Thai Vegetable Soup with mushrooms, peppers, bok choy, and tofu in a coconut curry broth. This nourishing soup is incredibly cozy, as well as vegan and gluten free.This recipe post is sponsored by Silk and Sprouts Farmers Market. I was compensated for my time, however all opinions are my own.
The BEST Thai Soup Recipe
This Thai-inspired soup may be the answer to whatever ails you this winter. It's brimming with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients, as well as fiber and heart-healthy fats. Though perhaps the best part is the curry-infused, gingery broth. (Truly, I could drink vats of it because it's that invigorating.)
This weeknight-friendly soup comes together in under an hour, and makes for fantastic leftovers. And since it's 100% plant-based, it will last up to 4 days refrigerated. Pack it up for workday lunches, or come home to a nourishing dinner that only requires reheating. Enjoy as a standalone meal, or alongside a crisp green salad and bread.
How to Make Thai Vegetable Soup
This soup does require a fair amount of slicing and dicing, however that's the only time-consuming part. I like to use this as a time to put on some good music and unwind to the rhythmic motion of knife work. It can actually be quite meditative if you use it as an opportunity to zone out a bit. (Just be sure to stay focused on the knife--we don't want any accidents here!)
Chop the Vegetables
While some of the veggies (like onions and carrots) require a more fine dice, the rest can just be roughly chopped. For the mushrooms, most baby bella or white button mushrooms can be halved or quartered. Shiitakes, on the other hand, should be stemmed and roughly torn.
Sear the Tofu
Unlike many Asian soups where tofu is added to the broth raw, I prefer to sear it first. This only takes about 6 to 7 minutes, and makes a world of difference in texture. Once the tofu is nicely golden, transfer it to a plate while you prepare the rest of the soup.
Cook the Aromatics
In this case, onions, carrots, and bell pepper form the aromatic foundation of the soup. You just need to cook these long enough so they slightly soften and release flavor. They'll continue cooking as the soup simmers.
Add the Mushrooms
The mushrooms will significantly deepen in flavor once they get a good sear. Don't rush this process--the level of umami you'll achieve is worth it! Just try and avoid stirring the mushrooms too often as they cook. This will interfere with their direct contact with the pan, which is key to achieving a good sear.
Bloom the Spices
Blooming, or gently frying spices in oil, is an easy way to deepen their flavor. In this case, ginger, garlic, lemongrass paste, curry powder, and cumin will start smelling incredibly aromatic after 1 or 2 minutes of cooking.
Simmer the Soup
The last step is adding the broth and Silk Unsweet Coconutmilk to the pot, and returning the cooked tofu to the soup. Let the soup simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes, uncovered, to let the flavors marry and veggies further soften.
Lastly, stir in the fresh basil and serve!
Thai Vegetable Soup: Ingredients and Substitutions
For this simple vegetable soup, you'll need:
- Fresh Vegetables: I love a mix of mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, carrots, and bok choy, but feel free to use whatever you like! Broccoli and kohlrabi are always good options, too.
- Spices: Curry powder is a must, however you can spice it further to your liking. Other optional add-ins include cinnamon, cumin, garam masala, coriander, and cayenne pepper.
- Lemongrass Paste: Truly one of the BEST shortcut ingredients to yield big, bold flavor. Look for it in a tube refrigerated in the produce section (brand is Gourmet Garden), or in a jar in the international aisle.
- Vegetable Broth: All broth brands are slightly different in terms of color and flavor. My favorite for this soup is Imagine Organic Vegetable Broth, which is infused with tomato paste and a vibrant blend of spices.
- Coconutmilk: In lieu of canned coconut milk, which is a very rich source of saturated fat, this soup gets its creamy character from Silk® Unsweet Coconutmilk. This refrigerated coconutmilk is free of dairy, gluten, carrageenan, and any artificial flavors or flavors. It's also fortified to be a great source of calcium, and vitamins A, E, and B12, plus verified by the Non-GMO Project’s product verification program.
Is Coconut Milk Better than Regular Milk?
In terms of cooking versatility, coconut milk can be used in a wide range of sweet and savory recipes. Its subtle coconut flavor bodes well for soups, stews, and curries. It's also naturally dairy-free, and therefore a suitable option for those with dairy allergies or lactose intolerance.
Coconut milk also tends to be more staple at higher temperatures than dairy milk, which runs the milk of separating/curdling. Nutritionally, coconut milk and dairy milk have very different profiles. While calories vary depending on the fat content of dairy milk (whole vs. 2% vs. skim), all dairy milk contains protein, which coconut milk is devoid of.
In my opinion, one isn't superior to the other, and it all depends what you're using it for.
How Long Does Thai Coconut Soup Last?
This plant-powered vegetable soup will last up to 4 days refrigerated. Just be sure to let it cool completely before pouring in an air-tight container and refrigerating. To reheat, transfer the soup to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until warmed through.
Give this nourishing soup a try for the ultimate winter warmer. And be sure to snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations. Also, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates!
More Easy Vegetarian Soup Recipes:
Thai Vegetable Soup
- Dutch oven or large soup pot
- 1 (14-oz.) block extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ tsp. kosher salt, divided
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 large carrot, finely chopped
- 12 oz. mushrooms, chopped (I used 8 oz. white button, and 4 oz. shiitake)
- 2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
- 2 Tbsp. curry powder
- 1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
- 1 Tbsp. lemongrass paste*
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 4 cups Silk UnSweet Coconutmilk
- 2 heads baby bok choy, stemmed and roughly chopped
- ¼ cup fresh chopped basil leaves, plus more for garnish
- Slice or tear tofu into bite-sized pieces. Head 1 Tbsp. of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add tofu; cook 6 to 7 minutes, turing to lightly brown all sides. Season with ½ teaspoon salt, and transfer to a plate.
- Add remaining 2 tablespoon oil to pan. Add onion, bell pepper, and carrot; cook 5 minutes, until veggies start to soften. Add mushrooms, cook 6 to 7 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are golden.
- Stir in ginger, curry powder, garlic, lemongrass paste, and remaining 1 tsp. salt; cook 2 minutes, until aromatic.
- Add broth and coconutmilk, stirring to break up any browned bits at the bottom of pan. Stir in bok choy and tofu, and gently simmer soup for 15 minutes, uncovered. (If soup starts to boil, reduce heat to maintain a light simmer.)
- Stir in fresh basil, and adjust seasonings as needed. Divide evenly into 6 bowls, and add garnishes of choice.