Vegetarian Thai Coconut Vegetable Soup Recipe

Tom Kha Thai soup
Jonelle Weaver / Getty Images
  • 70 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: about 4 servings
Ratings (5)

Traditionally, Thai coconut soup, or tom kha, is made with lots of spices, such as galangal and lemongrass, and also with chicken. This easy vegetarian Thai coconut vegetable soup recipe is made with fresh cilantro, lime, and cayenne to duplicate the Thai flavors with some more commonly found ingredients.​​​​​

Coconut soup has a long history in Thailand. A recipe for Thai coconut soup as it is commonly prepared today was first introduced in a Thai cookbook in 1890, and that is the recipe that prevails today. And while it's usually made with chicken, vegetarians won't miss out by making this flavorful version of a Thai tradition.

What You'll Need

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 can chickpeas (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • juice from 3 limes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil or cilantro

How to Make It

  1. Sautee the onion, peppers, and garlic in olive oil in a large pot until onions are soft, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the basil, and bring to a simmer. Allow to cook over low heat for one hour.
  3. Transfer half of the soup to a blender and puree until smooth, then return to the pot.
  4. Add basil or cilantro and enjoy your coconut soup!

Notes

  • This recipe is both vegetarian and vegan, so it is 100 percent egg-free, dairy-free and low in cholesterol. I like to add some diced and sauteed tofu to coconut soup to give it an extra boost of protein.​

    Thai food can be very vegetarian and vegan-friendly. If you're looking for more ideas to whip up in your own kitchen, try these other vegetarian and vegan Thai recipes:

    Sources:

    Khun, T., & Lertviriyavit, T. (2016, November 27). Ancient Tom Kha Bpet recipe. Traditional Recipes, http://thaifoodmaster.com/origin/traditional/5959#.WE7FFqIrKRs