Recipe Difficulty: Easy
My Thai Coconut Soup Recipe Thoughts
This is an easy delicious Thai inspired brothy coconut soup using ingredients that are readily available in most super markets. Authentic Thai Soups will use a lot of ingredients that I can't get at the grocery store nearest me. There are Asian grocery stores further away from me but I haven't gone to the larger city center in months, because life is busy. So while I would love to try this sometime using lemon grass, lime leaves, and birds eye chili, I instead use a Red Thai Chili Paste which is infused with many of these flavours.
I think the result is delicious and accessible if you too can't get to an Asian Market or a well stocked grocery store. Another component you'd probably see in non vegan Thai soup is fish sauce. You'd likely serve it along side for drizzling, same as I used to do when I made non vegan pad Thai. I don't find this soup is missing anything, but I do think there are vegan fish sauces out there that I have yet to try. I would be interested to try then at some point! Just sharing as an FYI.
What's in my Soup
As well as the Thai Paste, this soup has home made veg stock, coconut milk (full fat), curry powder, a bit of cumin, onion, garlic, ginger, and a bit of brown sugar and lime to give it some sweet and sour notes. For veggies, I add sliced red pepper and mushroom to my soup, but you could use whatever you would like. The veggies I think of as a garnish in a sense, they get cooked in the broth at the end. I like the idea of bok choy and cherry tomatoes too, or just use whatever you like best.
I use thin rice noodles in this recipe, but you could use a thicker rice noodle, or simply white rice instead. This component of the recipe gets cooked separately. I don't add it to the broth, because then the noodles just absorb the liquid and you no longer will have a soup, you'll have noodles and veggies in a sauce. I cook a portion of rice noodles, add them to my bowl, and top with the brothy soup and garnishes. If I was using white rice, I would use the same approach. With rice noodles, I prefer not to have leftovers. I will only cook roughly the amount I plan on using. Often times they come in packages with several "nests". One nest per person is most likely more than you will need.
To garnish my soup, I like fresh cilantro, chopped roasted peanuts, and extra soy sauce and even sesame oil for drizzling along side. I find adding the plain noodles requires the additional soy sauce. I wouldn't serve it without. I also find the crunchy peanuts really add to the overall eating experience, and I wouldn't omit them personally, I like lots. This might not be authentic, I have no idea...I'm just going with what tastes good to me. A balance of textures and flavours. Depending how much lime juice you added to your soup, a lime wedge along side might be nice too. I also choose to add a sprinkle of chili flakes on top of my soup. It needs the extra heat to my taste, and chili flakes are an ingredient I always have on hand. You could cook a pinch of them into the soup if you prefer, or use a chili paste such as sambal oelek, or if you can get fresh Thai chilis, cook some of that into your soup. It really comes down to personal preference re spice level, and availability.
How to Eat Thai Coconut Soup
I think the ideal bowl for this soup would be a ramen bowl. They are deep and narrower at the top and makes it easy to eat the noodles with chop sticks, and then just lift the bowl up for slurping. I don't have ramen bowls right now, but that's still basically how I eat mine. Bites of chewy delicious noodles, slurps of soup, maybe with a spoon at first, and then when I'm closer to the bottom I just lift the bowl up to my mouth.
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Hey! I'm Trisha