Ginger Coconut Milk Soup

Ginger Coconut Milk Soup Recipe

The other day I posted a quick snapshot of my lunch on instagram (if you're there, I'm @heidijswanson). It was a soup I make quite often this time of year - with little riffs or tweaks each time. A few of you emailed me on the side asking for specifics, so I thought I'd share it here today. The gist is this - simmer a good amount of grated ginger and shallots in coconut milk, add the brightest spring vegetables you can get your hands on, and serve over egg noodles (or, alternately, pan-fried shredded yuba skins*). I like to finish with lots of cilantro and a squeeze of lime, but whatever fresh herbs you have on hand will do.

Ginger Coconut Milk SoupGinger Coconut Milk SoupGinger Coconut Milk Soup

Sometimes I add tiny cubes of tofu or tempeh for a bit more protein. And in the fall, I do a version steamed winter squash, lots of finely shredded kale, and a motherload of spices - lots of turmeric, cumin, chile pepper, and coriander. The ginger-spiked coconut broth is an easy-going backdrop for noodles, rice, grains, vegetables, added spices...I just pull from whatever I have on hand. In this case, I love the way the coconut milk lightly clings to each noodle, coating it just enough.

For those of you who take lunch to work, you can bring some of the broth in a thermos (or heat in a microwave), and bring the pre-cooked noodles and vegetables, cold, in a bag. Adding them just before you're ready to eat.


Ginger Coconut Milk Soup

I use full-fat coconut milk here - 2 parts + 1 part water. I feel like the mouthfeel of the broth is just right. Not sure it would turn out nearly as good with low-fat coconut milk, without scaling back the water, etc.

12 ounces good, dried egg pasta noodles (or yuba skins*)

2 14-ounce cans full-fat coconut milk
1 14-ounce can water (use the coconut can to measure)
2-inch knob of ginger, peeled and grated (~1T grated)
3 large minced shallots
1 1/2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt, or to taste

Lots of seasonal vegetables, for example this pot had:
2 patty pan squashes, cut into small cubes
20 broccoli florets
16 asparagus tips
3 scallions, sliced
a couple handfuls of bite-sized mushrooms

to serve: lots of fresh lime juice, plenty of fresh cilantro

Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Salt well, and cook the pasta per package instructions. Drain and set aside.

While you're waiting for the pasta water to boil, place another large soup pot over medium high heat. Bring the coconut milk, water, ginger, shallots, and salt to a gentle boil. Dial back the heat and simmer for five or ten minutes.

Just a couple of minutes before you're ready to serve, add the vegetables to the simmering coconut milk, and cook until just tender, a minute or so. Arrange a pile of noodles in each bowl, and ladle vegetables and broth on top. Finish with a generous squeeze of lime and lots of cilantro.

Serves 4. But perhaps cook more noodles if there are big appetites at the table.

*We have really good fresh yuba skins available in San Francisco - made by Hodo Soy. I suspect it might be hard to come by for many of you, but if you do, certainly make a version of this with the yuba skins. Separate them, fluff a bit, then pan-fried in a bit of oil until crispy at the edges. Serve the coconut-vegetables over the yuba "noodles"....

Prep time: 10 min - Cook time: 10 min

Print Recipe

For new recipes & inspirations

Your Comments

Jade Sheldon
April 30, 2013

Absolutely can't wait to make this. Coconut milk with anything is a winning combination with me...


April 30, 2013

What a beautiful dish. So healthy and colourful. I love the idea of taking this for lunch at work.


I happen to have plenty of coconut milk and mushrooms on hand - love them both. This is a beautiful soup; both the flavors, textures, and the images. So pretty, Heidi!


This a lovely warming dish. My mother used this same trick too ( she used to pack us noodles and veggies in a container and the coconut broth in other for use to take to school)
I love to pair pieces of precooked pumpkin in the broth too for a sweeter, thicker soup. Wonderful


May 1, 2013

Heidi, those mushrooms look so lovely - do you buy them at that incredible mushroom stall in the Ferry Building? I was amazed by that stall when I visited there several years ago........

HS: Hi Kate - yes! Far West is amazing.


May 1, 2013

Gorgeous! I am living in Japan right now and need to make this with some our or outstanding array of mushrooms.


May 1, 2013

This is the great thing about most soups - they can be modded to fit the season and whatever veggies in your fridge. The soup looks divine, will definitely try this recipe!


May 1, 2013

A lovely and nutritious meal!


la domestique
May 1, 2013

I love the look of this soup! It looks comforting but not wintry, which is nice for spring.


This looks very nourishing, and those mushrooms look cute. What type are they?

HS: Ack - of course, I'm completely blanking on the type right now. I always think of them as the "soft little pastel yellow ones"....which probably isn't very helpful.


May 1, 2013

Genius idea for packed lunch/dinner! And yum, a really nice follow on from your SNC noodles. Thanks for a new idea!


May 1, 2013

This looks beautiful, I can't wait to take this to work for lunch.


May 1, 2013

Do you have plans for a new book soon?

HS: I've been slowly chipping away at a little something ;)


May 1, 2013

So simple, so good. Your recipes are delicious, simple things I should be able to think of on my own, but I can't. I need you to pull it all together for me.
I love gingery coconut broth. What a treat for lunch at work!


Full fat coconut milk? I'm game!

I'm looking for a dessert option that makes use of coconut and ginger? Any ideas?


This recipe reminds me of something I devoured in a Thai restaurant a few weeks back. Got to try this at home! Thanks.


Bev @ Bev Cooks
May 1, 2013

Those leettle bebe mushrooms are so cute I want to, well, eat them.

And coconut milk governs my soul.


The Healthy Apple
May 1, 2013

Beautiful, Heidi!


May 1, 2013

love this. so sleek and concise, yet pulsing with flavor (yes, i can taste it, already). and such a versatile backdrop for whatever the farmer's market has to offer.

thanks, heidi, for another winner.


La Torontoise
May 1, 2013

Wow!! What pictures! I'm on vacation right now in France, and all I do is going to markets, cook, taste... Will make this tomorrow!! Love the little muchrooms. And I see them here in the market..


May 1, 2013

What type of noodles would you recommend to make this vegan?
Keep up the great work, your site is my favorite & has been for years!

HS: Hi Brenda - you can swap in another past if you like. I like the flat shape of these noodles, but you could do a non-egg version, or a rice noodle, or seek out yuba skins (slice into thin noodle-like strips, and painstakingly separate them into individual strands)


May 1, 2013

Another amazing recipe, Heidi!!! Thanks!


May 1, 2013

Looks lovely, as always.
Ps, I just sent my mom your SNED book for mother's day and one to my sister for her birthday. I still need to buy myself a copy!!


This looks so delicious! Love all of these ingredients!


May 1, 2013

Great recipe Heidi.
If I am to use Yuba and tempeh any How do I prepare them before adding?


Christine Straley
May 1, 2013

Looks beautiful! Have you ever replaced pasta with kelp noodles? If rinsed well and set in heat for a bit they make a great replacement for those not eating grains or who are gluten free.


May 1, 2013

Beautiful soup with gorgeous photos. This will be supper tonight and I'm sure for many other lunches and suppers throughout the seasons. Thank you, Heidi


May 1, 2013

Heidi, this looks amazing! FIrst day of Portland Farmer's Market downtown and can't wait to get veggies for this soup. Thank you for sharing!


Oh I so need a bowl of this now, have come down with a rotten cold. Ginger is indeed the ultimate elixir. My husband would love this soup, all his fav flavours.
Heidi xo


May 1, 2013

I feel like this could actually be lovely with lightly steamed zucchini noodles, I'll have to give it a try!


May 1, 2013

Such a beautiful soup! I'm definitely jealous of those gorgeous mushrooms. :)


May 1, 2013

Re: "… a motherload of spices - lots of turmeric, cumin, chile pepper, and coriander." I love spices, too! How much of each, please, and when do you add them? Thanks!


Fantastic idea and beautifully presented as usual! Thank you for more inspiration!


May 1, 2013

To: leaf (the indolent cook)

These look like yellow oyster to me.


May 1, 2013

Wow. This looks like something I could add to my lunch (or breakfast, for that matter) repertoire. Another keeper!


Kajal Dhabalia
May 1, 2013

This looks delicious! I love the simplicity, but tastiness of your recipes...very excited to try this one.



What you have made is Tom Yum soup without the paste. If you add some Tom Yum Paste and chili you have Tom Yum Soup, one of our favorites.


May 1, 2013

This looks so fresh and inviting. Thank you!


Simply called food
May 1, 2013

This looks amazingly good. You also have beautiful pictures!


Oh my fresh, so healthy, so beautiful, so very delicious! I will absolutely have to make this. Thank you for sharing your recipe and providing great ideas for variations! Have added this to our vegetarian Pinterest Board:


I've added some lemongrass to mine, it was delicious! Thanks for inspiring me to get out of the box for tonight's dinner


May 2, 2013

lovely array of produce. i can't wait until my local nyc farmer's market has asparagus, and squash! yum, yum.


A simple, fresh soup with great flavor. I sometimes throw in pineapple juice, too! could have used this yesterday when the snow was falling!


May 2, 2013

This was fantastic! I used the same veggies as your soup, but with zucchini instead of the paddy pan squash. Next time I might make even more broth, it was so yummy. Thanks! This (and all the variations it could make) will be a staple in our house from now on!


May 2, 2013

Those mushrooms make it for me! Sounds like a great idea for lunch or dinner!


May 2, 2013

I can't do wheat or soy, so instead of egg noodles or yuba I made "noodles" by spiralizing a parsnip...! It added just the right amount of brightness to the ginger coconut broth, and complemented the cilantro, poached egg, and avocado slices that I used perfectly. Yum!


May 2, 2013

I've just found our dinner for tonight! : )


May 3, 2013

Just to say that we had this for dinner last night and it was lovely - fresh but comforting at the same time. We had asparagus, pak choi and scallions to hand, plus some tasty prawns.

Thank you x


May 3, 2013

Made this for dinner tonight. Simple and delicious! Thank you!


Elena Marre
May 4, 2013

I made this last night and it was delicious! We used ramps (the roots instead of shallots and the leaves coarsely chopped and added at end with other veggies), asparagus and some delicious wild beige mushrooms. Served with whole wheat spaghetti (what I had on hand) and a side of Swiss Chard Gomaae. Thanks!!


May 5, 2013

This looks like such an amazing combination of flavors and textures. It looks like the ultimate comfort food in the lightest way. Can't wait to try this!


May 5, 2013

I had a ton of fiddleheads and tossed those in as I thought they'd be similar to asparagus. It was a perfect choice. I had the same mushrooms and scallions as in your picture, so all else was the same. Very tasty soup!


May 5, 2013

I love this!


May 5, 2013

Dishes like this make me wonder why I don't try and make my own lunches so much more interesting other than leftovers, sandwiches, or salads. It sounds delicious.


Alice Dishes
May 6, 2013

i love that this could easily be gluten-free and vegan by switching out the pasta - always looking for more options in that department!


Ole @cookingbrains
May 7, 2013

This is just what I have been looking for. I have about half a liter of left-over coconut-milk and wanted to do some kind of soup with it. I'll have a go at this with Udon, I know that they are way too thick, but they are my favourites. always have been and always will be ;-)


Just lovely, there is something so perfect about a spring soup.


May 7, 2013

I've been cooking a lot of pho lately, going to this a try. Have you ever made it spicy though with cayenne or thai birds?


Delicious! I used one can light coconut milk and one regular; cut down the water to about 3/4 can. Used shitake mushrooms, spinach, thinly sliced carrots, and some extra firm cubed tofu. Have been taking this for lunch all week and my co-workers are so jealous!


May 8, 2013

I'm a super-fan of all your recipes, and this one was a perfect spring dinner with plenty of leftovers for lunch. Except I read too quickly and I had bought only 1 can of full-fat coconut milk. I added 2 cans of water, and it was still delicious! I used asparagus, broccoli, ramps, and soba noodles. Thank you for listing variations on ingredients, as we all have different vegetables on hand.


May 9, 2013

I've been excited to make this all week and I finally got around to it tonight after I grabbing some tiny yellow pastel-y mushrooms from the Mission Mercado, and it was super tasty! I added some sliced almonds for added crunch, they almost melted right in to the white broth. YUM.


May 9, 2013

I just finished my second bowl of this, and it was absolutely delicious! Just what I needed to soothe my sore throat. Thanks!


May 12, 2013

I made this tonight using coconut milk from a Tetrapak. For vegetables, used two small-ish yellow onions, one portabella mushroom cap, scallions and broccoli. Towards the end, added some thin rice noodles which cooked up very quickly and added a nice bit of thickness. It was delicious and light, yet filling. I think this will be one of my soup staples going forward.


May 14, 2013

Ms. Heidi!
I read this and somehow instantly KNEW that it would become a staple. I couldn't wait! I made it and was thrilled! It was exactly as I had hoped! Leftovers were a delight with a dash of sriracha. Can't wait to try endless versions. Thank you for another classic!


May 14, 2013

Finally put this soup together and it was really great! I think next time I will steep a bit of serrano chili in here for added dimension. Thanks!


May 15, 2013

Love your blog, keep them coming


michon r.
May 15, 2013

made it using one full fat and one reduced fat coconut milk and it came out great. rice noodles not so much so next time might use brown rice instead. also a little bit of szechuan salt and pepper mix to finish it off. a really lovely soup.