Sunday, March 6, 2011

Thai Coconut Veggie Soup: A Simple, Healthy Pleasure for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Sometimes you just need something simple, full of flavor and good for you too (and it also doesn't hurt if it uses up some of those leftover veggies and things in your fridge that are on their way to being not-so-fresh). In this case, a Thai Coconut Veggie Soup is the way to go--light and tangy with lots of flavor. This one is packed full of healthy veggies, making it healthy, hearty and satisfying.

Thai Coconut Veggie Soup
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes 6 Servings)

4 cups homemade or low sodium stock (chicken or veggie)
2 cups lite coconut milk
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
6-8 slices of ginger or galangal, un-peeled
2-3 stalks lemongrass, peeled, bruised and chopped
5-6 kaffir lime leaves, torn

Assorted veggies like:
  • scallions, sliced thinly
  • carrot, sliced very thin
  • corn
  • cabbage, shredded
  • mushrooms, sliced
  • frozen peas
  • tomatoes, seeded and chopped
zest and juice of 2 limes
salt and pepper to taste
sambal oelek or other chili paste to taste, optional
cilantro to garnish

In a large stockpot, add stock, coconut milk, fish sauce, garlic, ginger or galangal, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves and bring to a low boil. Turn down heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Strain, removing lemongrass, ginger and kaffir lime leaves.

Return broth to a low boil and add veggies. Depending on type of veggies, you can add them all at once or put the longer cooking ones in first, then add the others at the end. Cook until veggies are softened but still slightly crisp, about 10 minutes for most.

Add lime zest and juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in chili paste if desired. Serve in bowls, garnishing with cilantro and enjoy.

Notes/Results: Nothing fancy but full of Thai flavors, warming and delicious. The longer you simmer the stock, the more flavor it has--so let it simmer at least 30 minutes. This soup is a good exercise for using up your extra veggies--rounding up whatever you have sitting around. Because I had chicken stock freshly made, I just used that--but you could use veggie stock or if you have fresh corn, make a stock out of the cobs to make it completely vegetarian. The mushrooms make it hearty and not heavy, but if you want more protein--add tofu chunks, shredded cooked chicken or shrimp. A nice bowl of comfort on a rainy day and easy enough to make often.

Let's see who is here in the Souper Sundays kitchen this week.

My pal girlichef made a gorgeous Tomato Garlic Soup with Cheese Tortellini and says, "Don't skip out on making the broth. Seriously. You may look at the (double-) recipe and think "naaaaah." Don't be hasty. Don't jump to conclusions. It's actually super simple and takes almost no time at all to make both the broth and the soup. But the flavor. Ooooh, the FLAVOR! Rich and garlicky and creamy broth (yes, I said creamy broth...I don't know if those two words normally go together, but it works in this case) with sexy bites of cheese-filled pasta."

Tigerfish from Teczcape - An Escape to Food has a Green Tea Red Miso Soup to share this week and says, "Red Miso Soup for the wintery days? In preparation for the cold blast of rain ahead? That's not the point. It is about Green Tea. Huh? WHAAaat? *rub eyes* As green tea (not water) was used to make this red miso soup.Good use of leftover. Good way to have great tea benefits in the miso soup. The tea was not overpowering at all. I could not actually taste it in the soup. Next time, I will have a stronger brew in the same miso soup. It really depends on how you like it.

Claire from Chez Cayenne is back with a creamy Herbed Asparagus Soup. Claire says, "Lately, I've been ramping up the flavor with some herbes de provence, a blend of basil, thyme, fennel and lavender. The lavender adds a lovely floral note to the soup that you could also achieve with some marjoram. I've also made this with a blend of tarragon, thyme and basil. This is loosely based on a soup in Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison's Kitchen."

About her hearty Hungarian Goulash, Umm from Taste of Pearl City says, "Goulash is a very simple stew, traditionally it's kept as simple as possible, with just meat, garlic and onion. A few vegetables like carrot, leeks and celery adds much more flavour. Don't try to add any spices and transform this simple stew into curry( I'm saying this for people like me, who tries to add spices in all different types of food). Prepare the way , how it meant to be, you'll definitely enjoy it and see the difference."

Welcome back to Katerina from Culinary Flavors, who joined us for the first time in November and is back this week with a favorite Chicken Soup. She says, "I ate this soup many years ago, during my first trip to the US. I was visiting Washington DC during Christmas time and I got either flu or a heavy cold. I was staying with friends and that girl Rebecca made that soup for me. It was everything my body wanted. After three or four days the flu was gone and I was ready to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Of course I was 20 years younger back then. So, along with my beautiful and painful memories from Washington, I carried in my luggage this soup as well."

Zibi from Fresh Slowcooking is here with a classic Slow Cooker Ham & Pea Soup and says, "Satisfying and delicious, this ham and pea soup is easy to make and will have you coming back for seconds.This soup tasted great overall and it was a nice change from chicken soup. I will definitely cook this soup again in the summer when fresh peas are abundant, since the flavour from the dry peas is less intense than that of fresh peas. If you decide to use fresh or frozen peas, stir them into the soup during the last thirty minutes of cooking."

I am happy to have Susan from The Well-Seasoned Cook back this week and here with a new soupy take on a classic childhood dish, Cream of Green Bean Casserole Soup. Susan says "...And I must admit, the canned onions do make the dish. In fact, they make it so well that this souped up version cannot do without them. When they are dropped into the hot and steamy bowls, they immediately soften into ragged and rich dumplings. I'm more hooked on them than ever before. I don't have three heads anymore, but two are better than one."

Shri from Tiffin Carrier Antic/que's! made a South Indian Moong Dal Curry Soup this week and says, "This is a very simple Moong Dal Curry. It has several variations: one can do away with onions and garlic but the basic ingredient is the paste of ground coconut with cummin. Several whole spices like cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and cinnamon-leaf also come in the variations: sometimes boiled with the moong beans, or infused into the oil used to saute the onions and left to simmer in the curry or ground with the coconut paste. All these alter the flavour subtly and provides you with that particular home-made dish from memories. This is a soupy version..."

And finally one sandwich this week from Roz at la bella vita, with Italian Sausage, Peppers and Mushrooms on Garlic-Butter Toasted Buns. Roz says, "Whenever I make these, hubby comes into the kitchen and declares "What smells so good?" It's the garlic, darlin', it's the garlic! This is so aromatic bubbling on the stove! The sweet peppers balance out the spiciness of the sausages and tomatoes; plus the buttery mushrooms, garlic and basil, and a splash of Marsala just bring this dish to a perfect melody of flavors. Top that off with the garlic buttered bread . . . well, you cannot go wrong. So completely comforting."

Some wonderful, creative soups and a yummy sandwich this week. My thanks to everyone who joined in. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share--just click on the Souper Sundays logo on my side bar for all of the details.

Have a great week!


  1. Looks very inviting and love the taste too!

  2. Thanks for this recipe. I love the soup at our local Thai restaurant and the one like this one is my favorite. I think it is called Tom Kai or something like that.

  3. Deb, I've always loved Tom Kha Gai Coconut Chicken soup, but this is new with veggies only. Perfect for those of us trying to reduce the amount of meat eaten. You're so lucky if you can easily find kaffir limes and/or leaves in your market. I have to order them online! Thanks for putting this round-up together. I think that you must be the soup queen of the foodie blogs! I enjoy them all!

  4. I like the infusion of Thai flavors in your veggie soup. The coconut milk makes it much more substantial.

  5. The Thai soup sounds and looks delicious! Wonderful spread.

  6. Great round up Deb. Thanks for hosting this beautiful ahd hearty event. All dishes look comforting and delicious!

  7. Thanks for the round up :) can't get enough of soups.

  8. Lovely looking soup recipes, yummy.

  9. I love and crave Thai food just about any day of the week so this soup really speaks to me! Lovely round-up!

  10. I am guilty of having a crisper full of must-use-now(!) veggies. This sounds like a delicious way to use them up. For some reason I'm mesmerized by those thinly sliced carrots. Yes, I'm a weird one. Ha! I can just picture it with one of those proteins, too. Sounds great and delicious roundup, as well :D

  11. I've been thinking about Heather's tomato and garlic soup for the last 2 days! It looks gorgeous!

  12. Love your Thai soup Deb and great roundup as well :)

  13. Delicious Thai flavors in your veggie soup, very healthy too!

  14. Love the veggie take on this recipe. We are heading to Honolulu in just a few short weeks and I think I'll have to make this recipe to celebrate. Thanks for sharing!

  15. ooh that sandwich is calling me!

  16. Looks at all those gorgeous bowls of soup - wow! This roundup definitely has me craving soup. Love that you used what you had on hand to create this Thai veggie soup. I always feel so satisfied when I pull together odds and ends and bring it all together to create something beautiful like this soup. Looks delicious.

  17. Thanks for the round-up, Deb. It's always a treat to scroll through and stop by so many wonderful recipes.

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