This simple vegan “chicken” and rice soup is super easy to make and oh-so-comforting. Perfect for lunch or dinner with a crusty piece of bread!
Can we just declare an extension to soup season in light of recent events? I mean, folks are staying at home and doing lo of cooking lately.
Sure, it’s getting a little warmer out, but I think we all could still use a little cozy comforting goodness in a bowl to help us get through the rough time we’ll all dealing with.
Are you with me? Great!
When I was growing up, chicken and rice soup was about as comforting as it could get. Creating a vegan version seemed like just the thing to do right about now.
There are lots of ways to replace chicken in vegan recipes. Sometimes I use tofu, like I did in my vegan chicken noodle soup. Soy curls have become a new favorite (you can learn more about them here). You can even go super simple with something like chickpeas.
Frankly, any of the above would work in this recipe (and feel free to make a substitution if need be). But seitan is one of the easiest, most realistic, chicken substitutes, so that’s what I went with for this recipe.
If seitan is a new-to-you ingredient you can read up on it and even learn to make your own here. Don’t feel like making it yourself? Buy some at the store! Lots of supermarkets carry it near the tofu these days.
How to Make Vegan Chicken & Rice Soup
Start by heating up some oil in a large pot, then add onion, carrots and celery. Sweat the veggies for a few minutes to soften them up, then add some finely diced seitan. Cook the seitan with the veggies for a few minutes to brown it a bit.
Now add some garlic and cook everything for just about a minute more.
Finally, add your broth, some dried herbs, and brown rice. Bring the pot up to a boil and let everything simmer until your rice is tender. Keep some extra broth on hand and add it to the pot if your soup reduces too much while it simmers.
Add a splash of white wine vinegar, and season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle into bowls and devour!
Vegan Chicken & Rice Soup Tips & FAQ
- Is there a substitute for the seitan? Absolutely! You can use soy curls soaked in some broth (these will give you a very realistic vegan “chicken”), tofu, prepared according to the method used in my vegan chicken noodle soup, or go super simple and simply throw a can of chickpeas into your soup.
- Can this soup be made gluten-free? Yup! Seitan is the only ingredient that contains gluten, so simply swap it out with any of the substitutions noted above.
- Can I use white rice instead of brown? You can! You will probably need to cut the cooking time since white rice cooks faster than brown.
- Leftover storage: leftovers will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 4 days, or in the freezer for 3 months. The rice will probably suck up most of the broth during refrigerator storage. Feel free to add some more when you reheat your soup.
Vegan “Chicken” & Rice Soup
This simple vegan "chicken" and rice soup is super easy to make and oh-so-comforting. Perfect for lunch or dinner with a crusty piece of bread!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, sliced
- 2 medium celery stalks, diced
- 1 (8 ounce or 226 gram) package seitan, finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 cups vegetable broth (plus up to 2 additional cups, as needed)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup dried long grain brown rice
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Coat the bottom of a large pot with the oil and place it over medium heat.
When the oil is hot, add the onion, carrots and celery. Cook the veggies for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften.
Add the seitan to the pot and cook it with the veggies for about 5 minutes, until it begins to brown.
Add the garlic to the pot and cook everything for about a minute, until the garlic becomes very fragrant.
Stir in 6 cups of broth, thyme, sage, bay leaf and rice. Raise the heat and bring the broth to a boil.
Lower the heat and allow the soup to simmer until the rice is tender, about 50 minutes, stirring frequently. Add up to 2 cups of additional broth if it reduces too much during cooking.
Remove the pot from heat and stir in the vinegar. Remove the bay leaf. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle into bowls and serve.