This exotic Thai coconut soup is one of the most popular dishes in Thai cuisine and no wonder – it is a delightful blend of creamy coconut milk, mushrooms, and Asian flavorings. Plus, our vegan recipe uses easily-found ingredients to make an exquisite soup!
Thai Coconut Soup
If you’ve ever sat down to a warm bowl of Thai Coconut Soup, you know how its heady blend of flavorings like lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, gingery galangal, and Thai red bird chilies can transport you to another place in just the very first spoonful.
Our vegan recipe has all the creaminess of a coconut milk base with a delicious combination of lemongrass, ginger, lemon leaves (we couldn’t find kaffir lime leaves) or lemon zest, and a small amount of caramelized tomato paste with soy or Tamari sauce for the perfect hint of umami. A handful of shiitake mushrooms (or a mixture of shiitake and oyster mushrooms) give our Thai Coconut Soup a meaty-taste in place of traditionally-used chicken. Thinly-sliced carrots and zucchini add extra sweetness, and fresh scallions and cilantro make a perfect garnish.
Embrace the Adventure
If you live near an Asian market, you are in luck. You can shop for the wonderfully pungent root galangal (we replace it with ginger), lemongrass, lemon leaves, and various mushrooms. These ingredients can also be found at large health food stores or gourmet shops. Step out of your comfort zone — we prefer to visit small markets in different neighborhoods so we can learn about other cultures, sample new foods, and shop for interesting cooking tools and serving pieces!
Our delicious Thai Coconut Soup can be served very simply with a bowl of hot brown rice, quinoa, stir-fried vegetables, and fresh lime quarters; or pair it with a refreshing Soba Noodle Salad with Miso Dressing, Cauliflower Fried Rice, or our favorite Sweet Potato Noodle Stir Fry with Tofu.
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This exotic Thai Coconut Soup is one of the most popular dishes in Thai cuisine and no wonder – it is a delightful blend of creamy coconut milk, mushrooms, and Asian flavorings. Plus, our vegan recipe uses easily-found ingredients to make an exquisite soup!
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil, like avocado or grape seed
- 7 ounces shiitake mushrooms (about 30), stems removed and sliced (do not discard the stems, see note #1)
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 salt
- 2 lemongrass talks, outer layers removed and pounded to release its flavor ( see note #3)
- 2” knob of ginger, grated (we like using a microplane)
- 4 lemon leaves ( you can substitute by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon zest)
- 3 tbsp soy sauce ( see note #2 on how to replace soy sauce on Passover)
- 3 medium carrots, sliced thin (reserve some to garnish)
- 1 large zucchini, sliced thin (reserve some to garnish)
- 8oz ounce baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped ( about 1 cup chopped, reserve some to garnish)
- 1 can of full fat coconut milk
- 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 6 scallions, white and light green parts, sliced (for garnish)
- 2 tsp garlic chili paste, marinated chopped hot red peppers, or hot sauce ( optional)
- Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add the shiitake mushrooms and cook over high heat for 3-4 minutes
- Add the tomato paste and salt and cook for another 3-4 minutes
- Add 6 cups of water, the lemongrass, ginger, lemon leaves and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes, reduce the heat to simmer and add the arrots, zucchini, baby bella mushrooms, cilantro, coconut milk and lemon juice. Simmer, covered for 15 minutes. Add chili paste, if using.
- Pull out the lemongrass stalks and lemon leaves before serving. Garnish with fresh cilantro. raw zucchini, carrots and scallions
- Add Shiitake mushroom stems to your home made vegetable broth to enhance its flavor, See our Vegetarian Matzo Ball Soup recipe
- On Passover, use vegetable broth and vegetable bouillon to replace the soy sauce and adjust salt to taste.
- You can find lemongrass and lemon leaves in your local Asian market. Whole Foods also sells lemongrass.
- Make it a one bowl meal by adding tofu, seitan or a veggie chicken substitute.
- Serving Size: 1 1/4 cups - total 8 servings
- Calories: 145
- Sugar: 4
- Sodium: 559
- Fat: 11
- Saturated Fat: 10
- Unsaturated Fat: 1
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 10
- Fiber: 2
- Protein: 4
- Cholesterol: 0