This is inspired by the soup we had at our Fab 5 annual gift exchange. That’s my bestie group, with all sorts of dietary requirements (i.e. GF, dairy free, vegan), and this soup was a winner. I’ve tweaked the recipe so it’s not as sweet and allows for flexibility on which veggies to include, depending on what you have in the fridge. Don’t get overwhelmed by the ingredient list. Several ingredients are optional for added flavour and preferences. I’ll be making a big batch of this tonight. Yum!
coconut oil (or a neutral-flavoured cooking oil)
1.5-2 cups chopped hard veggies, whichever of these you have handy: carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, potatoes
1 medium/large onion, finely chopped
3-5 garlic cloves, minced
2+ tsp. fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated, to taste
4-6 cups of veggie broth or water. Use less liquid if you want a heartier soup, more liquid if you prefer more broth.
1 can coconut milk (400 ml)
2+ Tbsp. soy sauce, to taste (use GF if you need)
2-4 Tbsp, to taste, of your favourite red or yellow Thai curry paste (Thai Kitchen brand is vegan if that’s important to you, while Asian Home Gourmet is the mildest, but with rich flavour)
2-3 lime leaves (optional)
1 stalk lemongrass, washed and trimmed and cut into 2-3 pieces (optional)
Additional veggies*: chopped sweet peppers, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, cooked chickpeas, frozen peas
1/2 – 1+ Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice, or to taste
Firm or extra firm tofu (optional) cut into thin slices or small cubes, as you prefer
cilantro and sliced green onions to sprinkle on top (optional)
cooked rice noodles or rice (optional)
Sautee hard veggies, onion, garlic and ginger in coconut oil until fragrant and veggies begin to soften. Add veggie broth, coconut milk, soy sauce, curry paste, lime leaves, lemongrass, chickpeas if using, and lime juice. Simmer gently, partly covered, for 10-15 minutes so the chickpeas absorb that lovely flavour. Taste and add more soy sauce, curry paste, salt or lime juice if necessary.
*Then add veggies in the most sensible order. Use whatever you like or have on hand, but pay attention to different cooking times: Red peppers only need a minute or two otherwise they become mushy and dull. Add green peas right before serving so they preserve their vibrant green colour. Mushrooms can be added early if you want more flavour, or right before serving if you prefer that fresher texture. Bamboo shoots do well at any stage of the soup.
Tofu can be gently stirred in anytime near the end so it doesn’t fall apart and crumble from too much stirring.
Once the veggies are all tender to your liking, ladle into bowls. Add cooked rice noodles or rice, and top with cilantro and green onions if using. Enjoy 🙂
Oh, and don’t eat the lime leaves or lemon grass. Just leave them in the pot to keep lending their beautiful flavour to any leftovers. Yum!
FAQ: Where the heck can I get lime leaves and lemongrass? T&T market, Superstore and Save-on-Foods typically carry them, and they’re cheap. I use what I need, then freeze the rest in Ziplock-style bags for up to a year. Whenever a recipe calls for it, I just take out of the freezer, rinse and trim as necessary. Works perfectly!