Nutritional yeast is the ingredient behind irresistible popcorn, creamy vegan pasta sauce that doesn’t make you miss the Parmesan (quite as much), and—in this recipe—a super-flavorful vegetarian soup that comes together in just about 30 minutes. When nutritional yeast is dissolved into water and reduced with onions, garlic, and ginger, it creates a deeply savory broth in very little time. Miso adds complexity (and, of course, saltiness)—use 1 Tbsp. if you want a lighter broth or 2 Tbsp. if you want something more robust.
The other components of this recipe are chickpeas—some are fried for a crunchy topping, while the rest get super tender as they bubble away in the broth itself—and noodles. You can use dried or fresh noodles. If using fresh noodles, like yakisoba, ramen, or pan-fry noodles, use 16 oz. and simply add them to the broth for the final minute or so to warm them through. If using dried noodles, like udon, use one package (between 8–10 oz.) and cook them separately while the soup simmers so they don’t absorb all the luscious broth.
The final component—and what rounds this out into a complete meal—is broccolini. Sweet and vegetal, it makes a particularly nice addition because its legginess imitates the long noodles. If you can’t find it, however, feel free to use another quick-cooking green, like thinly sliced bok choy.
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cup vegetable oil
15.5-oz. cans chickpeas, rinsed, divided
tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt, plus more
cup nutritional yeast, plus more
large onion, finely chopped
2″ piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
garlic cloves, finely grated
Tbsp. chickpea miso or yellow miso
8–10-oz. package dried udon or other wheat noodles or 16 oz. fresh wheat noodles (such as yakisoba, ramen, or pan-fry noodles)
oz. broccolini, halved lengthwise if thick
tsp. (or more) unseasoned rice vinegar
Cilantro leaves with tender stems (optional) and chili oil (for serving)