Ginger Lemongrass Soup with Coconut Milk is a vegan pot of soothing comfort that you won’t be able to get enough of. It will become one of your favorite lemongrass recipes!
This vibrant soup is perfect for when it’s cold outside, if you're feeling under the weather, or simply for a delicious and healthy meal.
Packed with fresh vegetables and herbs, every spoonful of this ginger lemongrass soup bursts with aromatic zesty flavors that are subtly sweet, spicy and sour.
Look at this beautiful collection of fresh ingredients!
What is lemongrass?
- Lemongrass is native to the tropical and sub-tropical climates of Asia, Australia and Africa.
- It has a tender white core at the bottom of the stalk, and it’s this portion that has a wonderful and distinct citrus flavor with notes of ginger, lime, and mint. While this bright flavor is subtle, it greatly enhances dishes that include it.
- Lemongrass is primarily common in Thai, Indian, Indonesian, and Vietnamese cooking.
In addition to the pure deliciousness of this soup, ginger and lemongrass recipes offer a multitude of health benefits and medicinal qualities.
You can read about why these two special ingredients are so good for you here.
- Working with lemongrass might be daunting if you’re new to it. Here's an introduction to this aromatic ingredient, and how to use it.
- We only use the bottom white/lighter portion of lemongrass stalks. Unfortunately the rest doesn't impart much (if any) flavor, so I don't even save it for stocks or other uses.
- The recipe instructs you to infuse the liquid with the ginger and lemongrass for at least 90 minutes (45 minutes simmering and 45 steeping). You can do it for a longer period of time to intensify the flavors.
- Sometimes when cooking with coconut milk, it can appear curdled. Whisking it before adding it to the recipe can help prevent this. And throughout the cooking process, if it appears to be separating at all, just whisk again to bring it back together.
- I add a small amount of Thai curry paste to this recipe for an extra kick — you can add more or less, depending on your taste. You can also add chili paste or red chili flakes for more heat. (Store bought or homemade curry paste is okay.)
Fresh Lemongrass Substitutions
If you can't find lemongrass, here are some ingredients that are good replacements:
- Lemon zest. Use the zest from 1 medium-large lemon to replace 2 stalks of Lemongrass (bottom white portion).
- Lemon verbena. Use approximately 3 lemon verbena leaves to replace 1 stalk of lemongrass (bottom white portion).
- Kaffiir lime leaves. Use approximately 2 leaves to replace 1 stalk of lemongrass (bottom white portion).
- Lemongrass paste (also called Kroeung). Use approximately 1 tablespoon to replace 1 stalk of lemongrass (bottom white portion).
You might also find jarred lemongrass, which would typically be used in approximately equal amounts.
Other Substitutions and Additions
- You can add all sorts of vegetables to this soup, or substitute some for others. Spinach, bok choy, mushrooms, and potatoes are great with the ginger lemongrass broth.
- For a heartier meal, add tofu, noodles or rice.
- This ginger lemongrass soup recipe is vegan, but if that's not important to you, you can certainly add chicken, meat or seafood if desired. (It’s delicious with shrimp.)
Can you make it ahead?
This soup is equally as delicious the next day — if not more so. If it's refrigerated in a tightly sealed container, it should be good for at least four days.
It can be frozen for up to a month (in a tightly sealed container).
I hope you love every last spoonful!
More soothing soup recipes:
- Coconut Spiced Carrot Soup
- Gai Lan Soup Recipe with Egg
- Kimchi Ramen Recipe with Egg
- Kotosoupa Avgolemono (Greek Chicken Lemon Soup)
Ginger Lemongrass Soup with Coconut Milk
- 4 stalks lemongrass
- ½ cup roughly chopped fresh ginger, peeled
- 8 cups vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons smashed garlic cloves (about 3)
- 1½ cups coconut milk (preferably not light)
- 2 cups Mung bean sprouts, washed and dried
- 1½ cups sliced red bell pepper,
- 1½ cups cups thinly sliced carrots, peeled (matchstick-sized)
- ¾ cup thinly sliced scallions,
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves,
- ½ cup loosely packed small basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon (or to taste) curry paste (red or yellow) if desired for a kick
- salt, pepper and sugar to taste
- Prep lemongrass. Cut off the dark green portions of the lemongrass stalks and discard them. It’s the bottom lighter, 3 or 4 inches you want to use. Use your fingers to gently split, and then pull away the outer stiff layer of the lemongrass. It should come off in one piece. (Sometimes it’s necessary to take off a second layer — to get to the softest portion of the lemongrass.) Use a meat mallet to firmly, but gently, smash the remaining lemongrass. (If you don’t have a meat mallet, you can use the bottom of a small sauté pan.) *Here's a photographic guide that shows you how to prep the lemongrass step-by-step .
- Infuse. Add the lemongrass, ginger and garlic to a large pot (about 4 quart). Pour the coconut milk and stock on top and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low, cover and gently simmer for 45 minutes. Then turn off the heat, keep the pot covered, and let the ingredients infuse for another 45 minutes.
- Strain. Strain the liquid over a large bowl, discard the lemongrass, ginger and garlic. Pour the broth back into the pot.
- Add and cook vegetables. Add all of the vegetables, cover and simmer until they’re tender, about 15 minutes.
- Season and serve. Add the lime juice, cilantro, basil and curry paste (if desired). Then season to taste with salt, pepper and sugar. (Here's How to Season to Taste.) Serve!
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