Ginger Coconut Milk Soup Recipe

I posted a picture of my lunch the other day, and a few of you requested specifics - it was a spring soup made with a ginger & shallot coconut milk broth, spring vegetables, served over egg noodles.

Ginger Coconut Milk Soup

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.

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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 minutes - Cook time: 10 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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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:

Michelle Ritchie | Delicious Karma

This looks amazingly good. You also have beautiful pictures!

Simply called food

This looks so fresh and inviting. Thank you!


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.

di from the culinary library

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

Kajal Dhabalia

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


To: leaf (the indolent cook) These look like yellow oyster to me.


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

Dan from Platter Talk

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!


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


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


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

Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

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!


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


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.

Christine Straley

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


This looks so delicious! Love all of these ingredients!

Crystal @ Simply Playful Fare

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!!


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)


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