Thai Zucchini Soup

Thai Zucchini Soup Recipe

My intent here was to make a chilled, pureed, Thai-spiced curry soup. It would be summery and refreshing, and at the same time, strong with green curry flavor. It would be a fantastic lunch. As you can see from the photos, that is not what happened. Instead, I ended up with a chunky zucchini soup, beautifully spiced with a thin, bright, assertive coconut-lime curry broth. And it was better than the soup I'd originally imagined. Here's why.

Thai Zucchini Soup
The best cooks I know are flexible, observant, adaptable, and resourceful - qualities I try to bring with me when I enter my own kitchen. I went to make lunch, prepped my shallots, chopped my zucchini, and things began to progress through the initial cooking process - shallots sautéed, green curry added in a quantity that was assertive but (hopefully) not over powering, and on and on. As I got to the point in the process when I would have removed the soup from heat, pureeing it into silky deliciousness, I realized this approach was going to be mistake. I could sense, just by looking, the ingredients in the pot would not yield a vibrant, bright green pot of wonder, but instead, something a sad shade of green-brown.
Thai Zucchini Soup
Options: I could either boost the color with a bit of spinach greens (which I didn't have on hand), or come up with another approach. I decided to keep it chunky, thin the broth out, and aggressively bump up the lime so the green curry coconut broth would be light, bright, tangy, and not overly heavy. I served it over some cooked brown rice, and tricked it out with everything within reach at the time: roasted cherry tomatoes, toasted nuts and seeds (just something to bring a contrasting crunch to the zucchini), and some shallots covered in vinegar with a bit of salt for ten minutes at the beginning of the soup making process. So happy things went down this way. For anyone who might try it - this is a super flexible soup, and you might flare it out with a whole other host of things. Leftovers were top notch! We enjoyed them the next day over beautiful egg noodles.

Thai Zucchini SoupThai Zucchini SoupThai Zucchini Soup

Thai Zucchini Soup

4.34 from 9 votes

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil oil or clarified butter
  • 1 cup sliced shallots (or onion)
  • 1-2 tablespoons green curry paste, or to taste
  • 1 can coconut milk (full fat)
  • 6 medium zucchini, loosely chopped (5 cups)
  • 1 cup water, plus more if needed
  • juice of one lime
  • cooked brown rice (or other grain)
  • topping ideas: basil oil, roasted cherry tomatoes, toasted nuts/seeds, quick pickled shallots, lots of lime, fresh herbs (coriander, basil)
Instructions
  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stir in the shallots and a couple generous pinches of salt, and sauté until soft. Stir in the green curry paste along with a dollop of cream from the top of the coconut milk. Stir well, and sauté for another minute or so, until fragrant. 

  2. Stir in the zucchini with another couple of pinches of salt, and sauté, being careful not to brown, until the zucchini is tender 5-7 minutes, or so. Add the remaining coconut milk and the water, let everything come up to a simmer, and remove from heat. Season the soup with the juice of lime, and salt to taste. It's all about balance here, and the soup should be brothy with strong coconut-lime flavor. 

  3. Serve over a scoop of brown rice, topped with any (or all!) of the toppings suggested, or experiment with your own ideas.

Serves
6
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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Comments

  • Looks and sounds delicious, def something to try next time I want soup... my toddler eats any soup served over rice! (and I enjoyed hearing about the process you took to make it, too). Thanks!

    Alison
  • Wow this certainly does look very appealing and i am sure very tasty. I do totally get the"being flexible" about cooking . I love to just experiment with my cooking when I can ... you can come up with some amazing meals. thanks for sharing

    Sebastian @ twokitcehnjunkies
  • You make the most gorgeous soups, even when happy accidents. But your lesson is spot on, it's such a good reminder that we should all pay more attention to instincts in the kitchen, give them more credit than we usually do. I've been on a green curry coconut soup kick this summer, so this is right up my alley!

    Katie @ Whole Nourishment
  • That is one hearty soup, it looks so mouthwatering! There's nothing more comforting than enjoying a chunky soup on a really cold day so I will be trying this one for sure.

    Jennifer @ Delicious Everyday
  • Hi, Oh Please let us know at least one of the brands of Thai green curry paste you use. I feel that is the key to this soup's success, other than of course gorgeous flavorful organic zukes. I've found that quite a few I've tried were horribly salty, or far too lemongrassy... anyway, your post was so enticing that I am making this damn soup tonight!!! Got a semi-decent looking Trader Joe's brand green curry paste, and whole-fat coconut milk, great zukes, basil -- I'm set! Thank you heidi for your inspiration :)))

    CJ
  • Ah, yes - always go with your gut when creating a new recipe. That's when the real magic happens. This looks like another delicious way to use up the zucchini surplus from my garden. Thanks Heidi!

    Sheena
  • Looks amazing. Love the parts about flexibility and last minute changes. It's inevitable and inspiring. On a practical note, will light coconut milk here be a big no do you think? I happen to have some.

    salvegging
  • Yum yum yum. I always love your soups because they're chunky and full of tasty things. Your simple tomato soup is one of my favorites because of the addition of the rice and nuts. Plain, silky soup gets so boring. I can't wait to try this one too!

    Sarah from Soymilk + Honey
  • What brand of curry paste do you use?

    HS: Hi Allison - Sometimes I make my own, other times I buy the paste. And I switch up brands quite a lot. There's one in a squat little tub that I like a lot (particularly the yellow curry), but I'm blanking on the name!

    Allison
  • I like the recipe, but I know that green curry past is the hottest. Does it mean that soup is very hot and spicy? Thanks

    Lena
  • I had an abundance of zucchini thanks to my CSA and I shredded and froze a lot of it. Do you think I can use that in the soup rather than chunky fresh zuccs? Obviously thaw and press out the extra water before using.....

    Emma
  • Your timing couldn't be better as I've got a countertop of the most varied volunteer summer squash from the garden and I was making lists of things to make/bake before the rest gets shredded and frozen. Thank you!

    Janet
  • Yum!! Love the versatile zucchini! Have never seen it in Thai cooking-- looks to be a delicious twist. The key will be the curry paste-- can you please share names of your fave brand? Or your recipe if you make it from scratch? Thank you!xo

    CJ
  • This was fantastic! I made it more of a stew than soup. I didn't add any water, but I did add a can of drained chickpeas at the end. Made for a wonderful lunch, served over a bowl of brown rice. Thanks!

    Barb
  • Heidi! I love your recipes. The toppings you put on top of your dish look beautiful. I was wondering what type of nuts/seeds did you use as a topping?

    Samantha
  • Did you serve the soup over rice, or a different grain?

    Jen
  • As I'm growing up and getting just a tiny bit wiser (in the kitchen, at least), I'm learning to adopt this approach of flexibility. I have ruined many a chunky soup in favor of sticking to my initial guns and pureeing, haha. Love this idea for an easy summer dinner!

    Alexandra
  • This looks so delicious. And I know what you mean about the flexible way of cooking, I often end up with something entirely different to what I first meant to cook.

    Adina
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