This easy Spicy Thai Red Curry Soup is incredibly versatile - use any vegetables you like, tofu or other proteins, and even rice noodles! And it's 100% vegetarian and vegan friendly too.
It's Soup Week on Oh My Veggies!
Now, before you get all impressed, you should know that the reason this week is Soup Week is because I've spent the past two weeks sick and I haven't wanted to eat much other than soup.
So this is less about me being an amazing, creative food blogger and more about me having a raging cold. But anyway, Soup Week! Yay!
Why Thai Curry Soup?
My favorite local Thai restaurant serves the most delicious Thai Red Curry Soup with their lunch specials.
Like most lunch special soups, there's not much to it - broth and usually 4–5 cubes of tofu, about the same number of sliced mushrooms, and a scant teaspoon of thinly sliced scallions.
But that's okay, because the best part is the broth anyway. It's a little bit spicy, a tiny bit sweet, and incredibly fragrant from the combination of coconut milk and red curry paste.
Mmmmm... so good. This has quickly become one of my favorite vegetarian Thai recipes.
I've made a soup similar to this with summer veggies and green curry paste in the past, and I thought I could switch out the green curry with red and I'd get something pretty close to the Thai restaurant Red Curry Soup.
It was really close, but the missing piece of the puzzle was a little bit of brown sugar. Then it was perfect.
If you choose not to use the brown sugar, this recipe is still good, don't get me wrong! But the sugar adds just a touch of sweetness that mimics the red curry broth in restaurant soups.
After going through all the work of making this, I realized that, other than the red curry, this is pretty similar to the Coconut Lime Tofu Soup I posted last year. (And I even mentioned the Thai restaurant in that post too.)
I blame this on the fact that after staying up three nights in a row , I was operating in a sleep-deprived state.
But let's not dwell on that. Let's dwell instead on the awesomeness that is this Thai Red Curry Soup.
The question I get most often is about the red curry paste. You are looking for the kind that comes in a jar and is typically in the international food aisle at the grocery store. I specifically use this one.
Make sure you use firm or extra firm tofu - anything else will be too soft and fall apart in your soup.
Be sure to use coconut milk here - not coconut cream. They are indeed two different ingredients. I used the lite coconut milk for a little less fat.
I used simple white mushrooms here, but you can swap them for something more exotic like shiitake or oyster mushrooms if you prefer.
As for the vegetable broth, I prefer to use homemade vegetable stock. But you can use your own favorite brand for a quicker preparation.
And if you love this Thai Red Curry Soup, be sure to check out these other delicious recipes:
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1- inch ginger peeled and cut into slices
- 8 oz white mushrooms sliced
- 14 oz firm tofu cut into bite-sized cubes
- 14 oz lite coconut milk canned
- 3 tbsp Thai red curry paste
- 2 tsp brown sugar optional
For Serving (optional)
- green onions sliced
- fresh cilantro chopped
- fresh basil chopped
- lime wedges
- Bring broth and ginger to a boil over high heat.
- Once broth has come to a boil, use a slotted spoon to remove ginger.
- Add mushrooms and tofu and reduce heat to medium-low; cook about 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are softened.
- Stir in coconut milk, curry paste, and brown sugar.
- Remove from heat and ladle into bowls; serve with green onions, cilantro, basil, and lime wedges.
This soup was delicious and so simple to make. I ate two bowls for dinner and can’t wait for leftovers tomorrow.
Thanks for your comment--I'm glad to hear it turned out well! 🙂
So soup is tasty...but I think that 3 tbsp of red curry paste is to much.
Maybe your curry paste was too strong? I always make it with 3 tablespoons and have never had a problem...
I used red curry kang ped and mine is too strong as well.
Is there anyway to access the nutritional values for this recipe?
Here's a recipe calorie calculator you can use: http://caloriecount.about.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php
Jill Day says
we make this all the time now. I do chicken instead of tofu since we're not vegetarians, and don't like tofu. We change up the veggies to whatever we have on hand...sometimes zucchini, sometimes carrots, sometimes peppers, but ALWAYS mushrooms. Sometimes we throw in rice noodles too. One of my husband's favorite dishes now.
Thanks for the comment--I'm glad you enjoy it! 🙂
Where do you buy red curry paste?
You should be able to find it at any grocery store. It's usually in the ethnic aisle or with the Asian sauces, noodles, etc.
I've been wanting to make some Thai red curry dishes, and your recipe sounds yummy! I've seen several different brands of curry paste, but not sure which one to try – I'd really like to get an 'authentic' flavor. Do you have a particular favorite brand that you'd recommend? Or have you ever made your own paste using red curry powder?
Thank you kindly for your time and efforts to bring us your blog and recipes!
I haven't made my own red curry paste, although I'm pretty sure I've seen recipes for it around the web. I usually buy the Thai Kitchen brand. I don't know how authentic it is, but it tastes good to us. 🙂
Made this for dinner last night and it was delicious! So simple but very flavorful. And for me the cilantro was a must. The soup was yummy on its own, but the cilantro made it awesome.
I'm glad it was a hit! I love cilantro too, even if that's an unpopular opinion. 🙂
I've yet to find a vegetarian Thai curry paste and my regular grocery store - they always have shrimp paste or anchovies or fish sauce or something. Sigh.
Kiersten Frase says
Are you in the US? If you are, look for the Thai Kitchen brand. It's actually the only brand of curry paste my grocery store sells and it's vegan: http://www.thaikitchen.com/products/sauces-and-pastes/red-curry-paste.aspx. They have a store finder online or you can order it too.
Sadly, I thought this soup was lacking any depth. It was spicy, but that was about it. Perhaps it's because I had unsweetened coconut milk? The recipe didn't specify and it was the first time I've used this ingredient. Please advise.
Kiersten Frase says
I'm sorry it didn't turn out for you! Unsweetened coconut milk is correct (I've actually never heard of the sweetened kind), so my guess is that it was the red curry paste you used. I like the flavor of Thai Kitchen curry pastes, so I typically use that brand in my recipes.
I used Thai Kitchen, probably just me LOL!
Your new weekly meal plans are awesome. Using the one from last week - that Butternut Squash chili was amazing! Thank you 🙂
Kiersten Frase says
Well, sometimes that happens! Not everyone likes every recipe. 🙂
I'm going to prepare your recipe tomorrow for dinner guests.
Do you think it goes well with Pad Thai?
Any suggestions for a super easy dessert would be great as well!
My web dev. is in Raleigh. 🙂
Kiersten Frase says
I think it would be fine to serve with Pad Thai. 🙂 You might want to try this for dessert: https://ohmyveggies.com/recipe-baked-banana-wontons-optional-coconut-caramel-sauce/
Does the tofu have to be cooked beforehand? Or can you just put raw tofu into the broth along with the mushrooms? 🙂
Kiersten Frase says
You can put it in raw - it will be soft in the soup. If you prefer it to be chewier, you can slice it thinly and pan-fry it in a little oil first. 🙂
P Buchanan says
This was SO INCREDIBLY BLAND!!! The only thing I did different was used 'regular' canned coconut milk instead of light! I ended up adding the rest of the jar of red curry paste and added salt, a little tamari...and it was still really bland and hardly any kick at all.
I wanted to love this soup but found that while the broth was flavourful, the veggies/tofu were very bland. The ginger wasn't enough to give them good flavour. I wonder whether putting in the red thai curry paste from the beginning would make more sense, as the mushrooms and tofu would absorb this flavour. Having said that, the combination of ingredients is great and I would try it again with some modifications.
This looks amazing. I'm prepping to make it now. I've got a curiosity though: Why remove the ginger after the broth is boiling?
Just because if you left it in and bit into a piece of ginger it could be pretty intense. 🙂 I hope you enjoy the soup!
Thank you for the inspiration! This is actually something I have NEVER even attempted to make... And I really don't know why! It will be on my list for next week. 🙂