it back to the basic chicken soup (not vegan) by adding chicken thighs or for faster cooking, rotisserie chicken.
Oil: Some canola or olive oil for cooking.
Cilantro and Lemon juice - Last but not least, some cilantro and lemon juice to bring this recipe together.
Please refer to the recipe card for exact measurements of ingredients.
Step by Step Method (Instant Pot)
Please check the recipe card for the stovetop method.
Prep work: Chop and assemble all the ingredients needed since this soup is very quick to make so have everything prepped.
1 - Start the Instant Pot on saute mode and add oil followed by ginger garlic. Saute for a few seconds.
2 - Add in the onions and cook till they are slightly translucent.
3 - Add turmeric and red pepper flakes (optional, I skipped it) and saute for 30 seconds more.
4 - Now add all the veggies (carrot, celery, green peas, corn, and red bell pepper), tomato paste, bay leaf, spices - salt, pepper, oregano, and thyme. Mix well. Turn off the Instant Pot.
5 - Layer the noodles evenly on top of the veggies.
6 - Add vegetable broth or water. Make sure the noodles are beneath the water (press them down).
7 - Finally, add the tofu pieces and close the Instant Pot lid with the vent in sealing position. Pressure cook on Manual (or Pressure Cook), High for 3 mins. Once cooking completes, wait for 5 mins and do a quick release (manually release the steam).
8 - Stir in the lemon juice and chopped cilantro. Give it a taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Tofu Noodle Soup is ready to be served!!
Serve Tofu Noodle soup immediately hot topped with some hot sauce (for adults) and more freshly cracked black pepper or sometimes red pepper flakes or both.
The noodles have a tendency to soak up the liquid so if you are not serving this soup immediately the liquid may dry up and the noodles may swell. If that happens, add some more liquid/water/broth, heat, and serve.
Recipe Tips and Variations
This soup is super customizable - You could make it a completely vegan and/or gluten-free noodle soup by replacing the egg noodles with any chickpea or gluten-free pasta or noodles. Similarly, use veggies of choice.
The cooking time and liquid quantity will vary based on the variety of pasta used. For Instant Pot, you can derive pasta cooking time by using the formula - (time mentioned on pasta pack -1) and that value is halved. So if the time mentioned is 11 mins, I'll set the timer for (11-1)/2 =5 mins. Also, make sure the pasta is submerged in liquid.
Spice the soup to your preference - you can change the spices to your preference and availability but don't skip ginger, turmeric, black pepper, and lemon especially if you are feeling under the weather. This combination will help soothe cold and flu symptoms.
If you are unable to find oregano and thyme, use 1 teaspoon of dry Italian seasoning blend instead.
To make spicy crispy tofu noodle soup - make the Spicy Tofu on the side while the soup is cooking and add it to the soup while serving, so delicious!!!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, to make this soup using chicken, place 2 boneless and skinless chicken thighs in broth. Cook on Manual High for 8-10 mins with vent to sealing. Release pressure after 10 mins after done, take out the chicken shred and add it back. Cook noodles separately and add. Saute for a few minutes and the soup is ready to serve. Alternately use rotisserie chicken for a quick fix.
To make this soup ahead of time, I would suggest cooking the noodles separately and adding them to the soup, and simmering just before serving. The noodles have a tendency to soak up the liquid so if you are not serving this soup immediately the liquid may dry up and the noodles will swell.
Allow the soup to cool completely to room temperature and then refrigerate in an air-tight container for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove until completely hot.
More Soup Recipes
Hope you enjoy this Easy Tofu Noodle Soup !! If you give this recipe a try, please rate by clicking stars ⭐️ on the recipe card. Thank you ❤️! You can also follow me on Facebook | Instagram to see what’s cooking in my kitchen!!
Tofu Noodle Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ tablespoon ginger minced
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 1 small yellow onion chopped
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 carrots peeled and sliced, approximately 1 cup
- 2 celery stalks chopped, approximately 1 cup
- ½ red bell pepper chopped, approximately ½ cup
- 2 tablespoon green peas using frozen
- 2 tablespoon corn kernels using frozen
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon dry oregano
- ½ teaspoon thyme leaves dry
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional, adjust to taste
- 1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground, adjust to taste
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cups egg noodles or pasta of choice
- 5 cups vegetable broth or water
- 7 ounces Tofu extra firm
- 1-2 tablespoon cilantro chopped
- 1-2 tablespoon lemon juice or to taste
- hot sauce of choice for serving optional, to taste
Instant Pot Method:
- Chop and assemble all the ingredients needed since this soup is very quick to make.
- Start the Instant Pot on saute mode and add oil followed by ginger garlic. Give it a quick stir and add the onions. Cook till the onions are slightly translucent.
- Add turmeric (and chilli flakes - optional) and give it a mix till all is well combined.
- Now add all the veggies (carrot, celery, green peas, corn, and red bell pepper), tomato paste, bay leaf, spices - salt, pepper, oregano, thyme.
- Layer the noodles evenly on top of veggies and add in the broth. Make sure the noodles are beneath the water (press them down).
- Finally, add the tofu pieces and close the Instant Pot lid with the vent in sealing position. Pressure cook on Manual (or Pressure Cook), High for 3 mins. Once cooking completes, wait for 5 mins and do a quick release (manually release the steam).
- Stir in the lemon juice and chopped cilantro. Give it a taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Tofu Noodle Soup is ready to be served!!
- Serve Tofu Noodle soup immediately hot topped with some hot sauce and more freshly cracked black pepper or sometimes red pepper flakes or both.
Stove Top Method:
- Heat a dutch oven or a soup pot with heavy base and once hot add oil followed by ginger garlic. Give it a quick stir and add the onions. Cook till the onions are slightly translucent.
- Add turmeric and give it a mix till all is well combined.
- Now add all the veggies (carrot, celery, green peas, corn and red bell pepper), tomato sauce, bay leaf, spices - salt, pepper, organo, thyme. Mix, cover and cook for 5 mins or until the veggies are half done. They will finish cooking with the noodles so do not overcook.
- Add vegetable stock or water and bring it to a boil.
- Add the noodles, cover and cook until they are done or al dente. Add more liquid if you think its reduced.
- Finally, add the tofu pieces during the last few minutes of the cooking. Finish off with some lemon juice and chopped cilantro. Give it a taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Tofu Noodle Soup is ready to be served!!
Update Notes: This post was originally published on Dec 23, 2019, but was republished with, step by step instructions, and tips, in March of 2022.