Vegan Thai Coconut Noodle Soup

Vegan Thai Coconut Noodle Soup

If I had to choose one meal to have for the rest of my life this would be it. A delicious, fragrant, spicy, slightly sweet, creamy, tangy and hearty Vegan Thai Coconut Noodle Soup. We cook this dish at home no matter what the weather is like outside. We live in a hot country and still find this noodle soup to be one of our favourite meals all year round.

While in the north of Thailand, we had the best coconut noodle soups. I remember a small restaurant in Chiang Rai where they served the tastiest noodle soup we’ve ever had. So rich and served with crispy noodles on the top (Khao Soi), it was probably one of the best meals we had in this Asian country.

The key to making a rich and yummy soup is the curry paste. For this reason, we only use good quality store-bought paste or homemade paste. For our Thai Coconut Noodle Soup, we make red curry paste from scratch when possible. Making a curry paste from scratch shouldn’t take long when you have the right ingredients and a food processor or blender. Our recipe is Vegan and can be made gluten-free when using gluten-free soy sauce.

Vegan Thai Coconut Noodle Soup

How to make Red Curry Paste from Scratch. (Skip if using store-bought paste)

You cannot go wrong with homemade red curry paste. All you need are the right ingredients, a good blender or food processor and 20 minutes of your time. The deep flavour it will bring to your curry is just not possible to get from a store-bought one. Our red curry paste is vegan and gluten-free, but be aware that sometimes, the paste you buy or get in a restaurant may contain fish sauce or prawn paste.

Ingredients for the Red Curry Paste

Thai Red Curry with Tofu

Dried bird-eye chillies. You can use larger chillies as well. This is the main ingredient to give the curry paste a red colour. In order to be able to use more chillies without the paste being too spicy, the chillies need to be deseeded. Using gloves, cut the chillies down the side with scissors, remove the seeds and leave them soaking in water for around 10 minutes. We normally add around 10-15 bird-eyes chillies. The soup comes out spicy but not too spicy. If you prefer a milder Thai coconut soup, get larger chillies, as they will be less spicy.

Coriander Stems. Originally, red curry paste is made with coriander roots, but as we cannot find coriander roots, we use coriander stems. Prepare the coriander steams chopping them into small pieces.

Lemongrass Stalks. One of the most popular ingredients in Thai food. Lemongrass will give your curry proper Thai fragrance and flavour. The part of the lemongrass stalks you need is the bottom part. When you slice it, it has a purple colour inside. Save the green top part to add later while the soup is simmering for extra flavour.

Shallots. We use finely chopped shallots for our curry paste but white or red onion can be used as well.

Ginger or galangal. Ginger is the one we use to make the curry paste, it’s easier to find and we normally have it at home already. Originally, the curry paste is made with galangal so if you have easy access to it, go for it!

Kaffir lime leaves or kaffir lime zest. Again, we use lime leaves as they are easier to find and they give our soup the limy taste that makes it tangy and delicious.
The Kaffir lime leaves can be blended if you remove the stalk or add in the soup while simmering. If you have kaffir lime, use the zest which is the outer part of the lime and blend it with the rest of the ingredients of the curry paste.

Garlic. Finely chopped or crushed raw garlic.

Spices. Our spice blend for the red curry paste contains white and black peppercorns, cumin powder, coriander powder.Sea salt. If you want to keep your paste a few days or a week in the fridge, it will stay good for longer if you add salt or sea salt.

To make the red curry paste, simply blend all the ingredients in a food processor or blender for 20-30 seconds or until you have the desired consistency.

How to Make the Thai Coconut Soup Step by Step

Once your red curry paste is ready, or if you are using store-bought curry paste, our recipe comes together in 25 minutes, following these easy instructions.

  1. First, cook the rice noodles following the packet instructions. Once cooked, rinse with cold water and leave aside. You can use wheat noodles, buckwheat noodles, vermicelli noodles or any other type that you have at home. For this recipe, rice noodles are our favourite.
  2. Heat some coconut oil in a big pot or big frying pan. We use a big frying pan as it has a two-litre capacity and that’s enough for our family. Add the red curry paste and fry for a couple of minutes until fragrant. This step is really important as you want the ingredients and spices in the paste to cook.
  3. Add turmeric, sliced onion, chopped carrot, broccoli florets and tofu cut in cubes into the pan. Mix all the ingredients and keep cooking for 5-8 minutes.
  4. Pour coconut milk and vegetable stock. You can use store-bought vegetable stock or use a homemade broth. Bring to simmer and add soy sauce and brown sugar. Leave simmering for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the cooked rice noodles in a serving bowl and pour the broth on the top. Add some lime slices and fresh cilantro or coriander on the top.

Variations of Thai Coconut Noodle Soup

We love our recipe as it is but you can always try changing it to your taste or to try a different way to enjoy a delicious Thai Noodle Soup.

Vegan Thai Coconut Noodle Soup
  • Using a different curry paste. Check how to make green curry paste or Panang curry paste on our Green Curry or Panang Curry Recipe. We love making this noodle soup with green curry paste and green vegetables such as broccoli, kale or green beans. Panang curry paste is really yummy too and will give the soup a peanutty taste.
  • Without coconut milk. Some days we prefer a lighter dinner and we make our Thai Noodle Soup without coconut milk. Instead of coconut milk, add more vegetable stock. Make sure to add lemongrass stalks cut in half and lime leaves while cooking the soup to give it some extra flavour.
  • Using a different protein. We use tofu for our Coconut Noodle Soup but Tempeh would be a delicious and healthy option too. Coconut Soup can be the perfect chance to eat pulses. Check this delicious Thai Coconut Noodle Soup with Chickpeas.
  • Healthier option with no noodles. Our Tom Kha Soup is a great choice if you are looking for a lighter and healthier option.
Vegan Thai Coconut Noodle Soup

Vegan Thai Coconut Noodle Soup

Hearty and creamy Thai Coconut Noodle Soup with Tofu. Vegan and Gluten-free
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: Coconut Noodle Soup, Vegan Thai Soup
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoon red curry paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 150 g broccoli
  • 250 g tofu
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 600 ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • A handful of fresh cilantro

Instructions

  • Cook the rice noodles following the packet instructions. Once cooked, rinse with cold water and leave aside.
  • Heat some coconut oil in a big pot or big frying pan. Add the red curry paste and fry for a couple of minutes until fragrant.
  • Add turmeric, sliced onion, chopped carrot, broccoli florets and tofu cut in cubes into the pan. Mix all the ingredients and keep cooking for 5-8 minutes.
  • Pour the coconut milk and vegetable stock. Bring to simmer and add soy sauce and brown sugar. Leave simmering for 10 minutes.
  • Add the rice noodles in a serving bowl and pour the soup on the top. Add some lime slices and fresh cilantro or coriander on the top.

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