Vegan Thai coconut soup with chickpeas is a healthy and flavorful dish that is a perfect weeknight dinner. This Thai coconut soup is oil free, gluten free and ready in 20 minutes, to get dinner on the table fast!
Dinner is a struggle at our house. Anybody else? I made mistakes when the girls were younger, and now I am paying for them. Mostly, I always made two different dinners because I knew they wouldn't eat what I was preparing. This went on for years. This past summer I put my foot down and started making them eat what Mace and I eat. It didn't go well at first, but slowly things are changing (mostly their tastebuds).
I always make sure to have something on the table that they will eat so they don't starve, but often they don't like the main attraction. We make them try everything, and often they don't like it. But, all of the sudden they'll try something for the tenth time and -- BINGO! They suddenly love it. So, we just keep at it.
Weirdly, this Thai coconut soup is something that they both love. I mean, it has curry paste and coconut milk and ginger for goodness sake. But they like it, so I make it every single week. The bonus is that it only takes about 20 minutes to prepare. Easy dinner and no complaining. God is smiling on this meal.
Is Coconut Soup spicy?
There is curry paste in this soup, but the brand I buy is fairly mild. The Thai Kitchen brand is my favorite, but it does contain soy, so if you're avoiding soy you'll want to seek out another brand like Maesri Thai Red Curry Paste. I can't vouch for the spiciness of this brand, but feel free to experiment. I can buy the Thai Kitchen brand locally and know that my kids will eat it, so I don't want to mess with perfection.
How to Make Thai Coconut Soup
This recipe requires minimal chopping and prep work, so it comes together very quickly. In fact, if you didn't want to pull out your cutting board at all, you could buy pre-minced ginger and garlic and rip the spinach with your hands. How many recipes can you say that about?
To begin, sauté minced ginger and garlic in a little bit of water or veggie broth until fragrant and softened slightly, about 3 minutes. Next, add the red curry paste and cook for a couple minutes until it starts browning. Add a splash of water if it becomes too dried out.
The next step is to add a whole can of coconut milk (water and solids), 4 cups of veggie broth and 1 cup of water. Bring the broth to a boil. Reduce the broth to a simmer and then add the rice noodles and chickpeas and cook for about 3 minutes, until noodles are almost done, but still have a little bite. Add chopped spinach, stir and cook another couple minutes until the rice noodles are tender.
Stir in tamari or coconut aminos and serve garnished with lime and a big handful of chopped cilantro. That's it! You're done. Can you believe how easy that was?
Thai Coconut Soup Substitutes
- Coconut Milk - Use light coconut milk or coconut water for a lower fat version. For an almost fat-free version, substitute the coconut milk and water for 3 cups of coconut water.
- Chickpeas - Use Tofu in place of the chickpeas. This coconut soup recipe gives tips for using Tofu instead.
- Ginger - 1 teaspoon of ground ginger can be used in place of fresh ginger.
- Add more veggies - Add chopped broccoli, carrot, or cauliflower to the pot with the noodles and they'll be done cooking at the same time.
Thai food is one of my favorite ethnic cuisines. Especially Tofu Pad Thai, this easy Thai Peanut Noodle Salad and this easy soup! What is your favorite Thai dish?
If you made this recipe, please leave a comment and let me know how it went!
Vegan Thai Coconut Soup
- 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons red curry paste
- 4 cups vegetable broth low sodium
- 1 cup water
- 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
- 4 ounces brown rice pad Thai noodles
- 1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoon tamari low sodium, or coconut aminos for soy-free
- 2 big handfuls spinach, roughly chopped
- sliced lime, for garnish
- chopped cilantro, for garnish
- Saute ginger and garlic in a little bit of water or veggie broth until fragrant and slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the red curry paste and cook for a couple minutes until it starts browning. Add a splash of water if it becomes too dried out.
- Next, add the whole can of coconut milk (water and solids), veggie broth and water. Bring the broth to a boil. Reduce the broth to a simmer and then add the rice noodles and chickpeas and cook for about 3 minutes, until noodles are almost done, but still have a little bite.
- Add chopped spinach, stir and cook another couple minutes until the rice noodles are tender. Stir in tamari (or coconut aminos) and serve garnished with lime and a big handful of chopped cilantro. And that's it! Enjoy!
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links that earn me a small commission, at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I personally use and love or think my readers will find useful.
WOW!! This is one of my favorite recipes from you so far!! So, so GOOD! I have type 1 diabetes so I substituted the noodles with bean sprouts and then added some water chestnuts for crunch! BAM..steady blood sugars and delicious soup I could eat all day!! Cant go wrong here! Thank you for sharing! Love your down to earth approach while sharing your love of fine culinary arts. Also adore your ability to share simple recipes that can help sustain a healthy lifestyle!
Thanks so much Joanna! I am so glad you loved it and were able to modify it for your dietary needs. Many more easy delicious recipes to come!
This is very, very easy and very delicious. With the leftovers we added potatoes, mushrooms, carrots and pea pods, over more noodles (cooked separately). The extra day made the flavors even better. So much flavor from such simple ingredients. Maggie is a whiz.
Aw shucks! Thanks so much. I am happy you loved it and glad you were able to re-purpose the leftovers into another delicious meal. That's my favorite way to cook!
Kimbra M Wellnitz
I made this for my family who has had very little curry seasoning experience...it was a HUGE win! My 15, 13 and 11 year olds absolutly LOVED it as did my husband! it is now on our regularly scheduled meal plan. (along with several other alternativedish recipes). Keep these fantastic food creations comin Maggie! ?
Yay! So glad the whole family loved it! My kids have very little curry experience too and weirdly love this soup. Thanks for sharing your success!
Kimbra M Wellnitz
5 golden stars from my biggest foodies...ages 11, 13 and 15...oh and their dad too!!
Hi and thank you for the awesome recipe and inspiration! My husband has heart disease and Loves curry but not the fats usually associated with coconut milk. Can I substitute low fat coconut milk and still have the great flavor?
Thank you again, Renee
Hi Renee! Yes you could definitely substitute light coconut milk without losing much flavor. Hope you enjoy this and let me know how it turns out.
Jen in MT
Love this simple yet delicious soup! Have made it twice and plan to keep it in my repertoire. I add extra veggies, because, well, veggies! Broccoli and mushrooms are my favorite combo here. Thanks for creating and sharing flavorful and healthy recipes!
Yay! So glad you're loving this soup! I love the addition of the broccoli and mushrooms. Sounds divine!
This was absolutely delicious! Even my 10 & 12 year old had seconds and wanted this recipe on the “make again” short list. I love that it’s a quick, one pot meal with big flavors. It makes weeknight cooking easy and something to look forward to. I also added tofu to mix it up. Loved it!
Hi Carla! Wow, this is wonderful! My kids love this soup too and I've heard this from other parents as well. It's such a great way to introduce kids to new flavors. Great addition with the tofu. Thanks so much for the great feedback and I am glad your family enjoyed this!
This soup was amazing. I couldn't find the right noodles, so I used brown rice fettucine and it worked wonderfully. My family gulped this down and they're normally very picky. Was excellent to eat leftover the next day, too. Can't wait to try more of your recipes! Thank you, Maggie!
Yay! I am so happy this was a hit with your family. The brown rice fettuccine is a great substitute. I think this soup is even better the second day. Thanks for commenting!
This soup was so delicious that I had seconds & wanted more...haha! I used mushroom broth instead of vegetable broth, didn’t use coconut aminos but my husband put some in his bowl, & used millet & brown rice ramen noodles & it was still delicious. Will definitely be making it again & try getting the pad Thai noodles.
Those substitutions sound lovely! It’s one of the things I love about this soup, it can be so versatile. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for commenting!
Do you think I could freeze this? Maybe without the noodles and add the noodles to cook when I reheat?
Hi Laura! Yes, this would freeze great without the noodles. Enjoy!
Someone posted this on a GB group so I decided to try it and followed the directions exactly but it tastes gross. Like it's missing about 5 more spices or something.
Hi Aly, I am sorry to hear that you had a negative experience with this recipe. I know we all have different taste preferences, and wish you luck in finding recipes that work for you!
This was AMAZING! Even my husband who is kinda MEH when it comes to Thai food went back for seconds! I thought I had red curry paste in the fridge but found it moldy. I was too far along to quit so thankfully I found a small jar of green curry paste in the pantry (we use Thai Kitchen brand for both). Since it is spicier, I used about half. Also didn't have any low-fat coconut milk left so used coconut cream (Savoy). I figured a cold night in Central Texas deserved a bit of extra fat! LOL Just happened to have brown rice noodles on hand. Added some frozen broccoli to make it a one-pot meal. We are recently following a Whole Foods Plant Based diet and this was just what we needed tonight to warm us up during a completely unusual ice storm. So glad the ingredient list was simple because we couldn't make a trip to the store tonight! Thanks so much!
Hi Patti! I am so glad to hear that you loved this soup! I love the substitutions you've made. I happen to have some green curry paste on hand, so may have to try this version myself! I am so glad this soup could warm your home on a cold Texas evening.
This was so good!! Will be making this soup again and again!! I never have curry paste so substituted with 1 tablespoon of curry powder and 1 tablespoon of tomato paste. Thanks for the great recipe! ❤
Thanks for the feedback Cathy! So glad you enjoyed this. That's a great substitution for the red curry paste, very creative!
Wonderful recipe! I reduced the spinach to 1 handful since I am not a huge fan of it but everything was great!
I’m so glad you enjoyed this Tammy! It’s one of our favorites at home. Thanks for the comment and stopping by!