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!
Hot or Cold Thai Carrot Coconut Lemongrass Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 white or yellow onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger minced
- 2 tablespoons red Thai curry paste
- 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
- 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 14- ounce can light coconut milk
- 1 3/4 pounds trimmed peeled, and chopped carrots (about 6-7 cups, or 8-9 large carrots)
- 2 stalks lemongrass tough outer layers remove and pounded with a rolling pin or mallet to release essential oils (substitute 2 teaspoons lime zest)
- Dash crushed red pepper flakes
- Juice of 1 lime
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onion and sauté for about 5-7 minutes, or until the onions are clear and soft, adding a tablespoon or two of water to help prevent sticking if necessary. Add the garlic, ginger, curry paste, and tamari. Sauté for 2 minutes, or until the garlic is very fragrant.
- Add the broth, coconut milk, carrots, lemongrass, and red pepper to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove the lemongrass stalks from the pot. Transfer the soup to a blender in batches and blend till smooth, or use an immersion blender to blend the soup completely. Return the soup the pot, stir in the lime juice, and adjust seasonings to taste. You can also stir in some extra broth if the soup is too thick for your liking.
- Serve with chopped basil, finely chopped peppers, sprouts or microgreens, sliced avocado, or a swirl of coconut milk or cashew cream, if desired!
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.