When my interest with raw food was at its height, cool soups became one of my favorite types of recipes. It was cool to realize that blending a few simple ingredients could result in perfect gazpacho, a quick “tortilla” soup, or a chilled avocado cucumber soup to die for.
This hot or cold Thai carrot coconut lemongrass soup offers the best of both worlds: it’s simmered in order to release the flavors of lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and curry, but it can be served either warm or chilled, depending on what you’re in the mood for.
I love the thick, creamy texture, which is almost reminiscent of a bisque, and all of the bold Thai flavors. Best of all, the cooking time is pretty quick, which means that you won’t have to spend too much time at the stove on a hot day.
This soup marks one of my first attempts to cook with lemongrass. It’s a flavor that I love, but I confess that I’ve been a little intimidated by the tall, tough stalks of fresh lemongrass I’ve seen at markets. I used this video to help cue me through the cooking and preparation process, and it worked like a charm. I peeled the stalks, removing the tough outer layers, then used a rolling pin to smash them a bit. I threw them into the soup, allowed them to simmer with the other ingredients, and fished them out right before blending.
I really dug the delicate, fragrant citrusy quality that the lemongrass seemed to contribute to the soup, but if you don’t have any or can’t find it, no big deal. I recommend adding just a touch of extra lime juice and a teaspoon or two of lime zest to the soup instead!
I hope you’ll enjoy this bright and delightful soup! So far, I’ve had it both warm and cold, and it’s hard to say which I prefer. It’s a hot and humid week around here, so I have a feeling that the chilled leftovers will be a staple for me for the next few days. The soup thickens up nicely in the fridge, and the flavors will continue to marry as the leftovers sit.
True to my promise to myself, I’ve eased back into things slowly and mindfully this week, taking care to pace myself. It feels good so far. I hope you all have a wonderful start to the weekend, and as always, I’ll be back with some weekend reading links on Sunday.
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This soup is SO easy to make and is absolutely delicious. Perfect summer (or really anytime) soup. It is my new favorite!
I feel like this needs a good side item, like some lightly toasted garlicky bread or something. Does anyone have and suggestions or ideas?
I’m so glad that you enjoyed it!
made this tonight. it was delicious. thank you for the recipe 🙂
So glad you enjoyed!
Hi there! I’m trying to make this soup in Europe and I’m confused at the measurement of the coconut milk… Could you clear that up for me ;)? Thank you!!!!
It’s 1 2/3 fluid cups 🙂
Delicious recipe and gave me an excuse to use the immersion blender! I only had 3 XL carrots so I threw in some cauliflower for more veggie. I didn’t have curry paste so I put in a teaspoon of curry powder + garlic salt and it worked out great. One of the easiest and best soups I’ve ever made, thank you for the recipe!!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
Delicious!! Made it for our Dinner Club last night – everyone had a few helpings! I chopped up some sweet red peppers, that in combination with the Basil gave it a nice splash of different color and worked really well with the flavor.
A really well flavoured, delicious soup. I don’t do cold soups but hot, it is lovely.
Gena, what an exquisite color and delicious soup! I love your embrace of lemongrass. We’re growing it for the first time this year. These flavors are perfect.
The color of this soup is beautiful! It’s been so hot here so a chilled soup sounds perfect!
Those bright and cheery colors really fit well for the summer. I haven’t tried a soup like this cold before but I think it would be a nice change of pace!
I tried it yesterday and it was amazing.
I love soups like this, vibrant and bold with flavor, and just a bit exotic with the lemongrass and curry. Maybe it’s just in my mind, but whenever I use lemongrass in my Thai soups, it always seems to taste a bit more authentic. 🙂 So pretty with those greens and the swirl of coconut milk!
Hi! I’ve just started out my own Vegan Cooking blog and it was blogs like yours that really inspired me to get started. I would love it if you could give mine a look! many thanks xx https://rosegoldvegan.wordpress.com/
This looks so yummy! I am growing lemongrass in my garden this year and have been trying to think about what I would like to do with it. This looks like the perfect recipe to use some of that lemongrass up. I think I am going to try it chilled, since it has been so hot lately.
I did not really know what was a vegan diet before starting to work in an events promotion company in London, where I have attended plenty of food events with some events about vegan diet. It really opened my mind and I’m thinking of going vegan, and it’s good to see recipe like this!
Thomas @ Jorlio.com
Oh my gosh this is perfect! I am trying it today. I make something sort of similar (though not as subtly layered) with sweet potato, but never thought to have it cold. Love it!
I’m sure it’s lovely with sweet potato, too! Yum.
What a delightful recipe, Gena! It brings back good memories, reminding me of a soup i used to make out of a Lorna Sass book Short Cut Vegetarian 20 years ago that also used carrots and coconut milk. I like the red pepper added to yours and the complexity of flavors with both lime and lemongrass. I haven’t used it much–again, I learned how from Sass in another of her easy recipes–but you are spot on about how to make it work. It really does pick things up. When I read you post I was transported back to an appointment with a naturopath friends drove me to that was a couple of hours away–I packed a lunch and put a soup like this in a thermos. I remember sitting on the couch in the break room while another of our friends had her session, and being comforted by the leftovers and the flavor of carrots and coconut together. Thanks for bringing it all back! I am betting your version is especially good cold. Sounds like a winner to me. xoxo
Also glad you are taking your time easing back into things and that so far it’s working well. xoxo
So glad that this recipe brought back such vivid memories, friend! I have a tattered copy of that Lorna Sass book (I serendipitously found it in the basement/old books depository of a former residence of mine) and it’s full of enduring ideas 🙂
This looks great! Just curious, I’ve got all the ingredients except the Thai red curry paste. Do you think Curry powder (which I have) would work at all? Also, for the future, what Thai Red Curry paste would you recommend? Thank you, yum!! 🙂
Hi Heidi! I think you can definitely substitute a teaspoon of curry powder. I’d also add an extra clove garlic and some salt (as the curry paste contains both of those).
This sounds so lovely Gena, I’ve yet to try cooking with lemongrass myself! I love the idea of this chilled for lunch, or simmered for a late summer evening. The color is just right for sunny days too <3. Glad to hear you are pacing yourself and taking care – so very important. I need to take a cue and do the same, thanks for inspiring once more lady! xx
It’s such a versatile meal, Jessie — and I’m so glad you like it. With toast, it’s really a lovely lunch option.
And I’m certainly not the expert on slowing down, but I sure am trying, and if my trying helps to inspire you to do the same, well then I’m glad. <3<3<3
Never thought about eating such a soup cold. In Germany we have summer (ok, i hope it will come soon) and I thought about making more salads and Sandwiches. But this soup is such a stunning idea as well. xoxo Janine
Thank you, Janine!
OMGGGG! This reminds me so much of a soup from a restaurant I used to frequent, which is sadly now closed. I love the tanginess from the citrus/lemongrass mixed with ginger and creamy coconut milk. I’m definitely making this weekend!!
Hope you love it, Hannah!
I have a jar of red curry paste that I desperately need to use up; this soup couldnt have come at a more perfect time! I haven’t seen fresh lemongrass anywhere but I’ll have to check our Asian markets.
It looks delicious! I don’t really eat soup, and come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever had a cold soup…ever :O