My favorite part about winter? All the SOUPS!
And I am so excited about this soup recipe! Thai carrot and sweet pepper coconut soup with cilantro pesto that’s paleo, and can easily be made dairy free + vegan.
The flavors sing like a ray of sunshine in the cold days of February and really are kind of life-changing. As I write this we’re getting our first REAL snow of the winter here in Seattle, and I couldn’t think of something would rather cozy up to more than this vibrant bowl of soup!
I would actually, (probably) eat some type of soup for every meal if I could get away with it. I’ve definitely been known to have soup for breakfast when I wasn’t cooking for anyone else!
Unfortunately, Patrick isn’t always up for soup for breakfast // lunch // dinner, so I can’t exactly live out my dream soup for every meal, but I’ll just go ahead and sneak it in as much as I can!
And with recipes like this, I don’t get too many complaints.
The base for this soup is carrots, yellow or orange sweet peppers, onions, garlic and ginger – pretty straight forward.
But the magic really happens when you add all of the aromatics + spices to the pot – lemongrass, lime leaves, ground coriander, turmeric, white pepper and an optional dash of chili flakes for those who like it hot. I have made a note about this in the recipe BUT if you can’t find lemongrass // lime leaves you can substitute a little bit of yellow // red curry paste in with the other spices as these pastes will almost always have those ingredients in them and impart that distinct thai flavor.
The cilantro + pumpkin seed pesto is totally optional, but I also not because I kind of think it’s aweome ☺️
I love the bright and lively flavor compliment that it brings to the warm spices and sweet carrots + peppers in the soup. It can also go on lots of other types of dishes, so if you make a jar of it for this recipe and then have some to tuck into your fridge it will not at all be a horrible situation!
I generally rate my success in the kitchen with how many jars of delicious sauces I have in the refrigerator. Hand crafted sauces = the most underrated kitchen staple there is! They can basically take any simple food and turn it into something fancy + share-worthy. Think roasted potatoes (or really any veggie), scrambled eggs, a piece of fish, etc, etc.. I could literally go on forever about my love of sauces and all their many virtues.. maybe that’s for another post 😉
But getting back to this soup – I love it and I think you’ll love it too! Give it a try this week in your meal plan – maybe paired with some thai marinated shrimp or poached fish over some shredded romaine (with cilantro pesto for dipping // drizzling!) and I don’t think you’ll regret your decision.
Did you make this recipe? I would love to know how it turned out for you! when you rate my recipes and leave feedback it helps me continue to improve. you can leave me a comment below, or snap a picture and post it to instagram with the tag @nyssaskitchen or hashtag #nyssaskitchen! xo
Thai carrot and sweet pepper coconut soup with cilantro pesto – The perfect, vibrant, veggie packed soup for your midwinter cravings! It’s loaded with carrots, sweet peppers, onion, garlic, lemongrass, lime leaves and spices, blended with some creamy coconut milk and topped with a fresh and flavorful cilantro pesto.
- FOR SOUP:
- 1 1/2 tbs ghee or coconut oil
- 1 medium sized onion, diced
- 4-5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 inch ginger, finely chopped or grated
- 8 carrots cut into 1/4 inch rounds
- 2 yellow or orange sweet peppers, diced
- 1 six inch piece of lemongrass, cut in half and smashed with the side of a knife to release oils*
- 3 lime leaves, crushed with hands*
- 1/4 tsp white pepper (or black pepper)
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- pinch of chili flakes (optional)
- 1 quart broth
- 1 can of full fat coconut milk, 2 tbsp reserved for garnish
- fresh lime juice from about 1/2 a lime
- about 1 tsp salt or to taste (depends how salty your broth was)
- toasted sesame seeds for garnish
- FOR CILANTRO PESTO:
- 1 cup tightly packed cilantro leaves and tender stems
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- juice of half a lime
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds or another nut/seed
- 1 1/2 tsp maple syrup (leave out for whole30)
- 1/2 tsp fish sauce (substitute with coconut aminos for vegan option)
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt + more to taste
- FOR SOUP:
- Heat ghee // coconut oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add diced onions and sauté until translucent and starting to brown, about 6 minutes.
- Add thinly sliced garlic and ginger and cook another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add carrots, peppers, smashed lemongrass, and lime leaves (crush leaves with your hands before adding to release oils) and spices -. saute for about five minutes, stirring occasionally so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.
- Pour in broth, bring to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are very tender.
- While soup is cooking you can make cilantro pesto, see directions below.
- Once vegetables are tender, fish out the lemongrass stalks and lime leaves, add coconut milk minus that which you’ve reserved for garnish, and blend. Using either your blender or an immersion blender. (if using a blender COVER THE LID WITH A TOWEL before blending to avoid burning yourself with sputtering hot soup! )
- Return soup to the pot and season with salt and fresh lime juice.
- Ladle soup into bowls and top with a spoon of coconut milk, a few dallops of cilantro pesto and some toasted sesame seeds.
- Serve and enjoy!
- CILANTRO PESTO:
- Add all ingredients for pesto to your food processor and process until well combined, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Move to a container and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- *if you can’t find lemongrass and lime leaves you can substitute a little bit of a store bought curry paste – in this case red or yellow would be the best so as not to throw off the color of the soup. These pastes usually have some lemongrass, lime leave and galangal in them which are all really strong flavors in thai cuisine.