Tofu Noodle Soup with Homemade Bread Bowls

Vegan tofu noodle soup with homemade bread bowls

When the temperature drops, I love to make all different kinds of soup, and eat it constantly throughout fall and winter. When you have a good soup recipe, you can eat it throughout the week, and it never feels like the dreaded “leftovers.” It’s just a warming, hearty meal for lunch or dinner. This tofu noodle soup is one of my favorites, and this time around, I served it in homemade bread bowls. It’s delicious, and a fantastic soup to make when you’re feeling under the weather, a la chicken noodle.

Vegan MoFo Day 14: Tofu Noodle Soup with Homemade Bread Bowls

This post is part of Vegan MoFo 2017 for today’s theme of “repurposing food”. While I made the bread in this recipe specifically to use as bread bowls, you can make the bread a few days in advance and use it for toast or sandwiches first. Then, make soup and repurpose the bread as bread bowls. It’s actually better if the bread is at least a couple of days old because it won’t get too soggy with soup, and will still taste fresh.
Vegan MoFo 2017 on Seitan Beats Your Meat

Homemade Bread Bowls

The bread recipe is filled with herbs and spices, brushed with an aquafaba “egg” wash for a golden crust, and sprinkled with a blend of seeds before baking. Besides soup, this bread is great for garlic bread, savory toast, sandwiches, and bruschetta. You can use all-purpose flour, whole wheat, or a blend of both. Adding a bit of vital wheat gluten flour gives the bread a bit of springiness and softness. If you make your own seitan, you should have some on hand already.

Vegan tofu noodle soup with homemade bread bowls

Tofu Noodle Soup

The recipe below has several steps, starting with making the bread, then cooking the tofu, and finally making the soup. Don’t let the 4 hour prep/cook time scare you off. As mentioned above, you could make the bread a few days in advance, then marinate the tofu the night before making the soup for a quick weeknight meal.

The soup recipe is full of flavor between the rich broth, herbs and spices medley, nutritional yeast, wine, and sun-dried tomatoes. To give the soup a chicken noodle-type taste, I make a vegan chicken broth with this vegan chicken base. I’m a bit obsessed with this stuff and may or may not have bought it in bulk. I use it to make vegan “chicken” broth, add it to tofu marinade, use it for homemade seitan, rice, or whenever a recipe calls for a boullion cube. The vegan chicken Better Than Boullion jars would be pretty similar for that umami flavor. You could also simply use vegetable broth.

Vegan tofu noodle soup with homemade bread bowls

Get the recipe:

Tofu Noodle Soup with Homemade Bread Bowls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Vegan tofu noodle vegetable soup served in homemade garlic and herb bread bowls.
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy Free
Serves: 6-7
Bread Bowls:
  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 package yeast
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon each garlic powder, onion powder, rosemary, and oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon each thyme and sage
  • 7-9 cups flour (white or a mix of white and whole wheat)
  • 1/4 cup wheat gluten
  • 1/4-1/3 cup aquafaba, for "egg" wash (if desired)
  • Caraway, sesame, and poppy seeds
Tofu Noodle Soup:
  • 1 block firm or extra firm tofu
  • 3/4 cup vegan chicken-style broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon each garlic powder and onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chili sauce or hot sauce (or to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3-4 ribs celery, sliced
  • 3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 green cabbage, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon each thyme, sage, and oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon each dill, parsley, and smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 3 tablespoons red wine or cooking wine
  • Reserved tofu marinade
  • 7-8 cups vegan chicken-style broth or vegetable broth
  • 2-3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped in 1/2" cubes
  • 1 cup pasta, any kind (if using spaghetti, break into smaller pieces)
  • 1/3 sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
For the bread bowls:
  1. Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with a dough hook. Let sit until the yeast is bubbly.
  2. Add the olive oil and all of the herbs and spices.
  3. Gradually add the flour, 1-2 cups at a time, until a smooth, elastic dough is formed. You may not need to use all of the flour.
  4. Knead the dough in the stand mixer with the dough hook, or on a floured surface, for 5-6 minutes until a smooth ball of dough is formed.
  5. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap. Place in a warm area and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  6. After an hour, punch down the dough and knead for a minute.
  7. Form the dough into 6-7 small loaves. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat, or coated with oil. Cover and let rise for another 45 minutes.
  8. When the loaves are almost done rising, preheat oven to 350°F.
  9. Brush the loaves with the aquafaba, then sprinkle a mix of seeds over the loaves.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes, depending on size, or until the bottoms are golden.
For the tofu:
  1. Press the water out of the tofu using a tofu press, or wrap in a clean dish towel or paper towels, then press between two dinner plates with a heavy object on top.
  2. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a large shallow bowl, reserving 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
  3. Slice the tofu into small cubes and place in the marinade for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large cast iron skillet or other non-stick skillet, then add the tofu. SAVE THE MARINADE FOR THE SOUP.
  5. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side, until the tofu gets a crispy skin. Remove from heat and set aside for the soup.
  6. Depending on the size of your pan, you may have to cook the tofu in 2 batches.
For the soup:
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook until browned, 3-4 minutes.
  3. Toss in the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds, then add the celery, carrots, and cabbage.
  4. Sprinkle in all of the herbs and spices, onion powder, soy sauce, bay leaves, nutritional yeast, and wine. Stir to coat the vegetables.
  5. Pour the reserved tofu marinade in a measuring cup and add water until it makes 2 cups. Add to the soup pot.
  6. Add the vegan chicken or vegetable broth, adding more broth or water if necessary. Bring to a boil, then add the potatoes and reduce to a simmer.
  7. Simmer for 18-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are partially cooked, then add the pasta. Cook until the pasta is al dente, and you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork.
  8. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and tofu cubes. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary, then add more broth if necessary.
  9. To serve, cut a circle in a loaf of the bread, scoop out some of the bread, and ladle the soup into the bread "bowl." You may need to add more broth, as the bread will soak up some of the broth.

Close up of the freshly-baked homemade bread bowls:

Homemade bread bowls recipe

What is your favorite soup recipe for the fall and winter?

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Vegan tofu noodle soup with homemade bread bowls


Kelly Peloza is the blogger and photographer at Seitan Beats Your Meat, and the author of two vegan cookbooks: The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, and Cheers to Vegan Sweets.

She lives in Chicago and runs a photography business called Kelly Peloza Photo.

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