No-Chicken Noodle Soup | Kitchen Explorers | PBS Food

No-Chicken Noodle Soup

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!

No-Chicken Noodle Soup

A vegetarian take on chicken noodle soup that is sure to please any picker eater in your family.



  • 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)


  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Total Time: 40 Minutes

Yield: 4 servings

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