Curry Coconut Soup is an exciting recipe any time of the year. Earthy curry flavors with sauteed vegetables, rice noodles and crispy fried tofu on top!
This is the type of soup that makes everyone go quiet while eating it.
There are so many exotic and delicious flavors, soul-warming textures, it’s exciting to eat for the whole family.
It’s rich and creamy but also dairy-free!
If you love a good curry recipe, this soup will become a great addition to your comfort food favorites.
Coconut Curry Soup
This vegetarian soup is so satisfying! The delicious broth is made with a little trick.
Chickepeas (aka garbanzo beans) are blended with coconut cream and vegetable broth until smooth.
It makes a substantial base for the soup without hours of cooking.
The chickpeas and the crispy tofu on top add alot of protein to the soup making it filling.
With the earthy warming curry paste the soup takes on a big flavor.
Unlike a traditional Thai coconut curry soup there is no fish sauce or brown sugar.
Recipe Ingredients + Notes
All the ingredients you’ll need are shown in the photo below. Here are some notes on the key ingredients:
Coconut Cream is much thicker and richer than coconut milk. It is sold in a can and will separate into a liquid and solid. Shake the can up before opening it to measure out the coconut cream.
Yellow Curry Paste is available at most grocery stores in the International section. It is also available online. Instead of a dry curry powder, it’s a thick paste including wet ingredients. Scoop it into the soup and stir to incorporate.
Rice noodles are also called ‘rice sticks’, Maifun noodles or rice vermicelli. They are the size of angel hair pasta but made from rice. They add a wonderful texture to the curry soup and are easy to prepare.
Two types of oil are used in the recipe: Safflower Oil and Olive Oil. You can use safflower oil only. Safflower oil has a higher smoke point, meaning when cooked at high temperature it better retains its flavor and does not smoke. It’s a great choice for sauteing or stir frying over high heat.
Vegetable broth is used in the soup base. Chicken broth can be substituted too.
Pressing the Tofu
This step is important because it releases the excess moisture from the tofu. It makes it firmer and a perfect consistency to marinate and stir fry.
Without this step the tofu would fall apart.
Only use Firm or Extra Firm Tofu for this recipe.
How to Press Tofu:
- Wrap the block of tofu in a clean cloth (kitchen towel is great)
- Place the tofu on a plate (it’s a firm surface and will capture the drained moisture)
- Place a cutting board on top of it
- And a heavy pot or pan (or add water to a pan) on top
- Let it sit for 10 minutes.
How to Make Coconut Curry Soup – Step-by-Step
STEP 1: Cut the pressed tofu into 1/2-inch cubes. Combine with the soy sauce, water and lemon juice to marinate at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours (photo 1).
The longer it marinates the stronger the flavor. May be done the day before making the soup.
STEP 2: When ready to make the soup, break the rice noodles in half and put them in a bowl and cover with warm water to soak (photo 2).
STEP 3: Add 2 tablespoons of safflower oil to a heated skillet or wok. Add the carrots and saute until tender (photo 3).
Remove and add the red bell pepper to the pan; cook until softened. Remove. (photo 4)
STEP 4: Add 1 tablespoon of safflower oil to the skillet. Remove the tofu from the marinade with a slotted spoon and add to the hot pan. Cook until the tofu is golden and crisp on all sides (photo 5). Remove and set aside.
STEP 5: Combine the chickpeas, coconut cream and vegetable broth in a blender (photo 6). Process until smooth with no chickpea solid material (photo 7).
STEP 6: Add the olive oil into a large sauce pan or stock pot. Heat and saute the onions and garlic until soft (not browned) (photo 8).
STEP 7: Add the chickpea broth and curry; stir to combine (photos 9-11). Add the noodles (drained) and carrots (photo 12). Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat; cook for 2 minutes. Salt to taste.
Ladle soup into 4-6 bowls. Garnish with the red pepper, cilantro and crispy tofu. Serve immediately.
The longer the tofu marinates the more flavor it will have.
Remove the tofu from the marinade with a slotted spoon and allow excess marinade to drip back into the pan before adding to the hot skillet. Be careful of splattering hot oil when putting the tofu in the skillet.
Use low smoke point oil for stir fry portion (safflower oil, peanut oil, grapeseed oil). Olive oil is fine for sauteing the onions and garlic in soup pan.
Coconut Cream will separate in can. Stir together before measuring out.
Firm or Extra Firm Tofu only.
Use ‘rice stick’ size noodles (size of angel hair pasta) not pad thai size. Break in half before soaking for easier management of them.
This recipe is medium spicy (medium heat). If wanting less spice cut the curry paste down to 2 tablespoons.
How to Store it
Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days in a sealed container. The tofu and red pepper can be stirred into the soup and chilled all together.
More Recipes You’ll Love!
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- Cherry Cream Cheese Pie
- Chicken and Corn Curry
- Coconut Curry Turkey Rice Soup
Coconut Curry Soup
- 1 14-ounce block firm or extra firm Tofu
- 1/2 cup Soy sauce regular or gluten-free
- 1 cup Water
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3.5 ounces thin Rice noodles (aka Rice Sticks) also called Maifun noodles or rice vermicelli noodles
- 1 cup canned Chickpeas drained and rinsed well
- 1/2 cup Coconut cream
- 4 cups Vegetable broth
- 4 tablespoons Safflower Oil or other low smoke point oil (peanut oil, grapeseed oil)
- 2 medium Carrots peeled and sliced into thin sticks
- 1 medium Red bell pepper deseedes and sliced into narrow strips
- 1 small Yellow Onion chopped
- 3 Garlic Cloves diced
- 1/2 cup cilantro loosely packed
- 1 tablespoons Olive oil
- 1/4 cup Yellow curry paste
- Salt to taste
Preparing and Marinating the Tofu
- Pressing the Tofu. Wrap the tofu in a clean thin kitchen towel and place on a plate. Place a cutting board on top of it. Place a heavy pan or pan with water on top of the cutting board. Allow to sit for 10 minutes to release the excess moisture in the tofu.
- After pressing, cut the tofu into cubes (aproximately 1/2-inch or larger if preferred).
- Combine the soy sauce, water and lemon juice in a bowl or container to marinate the tofu. Add the tofu and marinate a minimum of 1 hour up to 24 hours (longer time creates better flavor). May be set up the day before making the soup.
Making the Soup
- Break the rice noodles in half and soak in warm water while you prepare the soup.
- Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of safflower oil. Stir fry the carrots until they are tender and pliable (5-6 minutes). Remove from skillet at set aside.
- Add the red bell pepper to the skillet and stir fry until softened; 2-3 minutes. Remove and set aside.NOTE: no additional oil should be needed but may be added if required.
- Add one tablespoon of Safflower oil to the skillet. Remove half of the tofu from the marinade with a slotted spoon (allow excess liquid to drip back into the marinade container) and place in the hot skillet (be careful of splattering). Cook the tofu on all sides until golden brown with a lightly crisp outer coating. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of safflower oil and cook the rest of the tofu. Set aside.
- Combine the chickpeas, coconut cream and vegetable broth in a blender. Process until no solid chickpea matter is left. Transfer liquid in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat
- Add the olive oil to a large saucepan or stock pot and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic. Saute until softened but do not brown. NOTE: they will not be translucent.
- Pour the chickpea broth into the large pan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add the carrots.
- Drain the noodles and add to the soup. Simmer for 2 minutes. Salt to taste.
- Prepare 4-6 serving bowls and pour soup in them. Top with bell pepper, cilantro and crispy tofu. Serve immediately.