Thai Coconut Soup

This zesty Thai favourite is full of aromatic herbs and features protein-rich tofu, making it both deliciously fragrant and surprisingly hearty.

Preparation time Prep: 10 mins
cook 40 mins
cool 15 mins

You will need:

  • 3 ½ cups vegan chicken-style stock
  • 3–4 tablespoons peeled and roughly chopped fresh galangal
  • 2–3 cm piece of fresh turmeric, peeled and grated*
  • 1 lemongrass stem, crushed and roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh coriander roots and stems**
  • 6–8 kaffir lime leaves, torn
  • 450 g firm tofu, thinly sliced
  • 200 g tin straw mushrooms (optional), drained, rinsed and cut in half lengthways
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • Juice and zest of 2 limes
  • 1 tablespoon grated palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 400 ml tin full-cream coconut milk
  • 3–4 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • 400 g soft, wok-ready udon noodles
  • 16 green beans, topped and tailed
  • 16 snow peas or sugar snap peas, topped and tailed
  • 1 small red capsicum, seeded and finely sliced into long strips
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, very finely shredded, to garnish
  • 4 coriander sprigs, to garnish
  • 1 lime, quartered, to serve


  • 1In a large, heavy-based stockpot, combine the stock, galangal, turmeric, lemongrass, coriander roots and lime leaves. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse. Remove from the heat and leave to stand for 10–20 minutes, before straining into a large jug or bowl. Discard the herbs and spices – they've done their job, leaving you with a gorgeously fragrant soup base.
  • 2Pour the strained soup back into the stockpot and add the tofu and mushrooms, if using. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes, to allow the tofu to absorb all the flavours.
  • 3Stir in the chilli, lime juice, lime zest and palm sugar. Pour in the coconut milk, soy sauce and vinegar, then add the noodles, beans, snow peas and capsicum. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are separated and warmed through, and the beans are just tender. Be careful not to let the soup boil, or your coconut milk might separate.
  • 4Remove from the heat and ladle into four warmed bowls. Garnish with the shredded lime leaves and coriander sprigs and serve immediately, with lime wedges.

*Tip: When preparing the turmeric, it's a good idea to pop on some food-handling gloves, so your fingers aren't stained bright orange. **Be sure to wash the coriander roots well before using, to get rid of any grit and dirt.

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