This super cozy Vegan Chicken and Stars Soup comes together in just 30 minutes and is super delicious and warming. This soup is amazing all year round, but it is especially perfect for chilly or rainy weather.
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Hey Internet, I’m a big fan of recreating vegan versions of things I loved as a kid. And this special vegan chicken soup is definitely one of them!
This vegan chicken and stars soup is based on a popular canned soup I used to eat all the time. The star pasta makes it so special, and I swear that different pasta shapes taste different. Don’t call me nuts, okay?
I have quite a few cozy soups on the blog now, including vegan cream of mushroom soup, vegan orzo soup, vegan beef stew, vegan matzo ball soup, vegan tom kha and many more. I’m thinking maybe I need to make a post all about my fave vegan soups!
But by far vegan chicken soup is my favorite type of soup. Maybe it’s because I love soy curls so much (I even made a whole post about soy curls recipes and tips). Or maybe I just found that type of soup to be the ultimate comfort and it’s so easy to make it vegan!
Honestly I can’t even remember EXACTLY what the canned version of this soup tates like, but this was exactly how I remembered it tasting.
And this recipe made me feel the same way. Warm, comforted, and satiated.
When I took that first bite, I closed my eyes and a smile spread across my face. That’s the feeling this soup gives me.
Why This Recipe Works
So this vegan chicken and stars soup is incredibly easy to make and simple. Apparently the original canned version has like 30 ingredients?! My version only has 9 simple and delicious vegan ingredients.
It starts like most soups do, with some aromatics.
In this case, we’ll saute up some onions, celery, and carrots, then add some garlic. Yum.
After that, it’s some thyme, a bay leaf, and some good broth to add more flavor. My favorite broth to use in vegan chicken soup is Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base mixed with water. I also use this broth to rehydrate the soy curls.
If you don’t want to use soy curls, you can use store bought vegan chicken, cut up vegan seitan chicken, jackfruit (I recommend preparing it like I do my vegan shredded chicken which only takes 5 minutes), tiny baked tofu cubes, or even chickpeas are delicious options.
But I do wait till the end to add the rehydrated soy curls so they still have a little texture.
So after we add the broth we just bring the whole thing to a boil, add the pasta and simmer till it’s cooked through, then add back the soy curls and remove the bay leaf. That’s it!
Can’t find stelline pasta (the stars)? Use any other pasta you like.
Linguine or spaghetti noodles broken in half are great to make vegan chicken noodle soup, or you can use elbows, ditalini, pastina, fusilli, shells or anything else you like. Of course use gluten-free pasta if needed.
Finally, you can add anything else you like to this soup. A few extra handfuls of spinach at the end will boost the nutrition. If you’re really feeling sick, up the garlic and add some minced ginger, maybe a little lemon at the end too.
Ingredients and Notes
- 1 cup dry soy curls: The “chicken” in my vegan chicken noodle soup is soy curl based because it’s simple and delicious. See the substitutions section below for more options.
- 1 ½ cups + 6-8 cups vegan chicken broth: When I’m making vegan chicken soup I always rehydrate my soy curls in vegan chicken broth--I also use this broth in the rest of the soup. I personally love Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base mixed with water (you can do a lower paste to water ratio than the jar suggests to reduce the sodium content) as it’s delicious, economical, and it stores well.
- 1 small yellow or sweet onion
- 1 cup finely diced carrots (about 1 large carrot)
- 1 cup finely diced celery (about 2 large ribs)
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced (or more if that’s what you like)
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 ¼ cups stelline pasta (stars)
- If you’d like to substitute another protein, you could use chickpeas or butter beans, or chunks of seitan chicken, young jackfruit (try my vegan shredded chicken recipe for an easy method to cook jackfruit to taste like chicken) or a store-bought vegan chicken alternative like Gardein or Lightlife. Small-diced baked (for texture, or add it right out of the liquid but it will be quite soft) tofu will also work.
- Don’t want to use Better Than Bouillon? Orrington Farms Vegan Chicken Bouillon is a great alternative. You could also buy prepared Imitation Chicken Broth though I generally feel this needs a little salt added but you can taste test and season to your preference. Any other brand of vegan chicken bouillon will work well, or of course you can also use vegetable broth. If you go the vegetable broth route, I’d throw in a little poultry seasoning which is just herbs and is easy to find in most grocery stores--it will help the soup taste chicken-y.
- Can’t find stelline pasta (the stars)? You can use any pasta you want and of course use gluten-free pasta if needed. Some pastas I think would work well are linguine or spaghetti noodles broken in half (for vegan chicken noodle soup!), elbows, small shells, ditalini or pastina, even fusilli.
- Vegetables: Can’t have one of the vegetables I listed? Omit it or swap it for one you can have. You could also add more veggies by adding some chopped kale when you add the pasta. Or if you want to add chopped spinach, add it at the end when you add in the rehydrated soy curls.
How to Make Vegan Chicken and Stars Soup
- Start by rehydrating the soy curls. I recommend using either smaller pieces of the soy curls if you separate them, or once they’re rehydrated you can cut some of the longer pieces with kitchen shears or tear them with your fingers. Add the soy curls to a medium bowl and pour hot (I use hot water to make it but you can warm it in the microwave if it isn’t warm yet) vegan chicken broth on top of the soy curls and press them down with the back of a spoon or a spatula so they all get coated. Let the soy curls sit until we’re ready to add them to the soup.
- If you cook with oil, add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to a large pot and heat over medium heat. If you do not cook with oil (I recommend using a good quality large nonstick pot), you can skip to the next step and add splashes of water or broth if anything starts to stick.
- Add the onions, celery, and carrots to the pot and stir frequently for 4-5 minutes until somewhat softened. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
- Add the dried thyme, bay leaf, and broth (you can use any leftover broth from the soy curls and start with 6 or 7 total cups of broth. You can always add more if you need.) and bring to a boil.
- Add the pasta and lower the heat to medium low and cook 5-7 minutes, until the pasta is soft enough to eat.
- Stir in the rehydrated soy curls and let heat through for a couple minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf then serve hot and enjoy!
- Refrigerate leftover vegan chicken and stars soup for up to 4-5 days in an airtight container. The pasta and soy curls may soak up remaining liquid. You can reheat with a bit more broth if you like.
Frequently Asked Questions
A couple of ways. The easiest ways by far are to use a good imitation chicken broth. I’ve tried a lot and my favorite by far is Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base mixed with hot water. Just phenomenal flavor! I buy those jars in a six pack a few times a year from the Better Than Bouillon website. They have a bunch of great flavors. Also, using an imitation chicken really helps--I love soy curls best for this, but you could use seitan or a store bought mock chicken you like. I wouldn’t use something breaded like chicken nuggets. Also just using the typical veggies they use in chicken soup helps, such as onion, carrots, celery, and garlic.
See the substitutions section above! My favorite swap would be vegan shredded chicken made from young jackfruit though!
If you can’t find star pasta, also known as stelline, and you don’t want to wait to order it online, you can use any sort of pasta you like. I find that linguine or spaghetti broken in half are great for making vegan chicken noodle soup. Other pasta that would include elbows, small pastas like ditalini or pastina, small shells, or I’ve even seen people use fusilli.
Yes, you will need to account for the extra liquid they soak up, though. I’ve tried this both ways and I prefer rehydrating them separately and adding them to the vegan chicken soup at the end of the cooking process. Your choice though!
I recommend storing soup in a glass container with a tight fitting lid in the refrigerator. Reheat in a small pot over low heat or in the microwave in a deep bowl with a little piece of paper towel over it to prevent splatter.
Pro Tips for Success
- Dice your onions, carrots, and celery really small (like ¼ inch dice) otherwise they may not be fully cooked by the time your soup is done.
- Definitely use fresh minced garlic, not jarred--it’s worth the effort, and I swear the fresh stuff tastes different (better!).
- I recommend using a little olive oil to cook your veggies as it makes the soup a little richer and gives it more body, but definitely feel free to skip it if you prefer to cook oilfree.
- Keep some extra vegan chicken broth on hand since two of our ingredients (pasta and soy curls) tend to soak up extra liquid.
- If you’d like a little extra nutrition, add a few handfuls of chopped baby spinach near the end of the cooking process. The spinach will wilt quickly and won’t affect the flavor.
- If you’d prefer to use kale, remove the stems and chop the leaves, and add the kale leaves when you add the pasta.
- The leftovers are great! Add more broth when reheating or skip it and eat it like an awesome stew.
- This sounds weird but I love vegan chicken soup of any kind with a glass of super cold filtered water. For whatever reason the two just totally complement each other.
More Recipes Like This
I have so many vegan soup recipes I almost have enough for a compilation! For now, here are my favorites.
- My Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup that went viral on Instagram
- Vegan Cream of Chicken Soup
- Vegan Orzo Soup
- Seitan based Vegan Beef Stew
- Vegan Stew with Dumplings
- Vegan Chicken and Dumplings
- The one you all seem to love: Vegan Tom Kha
- Vegan Zuppa Toscana
- Vegan Potato and Leek Soup
- Jackfruit Stew (like the beef stew but with jackfruit instead of seitan, making this one gluten-free)