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.
Watch How to Make Chickpea 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.
Craving more soup to get you through the winter? Here are a few more favorites on Cookie and Kate:
- Classic Minestrone Soup
- The Best Lentil Soup
- Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup
- Redeeming Green Soup with Lemon and Cayenne
Chickpea Noodle Soup
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 6 bowls 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: 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.
Patricia L Dutcher
Been looking for a light and flavorful soup for the tines we are not feeling so good (and when we are). Made the recipe as written. Really tasty. Not a huge fan of chickpeas but left them in and I really don’t notice them too much. Love the flavors that the curry and Turmeric add. Will definitely make again.
Oh my gosh! I really LOVE this soup. I kept avoiding the recipe because it sounded bland, but the curry and turmeric make it pop.YUM! I will totally make this again. Thank you Kate!
I’m glad you ended up trying it and enjoying it, Dave!
This chickpea soup is the best! Hubby and I don’t eat meat every January snowed in on MLK DAY mmm good!
This was delicious! I added another onion and used cilantro instead of of parsley (that’s what I had) and it was AMAZING!!! Even my son who is hard to get to eat a lot loves it. Thank you.
I’m glad you loved it, Rachel! Thank you for your review.
This was such a tasty soup! My family who isn’t too fond of pasta loved eating it. The turmeric is such a good addition and it really does give the same feel as a chicken noodle soup.
I modified the recipe a little (increased the spice + added garlic, swapped the parsley for basil and rosemary) and it was super tasty but def want to try it with the parsley one day.
I’m glad you loved it, Sara. Thanks for sharing!
my daughter found this recipe and has made it on numerous occasions and shared it with a number of friends who have all raved about it
so i am off to make a pot now. It certainly smells like the real thing.
I had to modify it with lentils when i didn’t have chick peas still tasty.
I just made this recipe for the second time. I was feeling EXTRA lazy, so I made it in the Instant Pot. I cooked the veggies in pan on the stove as directed, but then I added 8 tsp of Better than Bouillon Chik’n and 8 cups of water to the Instant Pot, added the turmeric and curry powder, added the beans, veggies and pasta and set it to 7 minutes on the high setting and then let it run another 7 minutes to release pressure. I then released the rest of the pressure, and it turned out great!
Thank you for sharing! I’m glad it turned out.
What mild curry powder do you recommend?
Hi Karen, I like Frontier Coop. You can always add less than the recommended amount if sensitive to spice.
Love this recipe! Have made it several times. Do you happen to have nutrition information for it? It doesn’t seem to be coming up on my end. Thanks!!
Hi Bridget! I’m sorry to hear that. Try to clear your browser history and it should work. Let me know if you are still having issues!
This was so delicious and easy to make – thanks for sharing!
I was wondering if you would maybe be willing to add metric measurements to the recipes
You’re welcome, Sofia!
How do you do it?!?!!?
Since going vegetarian over 2 yrs ago, I’ve really missed the comfort of chicken noodle soup! This absolutely matches that comfort? It’s delicious! Thanks for another amazing recipe x
I’m glad you found it, Sarah! I appreciate your review.
Well this was delightful on our first cool night. I grew up on grandma chicken soup so i was a little worried but it really is its own thing that has the same comfort level. A little extra of any spice is what i do but with this more than most i realized that my boxed veggie broth is really bland ish. I need to figure out how to make my my own. I use the no chicken low salt which is good because it’s neutral but maybe too neutral. The best thing about your recipes is that you tweak everything to perfection so we dont have to.
I’m glad you enjoyed it! Vegetable broth does really vary and can make the difference.
I love this recipe exactly as is. Delicious! Perfect for sick days or light lunches/dinners, perfect with a crusty loaf or naan. It also inspired me to riff on canned soup when I really can’t even cook this much! Drag myself out of bed, throw a can of soup on, frozen mixed veggies and some curry. Totally works, tho this is better! Thanks!
Wonderful to hear, Jane! I appreciate you taking the time to review.
Wow, Just finished making the soup and it is fabulously tasty. Thank you for sharing, it will be a frequent meal as I’m already addicted to it.
I have been making this recipe monthly for the past year, it is SO tasty! I make it in my Instant Pot and set it for 15 minutes on high pressure. I just chop, throw it all in the pot and then pressure cook it and it’s great!I have Covid right now, luckily with mild symptoms, and I made some this afternoon and it was very tasty and comforting!
Thank you for sharing how you make this, Sarah! Great to hear it’s been a go-to recipe for you.
My family loves this soup. As we’ve transitioned to a plant-based diet, this recipe has been clutch for my chicken-noodle-soup-loving 8 year old.
I’m glad you loved it, Emily! I appreciate you sharing.
In your opinion, what is the best tasting vegetable broth. Many that I have tried just have an off-putting taste to me.
Oh my gosh, I loved this soup. The flavor of the broth was amazing. I started transitioning to a vegetarian diet about six months ago for health reasons. Your recipes are the only ones that are so flavorful that I don’t don’t miss chicken and fish.
The best soup I added corn in mines
This soup is delicious! It was super easy and came together quickly without leaving a big mess afterwards, yay! I used Banza gluten free rotini and it turned out great. Kate I love that your recipes use simple ingredients that I often have on hand, thank you!
You’re welcome, Kelly! Thank you for your review.
Thank you for this amazing recipe! I made it exactly as you recommended. Such a comforting, warm bowl of soup on a cold evening. This has become our new favorite soup. How wonderful to have a tasty vegan option to the classic chicken noodle. This recipe is definitely a keeper!
That’s great to hear, Nancy! I appreciate your review.
Can I use chicken broth instead?
Hi Misha, I believe others have tired it and didn’t mind the results.
Wow this was fantastic – my friend says it tastes even better than chicken soup! So impressed with the delicious broth.
I added tofu, nutritional yeast and rosemary, and omitted onion, bay leaf and parsley.
Really wanted noodle soup this week as I got hit with a decent cold. So glad to have found your recipe! So good and have been eating it for 2 days now. Thank you!
You’re welcome, Natalie!
This is our go-to recipe when one of us is feeling under the weather. At the moment my partner is sick and hasn’t been able to keep much food down at all for days – this soup is one of the only things he can tolerate. Thank you!!
You’re welcome, Kat! Thank you for your review.
This is a perfect recipe. It was so easy to prepare and my whole family loved it and asked for seconds.
That’s great to hear, Helen! Thank you for your review.
Loved this recipe! Plan to make it again with protein pasta as well and up the amount of carrots. I added garlic which worked well. Also love mixing in spinach to add some greens.
This soup is such a throwback to homemade chicken noodle soup. It fills a hole this 30+ year vegetarian has never been able to fill. Yet another winner from you!
I’m glad you loved it, Amy! Thank you for your review.
This was absolutely delicious! We haven’t made soup on the stove in a long while and I’m glad we did.
Changes: Reduced the oil to 1 T, used Tinkyada brown rice penne and 2 t dried parsley. As a note, we used Swanson vegetable broth and didn’t need to add extra salt at the end.
Thanks for a simple, tasty recipe! We’ll definitely make this again.
I’m excited you enjoyed it, Vicki!
This soup was to die for!!!
Love this recipe! Easy to make, and even my little ones like it! I love that it’s made with ingredients I always have on hand…except fresh parsley. Any ideas for a “pantry staple” substitute, or would it be just as good if I left it out?
You could try dried. I’m glad you enjoyed it, Kelly!
Updating that I made this recently with dried parsley, and the flavor was still excellent! My husband and sons (ages 4 and 2) happily ate it. :)
I also tried gluten free pasta this time. Best option at our local supermarket was Banza chickpea pasta. It got a bit mushy (I was sidetracked with nursing our daughter while the soup was simmering!), but my husband kind of liked the thicker texture!
Loved this recipe.Minus 16 outside today in MN and it warmed us right up.I substituted baby Bok Choi for the celery and parsley and it was delicious.
Made this for my sick family today and it was just what the doctor ordered. Delicious and healing. Thanks Kate!
I’m happy to hear it hit the spot, Amelia! I appreciate your review.
I absolutely love this recipe – it’s my go-to every time I get sick and always leaves me feeling better. I was missing a chicken soup substitute since I became a vegetarian and I honestly like it a lot better than any chicken soup I’ve had!! The turmeric and curry powder are great additions, and I also usually add garlic :)
Great to hear, Nora! I appreciate you sharing.
This recipe is by far my favorite for a “chicken” noddle soup. Don’t leave out the curry! It adds such a great depth to the flavor!
Great to hear, Giovonne!
Our go-to soup when we’re feeling a little under the weather – and on any cold fall/winter night (heck, I even sneak it in once in a while during other seasons as well!!)
The turmeric/curry powder combo makes this soup sooooo comforting!
I’m glad you loved it, Eric! Thank you for your review.
Great recipe! The broth was very tasty.
I deviated in small ways from the original:
– substituted a zucchini for the onion (due to gut diet restriction)
– used 2 cans of chickpeas instead of 1
– used 6 c of broth instead of 8 c
It was enough for 5 of us for dinner, paired with a large sandwich for the teenager.
That’s great to hear, Sarah! I appreciate your review.
I just made this for the second time and had to comment to let you know how much we enjoyed it. It’s super easy, immensely comforting and so tasty and satisfying. Perfect for a lazy Sunday (after a rough week at work) as we hunkered down during a spring storm and hoped we didn’t lose power.
Yum! I’d been eyeing this recipe for a while and finally decided to make it. So good and so easy. I added a few shakes of cayenne and a few handfuls of spinach as I love things a little spicy and always try to get my greens in. Will definitely be making this again.
I’m glad you enjoyed it and plan to make it again, April!
These reviews are no joke – this soup is so delicious. Do not skip the curry powder and turmeric; they really elevate the flavor of the soup.
Overall I’d like to express my appreciation for Kate’s work – I have loved every Cookie and Kate recipe I have made. I know I can always come here for consistently amazing food :)
This soup was so delicious and exactly what we needed when we were sick with the flu
You’re welcome, Tanya!