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Vegan Thai Lemongrass Noodle Soup

Spoon taking a bit of soup and chili from the bowl.

 

 

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Craving some spicy semi-authentic Thai soup? This Vegan Lemongrass Noodle Soup has got your back. Spicy from the green curry paste and chilis, creamy from the coconut milk, hearty and filling from the noodles and a few crunchy sugar snap peas to top it all off!

 

I say semi-authentic because 1. I am not Thai, and 2. everyone has their own traditions and recipes so what is authentic anyway?

 

When I was in Thailand and Vietnam, what struck me was the use of especially two ingredients that make the dish taste super-Thai (and Vietnamese!) – lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves

 

The distinct and tangy flavor of lemon and hint of ginger and mint from the lemongrass, and the citrusy and slightly floral accent from the kaffir lime leaves really makes this soup POP.  

 

Honestly, these two are the main reason I love Thai food so much (although lime and green curry is way up there as well!). 

 

Ingredients to make lemongrass noodle soup.

 

How to cook with lemongrass

 

Many are unexperienced when it comes to lemongrass. I can assure you, it really is quite simple. Basically, the whole lemongrass stalk is edible.

 

However, the most fragrant part is the 3-4 inches lower, yellow-ish part of the stalk. So that is usually only what we use. 

 

To get most out of the lemongrass, it is advisable to bruise it up a little to release its aromatic oils. What I do is cut the lemongrass in 1 inch pieces, and remove the outer tougher layer.

 

Then place my knife with the flat side down and smash the lemongrass by pressing the palm of your hand on top of the other side of the flat knife. Like you do with garlic cloves! You can also use a meat tenderizer for this.

 

White bowl with noodle soup on a wooden plate. Topped with cilantro and chili.

 

You can also mince it and crush it using a pestle and mortar (after smashing). If you want to eat the lemongrass, the pieces should be really small because they are pretty tough.

 

This is usually what I do, but you can also just keep them at 1 inch and discard once ready to serve. Watch this video on how to prepare lemongrass if you’re unsure. 

 

How to store lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves

 

Lemongrass keeps really well in the refrigerator, so it’s great to just have on hand. Loosely wrap and store in the fridge for at least a few weeks, but I have personally had it for longer and it was still really fragrant and delicious.

 

If you want to keep if for longer, you can freeze it. Chop it into more manageable chunks, like 1 inch, or mince it.

 

Lemongrass noodle soup with toppings blended into the soup.

 

Another recipe that uses lemongrass is this curry coconut chicken satay, but you could also add an inch into the peanut sauce for these vegan summer rolls as well! Just discard the lemongrass after infusing.

 

Kaffir lime leaves are best kept in the freezer. You can just take out one or two as needed and use straight from the freezer! How amazing is that. 

 

Kaffir lime leaves keep about a year in the freezer, if sealed properly. So go get a bag, and you can make this kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass noodle soup whenever you crave healthy Thai food!

 

Another healthy Thai recipe that uses kaffir lime leaves is this chicken noodle soup, if you want to keep it vegan – skip the chicken! Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

 

Two bowls of soup with a lot of cilantro and green onion toppings. Flatlay.

 

Vegan Thai Lemongrass Noodle Soup

 

This soup is quite easy to make, and definitely worth the little work it requires!

 

It is spicy from the green curry paste and chilis, creamy from the coconut milk, hearty and filling from the noodles and a few crunchy elements such as sugar snap peas and toasted coconut. Perfect and healthy comfort food!

 

In short, these are the steps to make this lemongrass noodle soup:

  1. Prepare the vegetables, including the lemongrass.
  2. Sauté onions, then add in ginger, green curry paste, lemongrass and garlic.
  3. Add in the other soup ingredients, apart from sugar snap peas.
  4. Simmer 20 minutes. Boil noodles as instructed on the package.
  5. Add in sugar snap peas 1-2 minutes before serving.
  6. Serve with all the toppings you wish.

 

Lemongrass noodle soup with sugar snap peas in a red sauce pot.

 

Not all green curry pastes are vegan, so if this is important to you, make sure to check the label! Here’s the vegan green curry paste that I use, and if you want to make your own, here’s one from Minimalist Baker

 

If you don’t like cilantro, there’s absolutely no requirement to add it as your toppings. Top with whatever you please, or nothing at all. I’d maybe add a little more green onions.

 

Please enjoy this beautiful soup on any day of the year! It is perfect for cold winter days as it is spicy and can clear the sinuses. It is also fresh enough to enjoy during the summer, with all its citrusy lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. 

 

Have a wonderful soup day!

 

What’s your favorite soup?

 

Soup in a dark bowl, topped with noodles, cilantro and chili. Marble background.

 

Here’s a few other delicious soups and healthy bowls:

 

Honestly, I kind of like the old photos of this dish too. But it annoyed me so much that I forgot the noodles in the shots. So I’ll just keep it here in case you got confused the dish looks different than what you’ve seen before!

 

Old picture of the lemongrass noodle soup with chopsticks and wooden plate underneath.

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or tag me @thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later! To make sure you’re never missing another recipe, please feel free to subscribe to my newsletter. As a thanks you will receive a free e-cookbook Travels Through the Seasons, with many delicious recipes from around the world that suit different seasons of the year. 

 

 

In order to keep the blog up and running this post may contain affiliate links, it will be at no extra cost to you, please read the disclosure for more information.

 

This recipe was originally published on Mar 6th 2018, but updated on Aug 11th 2020 for better photos and content.

Spoon taking a bit of soup and chili from the bowl.

Vegan Thai Lemongrass Noodle Soup

Yield: 4 people
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Spicy from the green curry paste and chilis, creamy from the coconut milk, hearty and filling from the noodles and a few crunchy elements such as sugar snap peas and toasted coconut. 

Ingredients

Vegan Thai Lemongrass Soup

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp green curry paste*
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 red chili, finely chopped
  • 14 oz light coconut milk (400 ml, 1 can. Full-fat works too.)
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp mushroom soy sauce (or vegan oyster sauce, hoisin sauce)
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar, or brown sugar
  • 1/2 lime, juice only
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika, optional
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth (600ml)
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf (optional but highly recommended)
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas, 100g, cut in half

Toppings

  • 8 oz noodles (230g. rice or vermicelli)
  • handful fresh chopped cilantro, optional
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • handful coconut flakes, toasted
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Prepare the vegetables. How to cut lemongrass: Use the 3-4 inches lower yellow-ish part of the lemongrass only. Cut off the roots if there are any. Cut the 4 inches into 4. Smash with the flat side of your knife. You can now either use them as is and discard when ready to serve, or finely mince it to eat the whole thing.
  2. Sauté: Heat canola oil in a soup pot over medium high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 6-7 minutes. Once translucent and a few brown pieces, add in the garlic, curry paste*, lemongrass and ginger. Stir one more minute.
  3. Make soup: In another bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, soy sauce, mushroom soy sauce, palm sugar, lime juice and smoked paprika. Pour it slowly into the soup pot. Add in vegetable broth and kaffir lime leaf, and increase the temperature to high.
  4. Simmer: Bring the soup to a boil, and then reduce it to simmer for around 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to package instructions. Drain before adding into soup bowls.
  5. Serve: Add in the sugar snap peas 1-2 minutes before serving. Taste the soup and season with salt if needed. Enjoy this lemongrass noodle soup with noodles, chopped cilantro, spring onions, sesame seeds and toasted coconut flakes. I toast coconut in a dry pan for a few minutes, until you see small brown patches.

Notes

* Make your own vegan version from Minimalist Baker
Or buy this vegan curry paste: Thai Kitchen Green Curry Paste

Nutrition: Calories: 290 | Fat: 13.8g | Saturated Fat: 6.8g | Protein: 7g |  Carbohydrate: 35.7g |  Fiber 3.5g |  Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 862mg | Vitamin D: 0mcg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 2mg | Potassium: 420mg. Estimate for informational purposes only.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 290Total Fat: 13.8gSaturated Fat: 6.8gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 862mgCarbohydrates: 35.7gFiber: 3.5gProtein: 7g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or tag @thegingerwithspice on Instagram, I'd love to see!

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N

Thursday 19th of April 2018

The soup looked lovely but the green curry paste has shrimp. do you know of one without the shrimp or any fish in the paste?

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Thursday 19th of April 2018

Oh, thank you so much for noticing! I have updated the recipe with links for vegan green curry paste, and also a recipe if you want to make your own. Thank you for your interest.

Caitlin

Wednesday 14th of March 2018

This sounds so cozy and flavorful -- we love spicy soups at my house!

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Friday 16th of March 2018

Thank you, Caitlin. Spicy soups are my definite favorite!

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