Thai Coconut Soup

We have had freezing cold, snowy weather in Boulder this last week and nothing warms the soul like a big bowl of soup. Which brings me to today’s recipe – Thai Coconut Soup.

Thai Coconut Soup from the Consicous CleanseYears ago my husband and I spent a month in Thailand. One of our fondest memories is of the time we spent in Chang Mai on a farm in northern Thailand. We took a cooking class there learning some of the best Thai dishes that we still make at home today.

Otherwise known as Tom Kha Gai, this soup is a spin on a Thai classic, Thai Coconut Chicken Soup. Using fresh herbs like lemongrass, ginger and cilantro, this vegan version is filled with flavor and packs a serious kick. I was peeling off the layers of clothing during dinner as my insides heated up.

We like spicy food although I’m way more of a wimp when it comes to “Thai hot.” If you’re like me or are making this for a family with young children, start slowly with the crushed red pepper. A little goes a long way and the longer this soup sits on the stovetop, the more the spices and flavors will develop.

I hope this spicy soup warms you from the inside out giving you the energy you need for this final push of winter weather.

Stay warm,


Thai Coconut Soup

Yield: 4 servings


  • 2 cans full fat coconut milk
  • 4 cups veggie broth
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 TB. fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 stalk fresh lemongrass, cut into 3 long pieces
  • 2 cups Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 small baby bok choy, thinly sliced
  • 2 TB. fresh lime juice
  • 1 TB. coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ½ to 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped for garnish
  • Handful fresh cilantro, finely chopped for garnish

In a medium saucepan, combine coconut milk and veggie broth, and bring to a low boil. Add onion, garlic, ginger, and lemongrass and cook until fragrant (about 3 minutes). Reduce heat and add mushrooms and bok choy, simmering for another 5 minutes.

Finally add lime juice, coconut aminos, salt, and crushed red pepper stirring to combine. Garnish with green onion and cilantro.

Discard lemongrass and serve as is or with brown rice.

Meat Lovers Variation: Add 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch strips before mushrooms and bok choy, cooking until chicken is white on the outside, about 10 minutes.

Another option is to bake the chicken breast in the oven, cutting into strips and adding to the soup bowls of the meat eaters.

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Showing 8 comments
  • Evan Hourihan

    This soup sounds delicious, Jules! Can’t wait to try it!

    • Jules Peláez

      Awesome Evan! It is delish (if I do say so myself!). Let me know what you think! :)

  • Julie

    Just made this soup and it is delicious! Warms my soul while its’ 5degrees outside.

    • Jo and Jules

      Yay, Julie! We’re so glad you’re enjoying it. Stay warm! XO, Jo & Jules

  • Frank

    How many ounces of cocunut milk are called for in this recipe. I’m unsure if it’s two 13.5oz cans or two 8oz cans. Thanks!

    • Jo and Jules

      Hi Frank, Great question! It’s 2 – 13.5oz cans. Let us know what you think once you try it. XO, Jo & Jules

  • Justin

    I’m a little confused about coconut milk. I assumed it was treated as a nut milk, and I thought you’re not supposed to combine nuts with brown rice in a cleanse meal (or with meat if you do the chicken option). Can you clarify? Would love to make this but not sure if it’s cleanse-friendly or not. Thanks!

    • Jo and Jules

      Hi Justin, Great question! This meal is cleanse-friendly. Coconut milk is often treated as a nut milk. Since the coconut has already been “liquified” it’s typically easier on the digestive system. We consider it “predigested” and it takes minimal work of our digestive system. This is why it’s okay with rice or with an animal protein. XO, J&J

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