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5 from 4 votes
Two Bowls of Thai Coconut Soup with Napkin, Lime Wedge, and a Bunch of Cilantro
Thai Coconut Soup
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
50 mins

This Thai coconut soup is rich, satisfying, and full of flavor! Made with a creamy spiced coconut milk base, crispy pan-fried tofu, tender veggies, and topped with fresh herbs, this soup tastes like it came from a restaurant, but is surprisingly easy to whip up in your own kitchen.

Course: Soup
Cuisine: Thai
Servings: 4
Calories: 420 kcal
Author: Alissa Saenz
  • 5 dried makrut lime leaves* (or fresh, if available)
  • 2 (4 inch) stalks lemongrass**
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or high-heat oil of choice), divided
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh galangal***
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (14 ounce or 400 ml) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 ½ cups fresh baby corn, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup sliced shiitake mushroom caps
  • 7 ounces extra firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 cups fresh broccoli florets (about 1 small crown)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sambal oelek
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh cilantro, basil and/or scallions, for serving
  1. If you're using dried makrut lime leaves, start by placing them in a cup or bowl of hot water. Let them soak for about 20 minutes while you prep the remaining ingredients, then chop them finely.

  2. Cut a slit down the length of each lemongrass stalk, then peel away the dried outer layers. Finely chop the inner core.

  3. Coat the bottom of a large pot with a tablespoon of coconut oil and place it over medium heat.

  4. When the oil is hot, add the shallot and cook it until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

  5. Add the garlic, galangal, and cilantro. Cook everything for about a minute, until very fragrant.

  6. Stir in the broth, coconut milk, baby corn, mushrooms, lemongrass and makrut lime leaves. Raise the heat and bring the liquid to a boil.

  7. Lower the heat and allow the soup to simmer for about 15 minutes, until the veggies are tender.

  8. While the soup simmers, cook the tofu. Coat the bottom of a medium skillet with the remaining tablespoon of oil and place it over medium heat.

  9. When the oil is hot, add the tofu in an even layer.

  10. Cook the tofu for about 10 minutes, flipping it once or twice to achieve browning on multiple sides.

  11. Remove the tofu from the skillet and transfer it to a plate.

  12. Once the soup has simmered for about 15 minutes, stir in the broccoli. Simmer the soup for about 5 minutes more, until the broccoli is tender and bright green.

  13. Remove the soup from heat and stir in the tofu, lime juice, and sambal oelek. Season it with salt to taste.

  14. Ladle the soup into bowls and top it with fresh cilantro, basil and/or scallions. Serve.

Recipe Notes

*You can substitute a tablespoon of lime zest if needed, though the flavor will  be slightly different.

**Lemongrass paste (available in the produce section of most supermarkets) may be used if you can't find fresh. I'm not entirely sure how much to use though, so I'd add it to taste, just a bit at a time when the soup is almost finished cooking.

***You can substitute regular ginger if needed, though the flavor will be slightly different.

Nutrition Facts
Thai Coconut Soup
Amount Per Serving (1.5 cups)
Calories 420 Calories from Fat 324
% Daily Value*
Fat 36g55%
Saturated Fat 29g145%
Sodium 638mg27%
Potassium 1012mg29%
Carbohydrates 32.7g11%
Fiber 7.2g29%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 15g30%
Calcium 13mg1%
Iron 31mg172%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.