Thai Mushroom Soup with Coconut

mushroom thai soup

I'm wild about mushrooms of any variety, dried or fresh, and they appear on my dinner table at least once a week in some form or other. I adore them so much that I often chop up more than I need for my dish because I can't help myself from nibbling on them during meal prep. The meaty texture of mushrooms provide endless opportunities for cooks. They shine on their own pan fried with spices and seasonings, and are a central part of many soups and stews, salads, tapas, egg dishes, pasta and pizza, sauces and countless other dishes that grace our dining table.

There is a fall chill in the air that stimulates the craving for a steaming bowl of nourishing soup. Of course, a mushroom soup came to mind. Yet another excuse to include mushrooms on the menu, as if I really needed one. Tender chunks of mushrooms are combined with the delicate yet distinctive flavor of coconut milk. This elegant Thai soup is light, earthy but vibrant at the same time due to the complimentary addition of Thai green curry paste, salty tamari, a hint of sweetness from the jaggery and the zing of fresh lemon juice. This luxurious layering of flavors is to be savored, one glorious spoonful at a time.

Any combination of mushrooms will work fine for this recipe, so use what is easily available. You may use canned coconut milk, but here my favorite method of soaking dried coconut and draining it makes for an especially appealing and fragrant broth that stimulates the palate. Use your own homemade green curry paste if possible as pre-prepared commercial varieties found at your local grocer pale in comparison.

This is my contribution to this month's No Croutons Required. The challenge this month is to come up with a vegan soup or salad. Please get your entries in by the 20th of September.

Mushroom Soup with CoconutThai Mushroom Soup with Coconut
Recipe by
Cuisine: Thai
Published on September 17, 2012

Wonderfully fragrant Thai mushroom soup with coconut and seasoned with green curry paste

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Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 cups dried unsweetened coconut
  • 5 cups hot water
  • 1/2 oz (14 g) dried wild mushrooms
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2-inch piece fresh galangal or ginger, minced
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and cut into pieces
  • 1 cup enoki mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup oyster mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons green curry paste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons brown sugar, jaggery or xylitol (optional)
  • juice from 1 lemon (3 tablespoons)
  • generous handful fresh parsley, trimmed and chopped
  • paprika for garnish
Instructions:
  • Soak the coconut in the hot water for 30 minutes. Purée with a hand blender or in a countertop blender or food processor. Place a strainer over a large bowl and collect as much liquid as you can — roughly 4 cups should remain. Scoop out a few tablespoons of the coconut, add to the bowl, and discard the rest.

  • Meanwhile, soak the dried mushrooms in 1 cup of hot water for 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking liquid.

  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot, galangal or ginger, and lemongrass and stir for a few minutes until the mixture becomes aromatic. Turn up the heat and add the fresh and dried mushrooms. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, for another few minutes until the mushrooms begin to soften and brown slightly. Add some of the reserved mushroom soaking liquid to deglaze the pan when necessary.

  • Now add the coconut milk, green curry paste, tamari or soy sauce and sweetener if using to the pan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more of the reserved mushroom soaking liquid or water if you want a thinner soup.

  • Remove from heat and taste for seasoning — add more tamari or salt if desired. Discard the pieces of lemongrass, stir in the lemon juice and parsley, and serve piping hot garnished with a bit of paprika

Makes 4 servings
coconut thai mushroom soup

Other Thai dishes you are sure to enjoy from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Thai Coconut Mango Salad
Simple Green Curry and Corn Soup
Massaman Curry with Paneer Cheese
Hot and Sour Thai Mushroom Soup with Nam Prik Pow

On the top of the reading stack: Betty Crocker Indian Home Cooking by Raghavan Iyer

Audio Accompaniment: light breeze outside my window

8 comments:

The View From The Table said...

This looks really good. I know what you mean about the 'meatiness' of mushrooms. The first time I had oyster mushrooms I was convinced I'd been given chicken!

Lisa said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog. The soup was one of my best, if I don't say so myself :)

Priya said...

Super tempting filling soup.

bellini said...

Meaty, earthy and delicious mushrooms remind me that fall is here.

Lisa said...

Fall is indeed upon us, and the soup pot will be getting lots of use!

Venera@veggykitchen said...

It is very interesting to try the mix of the coconut and mushrooms. I'm going to give it a try.

Johanna GGG said...

this soup looks lovely - I was intrigued by your method of making coconut milk - must try it - especially as I can find coconut milk very rich and wonder if this is less so.

(have finally got my NCR posted and sent you details by email)

Lisa said...

Thanks Johanna. I will be popping over to your blog soon to see what you have submitted this month.

Venera, you won't be disappointed with this soup. I will be making it again and again, especially now that the weather is turning cold.