Sunday, November 12, 2017

Classic 'Chicken' Noodle Soup (Made Vegan with Jackfruit) for Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays

I like to experiment in the kitchen and since I stopped eating it, I love taking the meat or poultry out of dishes while still keeping in the flavor and texture, so I am surprised that it took me so long to give cooking with jackfruit a try. If you aren't familiar with it, (here's an interesting write up), in short it's a fruit that in its unripe, young form has little flavor but the texture of chicken or pulled pork so it is "hot" as a meat alternative for vegetarians and vegans looking for a more natural meat substitute. Even Trader Joe's is selling it in cans. Wanting to make a veg-friendly version of chicken noodle soup, I grabbed a few cans from my local natural foods store and headed for the kitchen.

I have some friends that have been having me make extra batches of my soups each week for them to buy. They are actually the ones that brought up chicken soup--but said they thought a vegan version would be interesting and refused my offer to make a chicken broth-like base and just add chicken meat to their batch--saying they wanted to try whatever I came up with. 

I did some research online, finding a couple different recipes for a chicken noodle-style soup using jackfruit--one was even on Cooking Light's site. I was concerned about the brine of the jackfruit (lime juice and salt in the brand I bought) impacting the taste of a mild soup and so I was happy to see that a blogger at Plant Based On a Budget had "marinated" his jackfruit in a chicken-flavored broth and lightly pan seared it to get a closer flavor and texture. I used his technique and steps for making jackfruit 'chicken' but did my own thing with the soup base and rest of the soup. I wanted something simple and classic--carrots, celery, pasta--in a great-tasting broth. I picked a "curly" noodle--fusilli pasta to appeal to my young friend Zof (and to my inner child). My recipe and the jackfruit technique (and a quick picture of jackfruit) are below.

Classic 'Chicken' Noodle Soup (Made Vegan with Jackfruit)
By Deb, Kahahkai Kitchen
(Makes 8 servings)

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped
2 large stalks of celery, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil or thyme
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp celery salt
10 cups of your favorite broth (I used a mix of homemade garlic broth and no-chicken bouillon paste mixed with water)
1 can young jackfruit in brine, rinsed well, drained and prepared as below
2 cups dried pasta of choice (I used fusilli)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
fresh parsley or other herb to garnish

Prepare jackfruit as directed below.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, celery and carrots and saute about 10 minutes until veggies are softened and onions translucent. Stir in the garlic and herbs and spices and cook for another 2 minutes. 

Add broth and bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in reserved prepared jackfruit and bring up to a light boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions (about 10 minutes usually).

Stir in nutritional yeast. Taste and add sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve soup garnished with fresh herbs and enjoy.

Jackfruit 'Chicken'
Adapted from Plant Based on a
1 can young jackfruit in brine, rinsed well and drained
2 cups chicken-flavored broth, boiling with 1/4 tsp poultry seasoning added

Place the rinsed and drained jackfruit pieces in a bowl and pour the boiling chicken-flavored broth over it. Allow to set for about 90 minutes, then drain jackfruit and pat dry. (I discarded the broth because of the jackfruit brine flavor but you could reserve it and add it to the soup if desired.)

In a large skillet, add 1 Tbsp olive oil. When hot, add jackfruit and fry until each side is lightly browned. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cool, shred into pieces, using two forks or clean hands and set aside until ready to add to soup.

Notes/Results: For my first jackfruit experiment I think this soup turned out really well. I might have liked the jackfruit a bit drier, but I think I could try roasting it a little after shredding it next time. It does have more of a chicken texture than most "faux meat products" and I like that--as well as it is more of a natural option. The soup overall had great chicken-like flavor and tasted like the classic soup of my childhood. I found the jackfruit a bit reminiscent of artichoke hearts and I think it can be more easily disguised with spices and sauces than in a simple broth-based soup, but overall I'd call it a success. My soup friends texted me about 5 minutes after I dropped their soup off and said they loved it--so that says something. I have another couple more cans of jackfruit and I will be experimenting with them--maybe in a stew of chili next time.

We have some good friends and tasty dishes waiting this week in the Souper Sundays kitchen--let's have a look at what got linked up this week! 

Shaheen from Allotment2Kitchen shared Roasted Butternut Squash, Fennel, Orzo Salad and said, "For those of you who may be unfamiliar wither Orzo, Orzo is Italian and translates as barley from which it was originally made.These days, orzo is made from hard wheat semolina. For people like me, orzo often means rice-shaped pasta. ... this  Roasted Butternut Squash, Fennel Orzo Salad is a very simple recipe. To the cooked orzo pasta, I added roasted butternut squash and fennel, sliced black olives and red onion." 

Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog made 5-Minute Kohlrabi Carrot and Raisin Slaw and said, "I have been seeing kohlrabi recently in many supermarkets. It is softer than cabbage and tastes great in a slaw or salad. Combined with grated carrots and raisins, grated kohlrabi makes a fabulous side that is sweet and juicy. Kohlrabi may be a light green or a deep purple - both taste the same."

Linda of made Parsnip and Apple Soup from a new cookbook and said, "It didn’t take me long to pick out some recipes to try and I’ve got them all marked with sticky notes.  I found variations on some of my recipes, like instead of using bread with the centre cut out and fried with an egg for Egg in the Hole, Marie uses a bagel.  I’ll be trying that one for sure. ... I love this soup, but find you have to be a parsnip lover to really enjoy it, but the added taste of the apple gives it a nice sweet taste.  This soup stores well in the freezer too."

Here at Kahaki Kitchen I tried Nigel Slater's Winter Salad of Pears and Blue Cheese. It's gorgeous and the tangy dressing and mix of ingredients is very tasty. It also gave me an excuse to buy my first pomegranate of the season. 

Mahalo to everyone who joined me at Souper Sundays this week! 

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on the post you link up to be included.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. Wow! Thanks for explaining about jackfruit-I've been seeing it in recipes but figured it was a sweet fruit and it just didn't pull me in. Although I like to keep away from canned food, this is calling me if I could substitute it for chicken in soup. Can't wait to try your recipe.. Thanks for hosting again this week.

  2. Jackfruit has been featuring in my home a lot more since last year. Interested that you used it her to sub chicken though.

  3. Maybe I need to give jackfruit another try. We had bbq sort in a package and it wasn’t great. Your soup tempts me to try it again.
    I brought you fish chowder. :-)


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