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thai carrot and sweet pepper coconut soup with cilantro pesto {paleo + dairy free + vegan}

  • Author: Nyssa Tanner
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


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.


  • 1 1/2 tbs ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 medium sized onion, diced
  • 45 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
  • 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


  1. FOR SOUP:
  2. 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.
  3. Add thinly sliced garlic and ginger and cook another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. 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.
  5. Pour in broth, bring to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are very tender.
  6. While soup is cooking you can make cilantro pesto, see directions below.
  7. 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! )
  8. Return soup to the pot and season with salt and fresh lime juice.
  9. Ladle soup into bowls and top with a spoon of coconut milk, a few dallops of cilantro pesto and some toasted sesame seeds.
  10. Serve and enjoy!
  12. 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.
  13. *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.
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: Paleo, Dairy free, Vegan