Thai Green Curry Lentil and Vegetable Soup

thai curry lentil soup

I've found that the experience of learning to cook at home with fresh quality ingredients has had the effect of jaundicing my experience of most restaurant food these days. Although I do like to know what's in my food, I could forgo that precise knowledge occasionally in exchange for great vegetarian restaurant fare — but the truth is that I've simply become much more critical of the flavors, textures and variety of prepared food available locally. The convenience of dining out or ordering in is generally offset by the mediocre choices available.

Happily there's one fantastic exception, and a surprising one too at least from appearances. The Thai Taste at 671 Dundas Street in London, Ontario may be located in a seedy part of town with a small uninviting storefront, and the decor may be shabby or uninviting according to ones tastes, but the friendly immigrant couple who apparently work 7 days a week and 365 days a year serve up the most amazing and authentic Thai food I've ever come across, including a pad thai and vegetarian spring rolls that easily surpass those served in the fanciest and most expensive Thai restaurants that I have visited. It's a genuine hidden secret here in town — all the food is made fresh on the premises, and across the counter you can see grocery bags filled with the fresh vegetables that the couple uses. I'd recommend takeout (519-646-2909) to minimize any distractions from the general appearance and environment, but it's a taste experience that ought not to be missed by any of my local readers and a most affordable one at that.

…unless, of course, you can do it at home instead. Almost every time I've ordered from the Thai Taste I've ordered their sublime green curry vegetable soup, and it's so delicious that I'm not even sure whether I care whether it's truly vegetarian (green curry pastes are often made with fish sauce and sometimes with shrimp paste as well), and that's coming from a strict vegetarian. Well, I'd finally been motivated to replicate the taste in my own kitchen when I prepared my own vegetarian green curry paste for this soup. I didn't hope to beat the incredible flavor of the Thai Taste's version, but I'm happy to say that I've at least replicated their wonderfully aromatic, vivid and spicy sensation. For those of you who don't live in London, this is easily just as delicious.

Feel free to substitute your own vegetable choices — broccoli, celery or corn would make good additions as well — but make sure not to overcook the veggies to preserve their tender goodness. Keffir leaves are optional, but you can find them at most Asian grocers and they do impart a refreshing element to the soup.

Thai Green Curry Lentil and Vegetable SoupThai Green Curry Lentil and Vegetable Soup
Recipe by
Cuisine: Thai
Published on January 4, 2013

Fragrant, spicy, authentic and exotic homemade Thai green curry soup with lentils and vegetables

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  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 potato, chopped
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed and finely sliced
  • 1-inch piece ginger or galangal, minced or grated
  • 8 oz (225 g) white mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green beans, trimmed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower florets
  • 5 to 6 cups water, as desired
  • 1/2 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
  • small handful of fresh or dried keffir lime leaves (optional)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons green curry paste, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • Rinse the green lentils under cold running water and soak in several inches of fresh cold water for 2 to 3 hours. Drain and set aside.

  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. When hot, toss in the onion, garlic, potato, carrot and lemongrass. Sauté for a few minutes until the onion starts to soften. Add the mushrooms, green beans and cauliflower, and stir for another minute. Stir in the galangal or ginger.

  • Add the lentils, pour in the water and toss in the keffir lime leaves. Turn up the heat to medium-high and bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low. Stir in the bell pepper, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils and vegetables are tender.

  • Stir in the coconut milk and 1 tablespoon of green curry paste. Taste and add more green curry paste as desired. Continue to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes to let the flavors mingle. Remove from heat, discard the keffir lime leaves, and season with salt.

  • Serve hot alongside a plate of hot fresh cooked white jasmine rice.

Makes 8 servings
thai curry soup

Other Thai recipes you may enjoy:
Homemade Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Paste
Homemade Massaman Paste
Massaman Curry
Thai Tempeh Patties with a Red Chili Dipping Sauce

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