Creamy Thai Coconut Mushroom Soup

vegetarian cream of mushroom soup

Think of this creamy dish as a vegan alternative to chicken noodle soup. Here chicken stays on the farm, where it belongs, and succulent and earthy mushrooms are the meaty component. Throw in some fresh bean sprouts and some rice noodles and you have a silky, comforting bowl of soup to be enjoyed anytime of year. Red curry paste is, of course, an essential component of this and so many other Thai dishes. You can use store-bought curry pastes if you like, but nothing beats the fresh taste of homemade curry paste — take a little time to make your own batch and you'll have plenty to keep on hand for weeks afterwards in the refrigerator.

The recipe I present here is pretty faithful to what I did in the kitchen, but the quantities are rather approximate because there is always room to add more or less of what you desire. Cooking is not an exact science but a work of art in progress and each dish should be approached with a view to satisfying your culinary urges and well being.

Creamy Thai Coconut Mushroom SoupCreamy Thai Coconut Mushroom Soup
Recipe by
Cuisine: Thai
Published on February 25, 2013

Thick, creamy and comforting mushroom soup with gentle Thai flavors and coconut milk

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

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  • 1/2 oz (14 g) dried mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, sliced into small rounds
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger or galangal, minced or grated
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed and cut into strips
  • 3 cups fresh mixed mushrooms (I used enoki, button and oyster), sliced
  • a few generous handfuls of bean sprouts
  • 3 1/2 cups (2 14 oz or 400 ml cans) coconut milk
  • 2 to 3 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1 tablespoon tamari (soy) sauce
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sweetener (optional)
  • a few pinches of paprika
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste, or to taste
  • handful of kaffir lime leaves (optional)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups uncooked rice noodles
  • juice from two limes (3 tablespoons)
  • generous handful of fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 2 scallions, trimmed and chopped for garnish
  • Soak the dried mushrooms in the hot water for 20 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking liquid, and chop.

  • Heat the oil over medium-heat in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. When hot, toss in the shallots, ginger, carrot and lemongrass and stir for a few minutes.

  • Turn up the heat to medium-high and add the fresh and dried mushrooms to the pan. Stir for a few minutes until the mushrooms begin to release their juices. Add splashes of the reserved mushroom soaking liquid to the pan to keep the vegetables and mushrooms from sticking.

  • Now add a portion of the bean sprouts, stir, and pour in the coconut milk, the remaining reserved mushroom soaking liquid and 2 cups of the vegetable stock or water. Stir in the tamari, sweetener if using, paprika, curry paste and lime leaves if using. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often, until the soup begins to thicken. Add more bean sprouts to the pan, stir and simmer for another minute or so.

  • Now stir in the rice noodles, turn off the heat and cover the pan. Let stand for 10 minutes. Discard the lemongrass and add more vegetable stock or water as desired. Stir in the lime juice and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning and stir in more curry paste if desired. Serve piping hot in bowls and garnish with the scallions and a few bean sprouts.

Makes 6 servings
Thai coconut mushroom soup

More Thai dishes you are sure to enjoy from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Thai Green Curry Lentil and Vegetable Soup
Thai Coconut Mango Quinoa Salad
Massaman Curry with Paneer Cheese


Home Cooked food said...

love both the recipes.

Ruth said...

I made this for supper tonight and it was absolutely delicious!! I didn't have lime leaves or lemon grass and it was still very tasty.

Plant-based Cooking said...

I cannot get lemon grass where I live. Can I use frozen or dried or is there an acceptable substitute?

Lisa Turner said...

You could use frozen or dried or even lemon or lime zest or thinly sliced peel that you would remove before serving.

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

Bring it on Lisa! You hit the spot with this one.

You know how much I love mushrooms :)

Unknown said...

This recipe looks so simple. I have to try it when mushrooms are on sale.

Amber said...

Delicious, made this for dinner tonight and will certainly make it again. Some stores sell tubes of lemongrass near other fresh herbs.

ABC said...

I made this with and it was so incredibly good. I used dried lemongrass and wheat noodles instead. Thanks for the recipe.