Recipe: Thai Coconut Soup

from the book Moosewood Restaurant New Classics


  • 6 cups water
  • 3 stalks fresh lemongrass, coarsely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 leek or onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 3 inches fresh ginger root, sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds (optional)
  • 14 ounces coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • pinch cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ cake tofu, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • scallions, minced


In a large soup pot, combine the water, lemongrass, celery, leeks or onions, carrots, ginger, peppercorns, salt, and coriander (optional). Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 35 to 45 minutes.

Drain the vegetables in a strainer and return the stock to the soup pot. Then press the vegetables, squeezing their juices into the stock. Add the coconut milk, lime juice, cayenne, and turmeric and bring to a simmer. Add the tofu, mushrooms, cilantro, and salt, and cook gently for 3 to 5 minutes.

Serve garnished with minced scallions and fresh cilantro.

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