Prep & Cooking Time: 60 mins
Recipe adapted from: Elephantjournal.com
Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-vitamins, Vitamins C & K, protein, fibre, iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium.
If you’re looking for an alternative cuisine… than look no further! This recipe is easy to execute (it doesn’t involve any frying) and packs so many wonderful textures and flavours!
This soup is just under 300kcal/serving, but it still has 10g of saturated fat/serving (even with the reduced fat coconut milk). Plant-based diets are predominately healthy, but using coconut milks or oil, palm oils or cocoa butter can offer high intakes of saturated fats. Unfortunately, coconut oil, creamed coconut etc is made of approximately 90% saturated fat/100g.
We’re sure that when compared to some ‘authentic Thai meals’, it may be considered a ‘healthier’ option. We would recommend having a small portion, or try using half the amount of the reduced fat coconut milk and/or substitute it for unsweetened soya or almond milk; try making your own curry paste to also help reduce the amount of fat in this dish.
With any food or meal, just be mindful of the portion size and the overall fat/sugar/salt contents; all in moderation folks!
396g Firm tofu
‘1 Kcal’ Spray (low-fat cooking oil)
60g Fresh ginger root
2 Stalks of lemon grass (approx. 10g)
160g Red bell pepper
100g White mushrooms
40g Spring onions
80g Green beans
16g Fresh basil
16g Fresh Coriander
140g Fresh bean sprouts
Zest and juice of one lime
500ml Vegetable stock (low-sodium, DF, GF)
400ml Tin Reduced-fat coconut milk
30g Thai yellow curry paste
300g Rice noodles
10g Peanuts (unsalted/not roasted)
NB: Check your rice noodles before cooking; do they need to be cooked or stir-fried before hand? Ours allowed us to add them straight into the soup to cook. Also, if you are using frozen vegetables, defrost them first.
Open and drain the tofu. Press between two heavy chopping boards for 30 minutes to remove any excess water.
Heat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Spray it with some low-fat cooking oil. Spread to coat.
In the meantime, prepare the vegetables. Wash, trim the ends, peel and then chop the carrot into ‘matchstick’ pieces. Wash, peel and chop the ginger into thin pieces. Wash, trim the ends, lightly crush with the back of a large spoon and then roughly chop the lemon grass. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and thinly slice the bell pepper into strips.
Wash, pat dry and roughly slice the mushrooms. Wash, trim the ends and chop the onion into large pieces. Wash, trim the ends, and halve the beans. Wash, dry and roughly chop the basil and coriander. Wash and drain the bean sprouts. Wash, zest and then juice the lime. Prepare the vegetable stock.
Meanwhile, drain and chop the tofu into bite-sized pieces. Place it onto the baking sheet. Lightly spray it with some low-fat cooking oil. Place it into the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until lightly browned. TIP: You can refer to our previous recipe is you need some visual guidance for this step.
In the meantime, place a large non-stick saucepan over a medium heat. Add the stock, milk, carrot and ginger. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Add the lemon grass and curry paste. Stir to dissolve. Cover with a lid. Allow it to cook for 5 mins.
Add the bell pepper, mushrooms, onion, beans, basil and coriander (save a little for garnishing if you like) to the pan. Bring back to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10 mins.
In the meantime, prepare the rice noodles according to the packet instructions (at this stage if required). Drain.
Add the bean sprouts and rice noodles into the soup. Cover with a lid. Allow to cook for a further 3-5 mins or until the rice noodles are tender.
In the meantime, roughly chop the nuts; you can see we have everything else ready to go!
Remove from the heat. Pour in the juice. Add the tofu. Mix together gently.
We find because there is so much going on in the pot, it’s easier to use a spaghetti ladle to scoop out the larger pieces first….
…and then ladle the broth over it.
Once served, sprinkle over the zest (as mush as desired); top with the nuts and reserved coriander leaves (if using).
- Try different vegetables: pak choi, baby corn, water chestnuts, fresh red chillies, mange tout, sugar snap peas, red onion, fresh garlic, some torn baby spinach or maybe some cubed sweet potato or butternut squash.
- Try using: fresh or dried Kaffir leaves instead of lime zest, Thai basil leaves instead of standard basil, fresh oyster or enoki mushrooms instead of standard white ones, replace the fresh lemon grass for a puree (if you can’t source the fresh variety or your trying to save money), or try brown basmati rice in place of the rice noodles.
- Try making your own fresh curry paste (if you have the time) instead of using store bought varieties; this will help cut down on the salt and fat contents.
- Add some fish sauce to the broth if you are not a vegan/vegetarian (but be mindful of the salt content).