This vegan cream of chicken soup recipe is thick, warm, filling, herby, savory, and of course, creamy! This dairy-free and veggie-friendly soup has a super thick broth that’s filled with onions, garlic, celery, and storebought vegan chicken. The broth is mixed together with lots of herbs and a super-easy cashew cream for a rich, velvety comforting soup.
why we love this vegan cream of chicken soup
There’s nothing quite like a big bowl of soup in the middle of January. And what’s better than a big bowl of some nostalgic vegan-friendly cream of chicken soup?! This soup is packed with savory, herby flavor that is far better than the canned version but still incredibly easy to make. I love that I only need one stockpot to make this recipe and a handful of ingredients that are relatively easy to find.
why this recipe works
This vegan cream of chicken soup recipe uses store-bought vegan chicken. Depending on the recipe, storebought vegan chicken can lose some of its texture if it sits in soups too long. In this recipe, we add the “chicken” at the very end of the cooking time. This ‘chicken’ soup recipe gets a lot of its flavor from vegan not-chicken bouillon cubes. If you’re able to find it, I highly recommend using these instead of normal boxed veggie stock.
the soup ingredients
This soup uses pretty simple ingredients that you probably already have in your fridge! It uses aromatics like onion and garlic that create a super savory flavor. I also recommend using fresh thyme if you’re able to find it since it adds a great deal of herby aroma to the broth. Of course, you can also substitute dried herbs if you’d like.
You’ll need to gather the following ingredients:
- Vegan Butter
- All Purpose Flour
- Fresh Thyme
- Vegan Not-Chicken Bouillon Cubes
- Dry White Wine
- Frozen, Storebought Vegan Chicken Strips or Nuggets, like Gardein or Morningstar
- and some Herbs & Spices!
the vegan chicken
Thankfully, there are so many new kinds of store-bought vegan chicken available now! Feel free to use your favorite brand in this recipe. If you’re not sure where to start or have never tried vegan chicken before, below are a few of my recommendations for this dairy-free veggie chicken soup:
- For alot of soup recipes, I like to use Gardein’s unbreaded “chicken strips”, like the ones that come in their Teriyaki Chik’n. If using this product, you can place the sauce packet that comes with it back in the freezer for other future recipes (like tofu stir fries!).
- If you can’t find unbreaded vegan chicken, you could also use diced-up Gardein vegan chicken nuggets or Morningstar vegan chicken nuggets. Breaded vegan chicken nuggets will thicken up the stew more than the unbreaded ones, so just keep that in mind! You may need to add a little veggie stock or water to thin it back out to your liking.
- Trader Joe’s also sells pretty good vegan chicken nuggets in their freezer section that you can use.
equipment and tools
- Large Stockpot or Dutch Oven: to simmer the soup in
- Measuring Cups: to accurately measure the liquids
- High Speed Blender: to make the cashew cream
how to make vegan cream of chicken soup
sautéing the vegetables
Like many soup recipes, the first step is to melt the vegan butter in a large pot on medium heat. Once the butter is melted, you’ll saute the onion, garlic, and celery until translucent, which should take about 10 minutes. Be sure to stir the mixture occasionally to prevent the bottom from burning.
To help thicken the soup, this recipe calls for all-purpose flour. The flour should be added directly to the sauteed vegetables, before any liquid. You can sprinkle on the flour, mix it in with the veggies until they’re evenly coated, and cook it for 1 minute to get the raw flour taste out.
making the broth
Now that all the veggies are a bit tender and coated evenly in the flour, you can slowly pour the white wine onto the vegetables to deglaze the bottom of the pot. This step is optional but highly recommended as it does add a lot of flavor and needed acidity to the cream of ‘chicken’ soup!
Please note: Not all wines are vegan. You can use Barnivore.com to check and see if your wine is vegan-friendly.
To make the rest of the broth, pour the vegan bouillon cube and water onto the vegetables. If you’re not using vegan bouillon cubes, you can substitute the same amount of water for vegetable broth.
Next up, you’ll want to add all of the seasonings and stir the mixture to combine. Simmer the mixture for 15-20 minutes uncovered on medium-low heat.
how to make the cashew cream
I don’t typically use cashew cream in a lot of my recipes since cashews can be relatively pricey, but I definitely think it’s necessary here. The cashew cream makes the soup just as thick and velvety as traditional cream of chicken soup.
To make the cashew cream, follow these easy steps:
- While the soup simmers, soak the cashews with ½ cup of hot water for 10 minutes.
- Transfer to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
- After the soup has simmered for 15-20 minutes, pour in the cashew cream.
Add the diced vegan chicken, if using, and simmer for 5 more minutes until the vegan chicken is heated through.
don’t have cashews?
If you don’t have cashews, no worries! This soup can be made with dairy-free milk like Oat Milk instead. Just note, the broth may be thinner and darker in color than if using cashews. You can substitute the same amount of unsweetened oat milk or soy milk for 1/2 cup of cashew cream.
veggie cream of chicken soup tips & tricks
I also like to use Gardein, Morningstar, or Trader Joe’s breaded chicken nuggets. All of these are frozen, so I place them in the microwave for 30 seconds to thaw them enough to diced them up.
Yes, while cashews give the creamiest texture, boxed unsweetened plain oat milk or soy milk can be substituted.
If you don’t have the not-chicken bouillon, you can substitute 4 cups of normal veggie stock instead of the water. Be sure to use a veggie stock with salt added or adjust the salt levels to taste, since the bouillon cubes do have a good amount of sodium.
I love serving this soup with some toasted crusted bread with vegan garlic butter spread on it. It’s also great with a sprig of fresh thyme on top as garnish.
This soup will stay fresh in the fridge for 5 days if stored in an air-tight container. The soup does thicken up when cooled in the fridge but should thin back out a little bit when reheated on the stovetop or the microwave.
While I haven’t tried it with this particular recipe, you could also freeze this soup if you’d like it to stay fresh for longer.
Looking for more cozy soups or stews?
- Roasted Sweet Potato Carrot Soup
- Creamy Vegan Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- Roasted Vegan Tomato Soup
- The Best Vegan Beef Stew
- Vegan Seitan Beef Bourguignon
- Vegan Chicken and Dumplings
Did you make this Vegan Cream of Chicken Soup? I’d love to know! Leave a rating and comment below!
- ¼ cup vegan butter, like Country Crock Plant Butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped- about 1 ½ cups
- 4 stalks celery (plus the leaves), chopped- about 1 ½ cups
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced- about 1 tbsp
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 non-chicken bouillon cube, see notes for substitutions
- 4 cups of water
- 1 cup store-bought frozen vegan chicken nuggets, like Gardein or Morningstar, thawed & diced small (optional but recommended)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp poultry seasoning
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ¾ tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup hot water
- In a large stockpot, melt the vegan butter on medium heat.
- Add the onion, celery, and garlic and saute in the melted vegan butter until soft, about 10 minutes.
- Once the onion is semi-translucent, sprinkle on the flour while stirring. The flour should coat all of the vegetables evenly. Cook for about 1 minute.
- Slowly pour on the white wine to deglaze the pan. Then, add the vegan bouillon cube and water onto the vegetables (or vegetable broth if not using the bouillon cube).
- Add all of the seasonings and stir the mixture to combine. Simmer the mixture for 15-20 minutes uncovered on medium-low heat.
- While the soup simmers, soak the cashews with ½ cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Transfer to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
- After the soup has simmered for 15-20 minutes, pour in the cashew cream. Add the diced vegan chicken, if using, and simmer for 5 more minutes until the vegan chicken is heated through.
- Serve warm with crusty bread and a sprig of fresh thyme on top.
- Not all wines are vegan. You can use Barnivore.com to check and see if your wine is vegan-friendly.
- If you don't have vegan non-chicken bouillon cubes, substitute the 4 cups of water + bouillon for 4 cups of regular vegetable stock.
- You can use your favorite store-bought, frozen vegan chicken in this recipe. I like to use either the unbreaded vegan Chick'n strips by Gardein or Morningstar breaded vegan chicken nuggets.
- Both of these come frozen, so I recommend placing them in the microwave for 30 seconds- 1 minute to thaw them enough to dice them up.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 350Total Fat: 18gSodium: 257mgProtein: 8g
Nutritional info is an estimate.
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