This easy to prepare soup is made with homemade beefy tofu crumbles, a simple tomato soup base, and lasagna noodles cooked right in the soup. Top with melty dairy-free cheese and fresh basil, all in a bowl of pure comfort food bliss!
Preheat your oven to 350F (180C). Line with parchment paper or lightly grease a large baking sheet.
Mix the nutritional yeast, soy sauce, olive oil chili powder, garlic powder, and liquid smoke together in a large bowl. It will make a brown paste-like texture. Crumble the block of tofu with your fingers into the bowl along with the seasoning. (No need to press the tofu first, the excess water will bake out in the oven). Mix the tofu crumbles with the seasoning making sure all of the tofu is evenly coated.
Spread the tofu crumbles evenly over the pan. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, stopping to stir the tofu every now and then. Keep a close eye on it towards the end so that it doesn't burn. You want the tofu to be nice and browned. The smaller crumbles will be darker than the larger crumbles, and that's ok because it will provide a variety of texture.
To make the vegan lasagna soup:
In the meantime, in a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes until the onions have turned translucent and begin to brown. Stir in 6 cups of vegetable broth, the crushed tomatoes, oregano and basil. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, stir the broken lasagna noodles into the soup and continue to cook for 7 - 10 minutes until the noodles are al dente, stirring often so they don't stick to each other. Lastly, stir in prepared tofu crumbles and cook for 1 more minute to heat through. The tofu crumbles and pasta will soak up the soup so if it gets too thick, feel free to add more vegetable broth or water as needed to reach the desired consistency. I found that I didn’t need any added salt or pepper as there was plenty in the vegetable broth I used, but of course, feel free to season to taste. To serve, divide among bowls and garnish with toppings of choice.
If you are using a gluten-free noodle, cook the noodles separately according to the package directions and then stir them in. Some gluten-free noodles can get kind of slimy when cooked straight in the soup.If you plan to prepare this soup ahead of time, I also recommend cooking the noodles separately closer to when you are ready to serve, as they will continue to get softer the longer they sit in the soup.