This week marks a couple of giant milestones for my 12-year-old daughter, Celia. On Saturday, she will have a bat mitzvah to mark the culmination of her years of studying Hebrew and the beginning of her journey into Jewish adulthood.  She will lead the congregation in prayer and chant directly from the Torah, the Jewish holy scroll.  She will also provide an interpretation of the section of the Torah that she read to help understand it and relate it to our modern lives.

Preparing for this is a lot of work, and most kids feel a gigantic sense of accomplishment (and relief!) when the day finally arrives.  We will celebrate afterwards with family, friends, food and dancing.  We are so proud of Celia and how hard she has worked, especially during this last year of intensive study.  Andrew and I are also incredibly touched and excited that more than forty members of our out-of-town families and friends are trekking to Maryland to celebrate with us.

This week also marks the one-year anniversary of Celia becoming a vegetarian.  Last March she decided that she didn’t feel comfortable eating animals anymore, a decision that surprised us because she had always loved meat.  She hasn’t eaten any kind of meat since then.  We support her at home by providing lots of meatless options for breakfast and lunch, and only having meat for dinner once a week.

Celia has always loved chicken noodle soup.  Now that she’s a vegetarian, I wanted to come up with a way for her to still enjoy it.  It turns out that chicken really isn’t essential to a great tasting “chicken” noodle soup — in fact, I think the celery and garlic supply much of the flavor.  I hope you’ll enjoy this soup that I share in honor of Celia this week.  As we say to celebrate happy occasions and wish “good luck” in the future, Mazel Tov, Celia!

Recipe: No-Chicken Noodle Soup

  • Prep Time: 10 min(s)
  • Cook Time: 30 min(s)
  • Total Time: 40 min(s)
  • Servings: 6

A vegetarian take on chicken noodle soup.


    • 1 Tbsp. butter
    • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 yellow onion, diced
    • 2 tsp. minced garlic, (3 – 4 cloves)
    • 4 stalks celery, sliced (use the leaves, too)
    • 4 carrots, sliced
    • 1 tsp. dried thyme
    • 64 oz. reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
    • 2 cups fine egg noodles
    • 1/4 tsp. salt, or to taste
    • 1/4 tsp. black pepper, or to taste
    • 2-3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (optional)


    • Heat a stockpot over medium heat, add the butter and oil, and when the butter melts, add the onions, garlic, celery, and carrots. Sauté them until the onions are tender and translucent, 8 – 10 minutes
    • Stir in the thyme, then add the broth and bring it to a boil. Add the noodles and cook them until they are just tender, about 4 minutes if you are using fine egg noodles. Season it with salt and pepper to taste, garnish it with the parsley, and serve it immediately.
    • Slow Cooker Directions: Add all ingredients except the noodles to the slow cooker, and turn to low for 8 - 10 hours, or to high for 3-4 hours. 30 minutes, before serving, add noodles and turn slow cooker to high for the final 30 minutes of cooking.

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21 Responses to “No-Chicken Noodle Soup”

  1. Marla

    A huge congratulations to Celia for all the work she has done in preparation of her transition to adulthood. You must be so proud of her!

    We have had your No Chicken Noodle Soup, and we loved it!

  2. Kathy

    Theres no protein though without the chicken. What do you add for protein?

    • Aviva Goldfarb Aviva Goldfarb

      Hi Kathy, Thanks for your comment. I served it with egg salad for protein and they worked well together.

  3. DawnK

    Congratulations, Celia! Is she the one in the second picture? She looks just like you. The soup sounds good.

    • Aviva Goldfarb Aviva Goldfarb

      Thank you, Dawn! She’s the girl in both pictures, one was just years ago and one was a couple of weeks ago.

  4. Robin

    Very impressive of both Aviva & Celia. Aviva for supporting her daughter in her choice and Celia for sticking to a choice that can be especially challenging for kids.

  5. Betsy

    Mazel Tov Celia! You definitely have a lot to look forward to this weekend. Enjoy!

  6. Lincoln ZS

    What a beautiful tribute, Aviva! As a member of the extended family, I can say we are all so proud of Celia for her moral courage as a vegetarian, for her educational accomplishments (in Hebrew and English!), and for her loving participation in family and community.

  7. Jeanne Rossomme

    You are a beautiful, principled, caring and hard-working young woman Celia! Congratulations to you and the rest of us who welcome you to the world.

  8. elizabeth

    I add quinoa (a complete protein) to the soup when I add the noodles and let them cook together. I also squeeze in a lemon’s worth of juice at the end of cooking because I don’t care for the taste of quinoa (although most people don’t taste/mind it) and find that the lemon juice brightens it all up. We all love it! Congrats to you and your daughter on her big day.

  9. meg

    congrats celia! i have been vegetarian my whole life..misconception exists about the amount of protein you need, but it’s roughly 1/2 of your weight in grams..
    also try amy’s no chicken noodle soup for quick alternative and they use tofu for protein!

  10. Brooke

    For additional protein, you can use whole wheat noodles instead of conventional egg noodles or serve it with crackers and hummus. Great recipe, I enjoy making No Chicken Noodle Soup all the time at my house. Congrats Celia!

  11. Guest

    Wow, great recipe! I made this soup tonight and the whole family loved it 🙂 I made it vegan and gluten-free friendly by using non-dairy butter and gf noodles. I also added Cannellini beans and tofu.

  12. Dean - Inspirich

    I just made this and it was absolutely amazing with my wife ! Instead of tofu I used a
    chicken substitute I found at whole foods by a company called beyond
    meat which gave the soup a liquid smoked flavor. Five stars from me! yummm…

  13. Amber

    The irony in seeing a beef hotdog ad on the right of a vegetarian post.