Thai Red Curry Vegetable Soup Recipe - Budget Bytes (2024)

I’m sitting here with a blank screen trying to figure out if I can even accurately describe to you how good this Thai Red Curry Vegetable Soup is. Maybe I should tell you that I wanted to skip the bowl and just eat it straight out of the pot with the huge ladle as my spoon? Maybe I should admit that I almost wanted to tell my boyfriend that I didn’t cook anything today so I could hide the soup and eat it all myself (no, not really, that’s mean).

The point is, this Thai Curry Vegetable Soup is good. So, so, so good. That paired with its simplicity and ease of preparation means there’s a good chance I’ll want to make this about once per week. I probably shouldn’t be eating that much coconut milk, but I’m sure I’ll find some way to rationalize it.

Thai Red Curry Vegetable Soup Recipe - Budget Bytes (1)

What Is Thai Red Curry Paste?

Thai red curry paste is a mix of red peppers, chiles, ginger, garlic, and other spices. Not to be confused with Indian curry powder, which is a mix of different spices and is usually sold as a powder, rather than a paste. Thai red curry paste can be used in soups, stir fries, sauces, and more.

Is Thai Red Curry Hot?

The spiciness of Thai red curry soup depends on the brand of Thai red curry paste used. I used Thai Kitchen brand, which is common in U.S. grocery stores, and it is not very spicy. Green Thai curry paste, on the other hand, is quite a bit spicier.

Customize the Vegetables

Ihappened to go to an Asian market yesterday where I picked up the ingredientsfor this soup (at really amazing prices, I might add), but if you can’t get the same vegetables as me,you can still make this Thai Curry Vegetable Soup! The beauty of this Thai Curry Vegetable Soup is that you can use just about any vegetable you like, although I try to at least have some sort of leafy green. Other vegetables that would be great choices include: spinach, kale, collard greens, cabbage, mushrooms, bean sprouts, snow peas, carrots, or red bell peppers.

Make it Vegetarian

I made a vegetarian version (minus the fish sauce, anyway) today, but you could easily add meat to this soup. Toss in some shredded rotisserie chicken, or brown some chicken pieces in the beginning with the Thai curry paste. If you prefer shrimp, I suggest adding it at the end and simmering just a few minutes, or until the shrimp turn pink.

Noodle Options

And what about the noodles? That’s customizable, too! You can skip the noodles all together if you want, or use a brick of cheap-o ramen if that’s what you have. It’s still going to taste amazing.

Easy, flavorful, and customizable–This Thai Curry Vegetable Soup is EXACTLY Budget Bytes style.

Thai Red Curry Vegetable Soup Recipe - Budget Bytes (2)

Thai Red Curry Vegetable Soup

This Thai Curry Vegetable Soup is packed with vegetables, spicy Thai flavor, and creamy coconut milk. Ready in about 30 minutes!

Author: Beth – Budget Bytes

Thai Red Curry Vegetable Soup Recipe - Budget Bytes (3)

Thai Red Curry Vegetable Soup Recipe - Budget Bytes (4) Servings 4 (about 2 cups each)

Prep 10 minutes mins

Cook 20 minutes mins

Total 30 minutes mins

Save Recipe Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp neutral cooking oil* ($0.04)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger ($0.05)
  • 2 Tbsp Thai red curry paste ($0.62)
  • 1 small sweet potato (about 1 lb.) ($1.61)
  • 1 bunch baby bok choy ($0.55)
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth ($0.52)
  • 1 13oz. can coconut milk ($1.29)
  • 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce ($0.07)
  • 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar ($0.02)
  • 3.5 oz. rice vermicelli noodles ($0.39)

GARNISHES (optional)

  • 1/2 red onion ($0.29)
  • 1 lime ($0.17)
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro ($0.17)
  • Sriracha to taste ($0.15)

Instructions

  • Prepare the vegetables for the soup and garnishes first, so they’re ready to go when needed. Mince the garlic and grate the ginger using a small-holed cheese grater. Peel and dice the sweet potato into one-inch cubes. Wash the bok choy well, then chop into one-inch strips, separating the fibrous stalks from the delicate green ends. Thinly slice the red onion and roughly chop the cilantro.

  • Add the cooking oil to a large soup pot along with the minced garlic, grated ginger, and Thai red curry paste. Sauté the garlic, ginger, and curry paste over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.

  • Add the diced sweet potato and chopped bok choy stalks to the pot (save the leafy green ends for later) along with the chicken or vegetable broth. Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender.

  • While the soup is simmering, bring a small pot of water to a boil for the vermicelli. Once boiling, add the vermicelli and boil for 2-3 minutes, or just until tender. Drain the rice noodles in a colander and set aside.

  • Once the sweet potatoes are tender, add the coconut milk, fish sauce, and brown sugar to the soup. Stir, taste, and adjust the fish sauce or brown sugar if needed. Finally, add the bok choy greens and let them wilt in the hot soup.

  • To serve, divide the rice vermicelli among four bowls. Ladle the soup and vegetables over the noodles, then top with red onion, cilantro, a wedge or two of lime, and a drizzle of sriracha.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*Use any neutral (low flavor) cooking oil, like vegetable, corn, canola, sunflower, grapeseed, or peanut.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 341.18kcalCarbohydrates: 55.83gProtein: 7.93gFat: 10.6gSodium: 1618.28mgFiber: 6.18g

Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.

Thai Red Curry Vegetable Soup Recipe - Budget Bytes (5) Have you tried this recipe?Mention @budgetbytes or tag #budgetbytes on Instagram!

Video

How gorgeous are those colors??

Thai Red Curry Vegetable Soup Recipe - Budget Bytes (6)

How to Make Thai Curry Soup – Step by Step Photos

Thai Red Curry Vegetable Soup Recipe - Budget Bytes (7)

Start by preparing your vegetables, so they’re ready to use when you need them. I just happened to go to an Asian market the day before, so I picked up this Japanese yam, baby bok choy, limes, cilantro, and a red onion. Read through the intro if you need ideas for alternate vegetables.

Thai Red Curry Vegetable Soup Recipe - Budget Bytes (8)

Peel and dice the yam (or sweet potato, either will work), thinly slice the red onion, cut the limes into wedges, and cut the bok choy into strips. Try to keep the stalk end and the leafy green ends separate, as you’ll add them to the Thai Curry Vegetable Soup at different times.

Thai Red Curry Vegetable Soup Recipe - Budget Bytes (9)

You’ll also want to mince two cloves of garlic and grate about 1 Tbsp fresh ginger. It’s important to note that Thai red curry paste is VERY different from the curry powder that is used in Indian cuisine. This one is basically a mix of red chiles, garlic, galangal (similar to ginger), lemongrass, and a few other spices. If you want to make this soup EXTRA easy, skip the garlic and ginger, and just add more of the Thai red curry paste. ;)

Thai Red Curry Vegetable Soup Recipe - Budget Bytes (10)

Add a couple of tablespoons of any neutral cooking oil (like canola, vegetable, peanut, sunflower, grapeseed), the minced garlic, grated ginger, and 2 Tbsp of the Thai red curry paste to a large pot. Sauté the garlic, ginger, and curry paste over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.

Thai Red Curry Vegetable Soup Recipe - Budget Bytes (11)

Next add the hard vegetables, in this case, the yam (or sweet potato) and stalks of the bok choy, so they can simmer in the soup and soften.

Thai Red Curry Vegetable Soup Recipe - Budget Bytes (12)

Add four cups of vegetable or chicken broth, place a lid on top, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until the sweet potato is soft.

Thai Red Curry Vegetable Soup Recipe - Budget Bytes (13)

While the soup is simmering, I cooked the rice vermicelli separately (this package is 3.5oz). The reason I cooked the noodles separately is that they cook super fast and I didn’t want them to overcook in the soup. I might, at some point in the future, add them to the soup at the end and let them soften that way, but today I wanted to be extra sure, so I just cooked them separately. They only take about 2-3 minutes to soften in boiling water, then drain the noodles in a colander and set aside.

Thai Red Curry Vegetable Soup Recipe - Budget Bytes (14)

Back to the soup pot. Once the sweet potato cubes are soft, add a 13oz. can of coconut milk, which transforms the soup into this creamy goodness.

Thai Red Curry Vegetable Soup Recipe - Budget Bytes (15)

Also, add 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce and 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar. Now, if you’ve never used fish sauce let me just tell you that it is very potent and doesn’t smell good, but because it’s used in such small quantities, that doesn’t really transfer to the dish you’re adding it to. It just adds a subtle umami flavor and a bit of saltiness. If you can’t get fish sauce or want this dish to be vegetarian, you can leave it out. It still tastes good, but IMHO will be missing that je ne sais quoi or authentic flavor that fish sauce gives. Also, if you skip the fish sauce, you can probably also skip the brown sugar.

Thai Red Curry Vegetable Soup Recipe - Budget Bytes (16)

After adding the fish sauce and brown sugar, give the broth a taste and adjust the flavors if needed. Finally, add the leafy green ends of the bok choy and let them wilt in the hot soup (the pot should still be over low heat).

Thai Red Curry Vegetable Soup Recipe - Budget Bytes (17)

To serve the Thai Curry Vegetable Soup, place some of the rice vermicelli in the bottom of a bowl…

Thai Red Curry Vegetable Soup Recipe - Budget Bytes (18)

Ladle the soup and vegetables over the noodles…

Thai Red Curry Vegetable Soup Recipe - Budget Bytes (19)

Then add your garnishes: thinly sliced red onion, lime wedges, chopped cilantro, and a drizzle of sriracha.

Thai Red Curry Vegetable Soup Recipe - Budget Bytes (20)

And then dig in.

Thai Red Curry Vegetable Soup Recipe - Budget Bytes (21)

And try not to die of happiness from the tastiest Thai Vegetable Soup ever.

Thai Red Curry Vegetable Soup Recipe - Budget Bytes (22)

Hey beautiful. ;) ;) ;)

Thai Red Curry Vegetable Soup Recipe - Budget Bytes (2024)

FAQs

Can I use gochujang instead of red curry paste? ›

Gochujang is thicker, fermented, and has a richer taste, while Thai red chili paste tends to be thinner and focuses on the heat. Substituting one for the other may alter the flavor profile of the dish.

What is a substitute for yellow curry paste? ›

Turmeric, Cumin and Allspice

Because of the turmeric, it will also be similar in color, making it a great yellow curry powder substitute visually. Use 1 teaspoon for every teaspoon of curry powder.

Can I use curry powder instead of curry paste? ›

In short: Definitely not. Although curry powders and pastes can share some universal spices, the flavor components of each are distinct from the other. In fact, typically these two mixtures are used to prepare different kinds of cuisine altogether.

What is the difference between red curry paste and green curry paste? ›

Traditionally, all Thai curries were made with the same ingredients except for one thing: the chillies. Red curry was made with several red chillies for a fiery hot dish, while green curry was made with green chillies, and yellow curry was made with yellow chillies.

Can I use sriracha instead of gochujang? ›

This popular Thai hot sauce is similar in texture and heat level to gochujang but lacks sweetness. To make up for this difference, add some sugar when using sriracha as a substitute for gochujang.

What is closest to red curry paste? ›

Other Curry Pastes

Other Thai / Malaysian curry pastes such as, yellow curry, laksa or Massaman also work well as substitutes. Indian curry pastes including madras, korma and vindaloo can also be used. Just watch out as the intensity. Start with less than the recipe calls for and taste and add as needed.

What is a substitute for curry powder in soup? ›

Cumin and chili powder work together as a swap-out ingredient for curry powder that deliver spicy warming notes. These spices work with meat dishes, stews and curries.

Can I use cumin instead of curry powder? ›

You can use plain old cumin instead of curry powder too. In a pinch, use cumin seeds or ground cumin along with ground chili of choice. Though this will not mimic the complexity of curry powder, it will definitely add great indian flavor to the curry.

Can garam masala replace curry powder? ›

While curry powder's aromatic qualities are different from garam masala, the former offers a similar complexity of flavors and aromas. Curry powder works well with a wide range of dishes, and includes some of the key ingredients of garam masala. To replace garam masala with curry powder in your recipe, use a 1:1 ratio.

Is garam masala the same as curry paste? ›

Garam masala and curry powder are not interchangeable. Garam masala is a traditional Indian mix whereas curry powder is a blanket term British colonists used to describe all the spices found in Indian cuisine: it is often hotter, earthier and less aromatic.

Do I just add water to curry powder? ›

Mix curry powder into a liquid for the best results.

Use recipes including liquids like coconut milk, yogurt, stock, or even water, measuring out the curry powder and sprinkling it into the liquid. This is great for marinades, soups, and sauces especially.

Which is stronger curry powder or curry paste? ›

Curry powder is a dry ingredient that must be activated with a liquid or oil. It does not include fresh chilies, so it will be much less spicy than a curry paste. Curry paste is ideal for Thai-style curries. Dry curry powder is better for Indian-style dishes.

Which is healthier, green or red curry? ›

Green curry is great with chicken and shrimp because it offers a punch of seasoning to the protein. The long list of herbs also makes green curry one of the healthiest Thai cuisine dishes.

What is panang curry vs red curry? ›

Panang curry is typically milder, sweeter, and richer, due to the addition of peanuts and the lower amount of chili used in the curry paste. Red curry, on the other hand, is often spicier and more aromatic, courtesy of a larger quantity of red chilies used to create the curry paste.

Is tikka masala paste the same as red curry paste? ›

Various articles claim to describe the differences, but they disagree with each other. Recipes for both use the same seasonings, and appear pretty much interchangeable, except that curry often has coconut-something in it, and tikka masala is heavy on butter and cream.

Is gochujang just red pepper paste? ›

Gochujang is a red chili paste that also contains glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, salt, and sometimes sweeteners. It's a thick, sticky condiment that's spicy and very concentrated and pungent in flavor.

Can I use gochujang sauce instead of paste? ›

That's where this gochujang sauce comes in. Instead of using the paste on its own, I mix it with sesame oil, rice vinegar, and pure maple syrup. The resulting hot sauce is smoother and mellower than the paste, but its taste is just as complex.

How much gochujang to use? ›

Just remember, a little goes a long way. It's best to start with a teaspoon of gochujang, and work your way up from there according to taste.

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Prof. An Powlowski

Last Updated:

Views: 6470

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (44 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Prof. An Powlowski

Birthday: 1992-09-29

Address: Apt. 994 8891 Orval Hill, Brittnyburgh, AZ 41023-0398

Phone: +26417467956738

Job: District Marketing Strategist

Hobby: Embroidery, Bodybuilding, Motor sports, Amateur radio, Wood carving, Whittling, Air sports

Introduction: My name is Prof. An Powlowski, I am a charming, helpful, attractive, good, graceful, thoughtful, vast person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.