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Spicy Vegetarian Thai Red Curry Soup

Thai Red Curry Soup Recipe

Thai Red Curry SoupThis easy Spicy Vegetarian Thai Red Curry Soup recipe is incredibly versatile—use any vegetables you like, tofu or other proteins, and even rice noodles!

Soup Week

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 being having a raging cold. But anyway, Soup Week! Yay!

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.

Red Curry Paste
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. 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.

About the Recipe

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 with coughing fits, I was operating in a sleep-deprived state. A sleep-deprived state that culminated in me sitting in the dark watching Ice Loves Coco with Miso while waiting for my husband to bring me a Blizzard for dinner. (What?! Miso loves Ice Loves Coco!)

Thai Red Curry Soup
Oh, and that magical touch of brown sugar that I was so proud of coming up with? Yeah, that was from the other recipe too.

But let’s not dwell on that. Let’s dwell instead on the awesomeness that is Thai Red Curry Soup.

Thai Red Curry Soup Recipe

Spicy Vegetarian Thai Red Curry Soup

A sweet, slightly spicy Thai-inspired soup made with mushrooms and cubed tofu.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • 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
  • 1 13.5 oz can lite coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp red curry paste
  • 2 –3 tsp brown sugar optional
  • sliced green onions cilantro, basil leaves, and lime wedges for serving


  • 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.


You can use just about any vegetables in this soup—sweet potatoes, winter or summer squash, green beans, etc. Whatever is in season! Just adjust the cooking time accordingly. Winter squash and potatoes take a longer time to cook, while greens need less time. Rice noodles are a great addition to this soup too.
Craving more veg-friendly recipes? Shop our collection of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks!

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  • Reply
    February 19, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    This soup was delicious and so simple to make. I ate two bowls for dinner and can’t wait for leftovers tomorrow.

    • Reply
      February 24, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      Thanks for your comment–I’m glad to hear it turned out well! 🙂

  • Reply
    February 28, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    So soup is tasty…but I think that 3 tbsp of red curry paste is to much.

    • Reply
      March 1, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      Maybe your curry paste was too strong? I always make it with 3 tablespoons and have never had a problem…

    • Reply
      September 8, 2016 at 9:23 am

      I used red curry kang ped and mine is too strong as well.

  • Reply
    March 12, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Is there anyway to access the nutritional values for this recipe?

  • Reply
    Jill Day
    April 11, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      April 12, 2013 at 7:06 pm

      Thanks for the comment–I’m glad you enjoy it! 🙂

  • Reply
    June 25, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Where do you buy red curry paste?

    • Reply
      June 26, 2013 at 4:05 pm

      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.

  • Reply
    June 27, 2013 at 11:26 am

    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!

    • Reply
      June 28, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      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. 🙂

  • Reply
    October 25, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      October 27, 2013 at 7:13 pm

      I’m glad it was a hit! I love cilantro too, even if that’s an unpopular opinion. 🙂

  • Reply
    January 17, 2014 at 11:45 am

    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.

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 30, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      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.

      • Reply
        January 30, 2014 at 2:43 pm

        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 🙂

        • Reply
          Kiersten Frase
          January 30, 2014 at 2:46 pm

          Well, sometimes that happens! Not everyone likes every recipe. 🙂

  • Reply
    April 3, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    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!
    Thank you.

    My web dev. is in Raleigh. 🙂

  • Reply
    August 20, 2014 at 1:11 am

    Does the tofu have to be cooked beforehand? Or can you just put raw tofu into the broth along with the mushrooms? 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      August 27, 2014 at 5:49 pm

      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. 🙂

  • Reply
    P Buchanan
    October 14, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      April 25, 2015 at 12:30 pm

      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.

  • Reply
    January 1, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    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?

    • Reply
      January 1, 2017 at 9:13 pm

      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!

  • Reply
    January 24, 2019 at 9:58 am

    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. 🙂

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