Thai Vegetable Coconut Soup with Noodles (Vegan)

Thai Vegetable Coconut Soup with Noodles (Vegan)
Thai Vegetable Coconut Soup with Noodles (Vegan). Taken by D.Schmidt for About.com
    30 min
Ratings

So comforting, creamy, nutritious and noodley-fun to eat, this soup is one of my all-time favorites, and it's easy to make too.  Great as a dinner soup, or for a warm and soothing lunch.  Also a great natural remedy if you're fighting a cold or flu bug, and it'll boost your mood too! It's the lemongrass that does it - this added to a variety of healthy greens and a mound of noodles (your choice of rice or wheat). Combined with vegetable broth and coconut milk, this delicious soup is a complete meal in itself. You'll savor the lovely taste, and want to make it again soon.

What You'll Need

  • 8-10 oz. dried wheat or rice noodles, linguini-width
  • 1-2 stalks minced lemongrass , OR 4 Tbsp. frozen prepared lemongrass
  • 4-6 cups vegetable (or faux "chicken") stock (or regular chicken broth if non-veg.)
  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, thinly sliced into matchstick pieces
  • 1/2 package medium or soft tofu (packed in water) - drain off the water and slice tofu into cubes
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped into florets including stems
  • 1-2 cups Chinese cabbage, chopped into bite-size pieces (bok choy, baby bok choy or su choy)
  • 1-2 carrots, sliced
  • 4 Tbsp. soy sauce OR wheat-free soy sauce (or 3 Tbsp. fish sauce + 1 Tbsp. soy sauce if non-vegetarian)
  • 1/2 can good-quality coconut milk
  • 3-4 kaffir lime leaves OR substitute a squeeze of lime juice (about 1/2 tsp.)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped if leaves are large (or substitute fresh coriander/cilantro)
  • Optional: fresh-cut chilies OR chili sauce, to taste

How to Make It

  1. Cook noodles according to instructions on package.  Cover and set aside.
  2. Place stock in a soup pot together with lemongrass (include left-over stalk pieces if using fresh), plus galangal (or ginger), whole lime leaves or lime juice, and carrots. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Allow to simmer while you chop up and add the remaining vegetables. Simmer until vegetables have softened but are still bright in color (about 5 minutes).
  1. Reduce heat to minimum and add the coconut milk, stirring to dissolve. Finally, add the tofu, gently stirring so it doesn't fall apart.
  2. Add the soy sauce. If you prefer your soup spicy, add some fresh-cut chilies OR 1-2 tsp. chili sauce - or simply serve it on the side. Do a taste test, adding more soy sauce if not salty enough. If you find the soup too salty (this depends on how salty your broth was to start with), add 1 to 2 Tbsp. lime juice. If too sour for your taste, add 1 tsp. sugar.
  3. Portion out noodles into bowls. Pour several ladles of soup over each bowl of noodles. Sprinkle over fresh basil, and serve with chili sauce on the side, if desired - either store-bought or my own homemade Thai Chili Sauce (Nam Prik Pao) for an extra kick of flavor and spice. ENJOY!