Italian Vegetable Soup with Pasta and Meaty Tofu

Italian Vegetable Soup

When I come in from the bitter cold with a red nose and frozen toes, I want something warm and comforting … but still healthy.  This fragrant, Italian-flavored soup is the epitome of comfort food, is wholesome and nourishing, and really hits the spot.

But I Don’t Like Tofu!

Pop a brick of that bland, texture-less stuff in the freezer, wait about 24 hours. (Yes, you want to do this step ahead of time. I just keep a block of tofu on hand in the freezer for whenever I need it.)

Then, let it thaw, and you’ll be amazed at the transformation. The texture becomes chewy, and it beautifully takes on the delicious flavors of this luscious soup.

Try it, Mikey. You’ll like it.

What Is Fennel?

An optional ingredient in this recipe, fennel bulb (or Florence fennel or finocchio) is an aromatic, crunchy (when raw), slightly sweet vegetable with a white bulb, light green stalks, and feathery leaves.  It adds a wonderful depth of flavor to this Italian soup.


For years I avoided fennel in the grocery store because, really, what kind of crazy person would want to eat a vegetable that tastes like Twizzlers?  Then, my friend, Elizabeth (who actually grew her own fennel in her garden) made me a creamy dish with fennel in it and I loved it! And it didn’t taste like licorice.

So, with that culinary catalyst from Elizabeth, I decided to try cooking with fennel bulb, and now you have this delicious Italian Vegetable Soup.

Vegan Italian Vegetable Soup

Do you ever cook with fennel? Share your favorite ways to eat fennel in the comment section below.

Italian Vegetable Soup with Pasta and Tofu

Good-for-you veggies, satisfying pasta, and tofu-made-meaty are seasoned with herbs in this comforting soup.
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Soup
YIELD 8 cups
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  • Squeeze excess water out of tofu. You can do this by hand or with a tofu press.
  • Cut into small cubes and place on a paper towel or clean kitchen towel to drain.
  • In a large soup pot, sauté carrot, celery, fennel, and onion in oil over medium (not high) heat until onion begins to turn translucent.
  • Add garlic and sauté for one additional minute.
  • Turn heat to high and add water, fresh parsley, and seasonings. Cover and bring to boil.
  • When water comes to boil, stir in pasta. Boil, uncovered, until pasta is tender. (Cooking time will vary depending on type of pasta used.)
  • Add tofu during last one minute of cooking time. Serve hot.


Freezing tofu gives it a meatier texture and helps it to hold together in the soup.
* * * This recipe for Italian Vegetable Soup with Pasta and Tofu  is . . . … gluten-free, plant based, sugar-free, high in fiber, dairy free, egg-free, vegetarian, vegan, and made from real, whole foods.

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  1. We are excited to make this today. We keep homemade chickpea tofu on hand because we are trying to cut down on soy. Didn’t know that freezing made it meatier and hold together better in soup! Had no idea we were improving our chickpea tofu (we love it). Will let you know how it goes. Thanks!

    1. This was fantastic! We used an Italian seasoning for the basil, oregano and sage part of seasoning. We also added some dill to broth instead of making with fennel. Will try fennel next time. Our chickpea tofu was amazing in it and held up beautifully. Thanks so much!

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