Paleo Coconut Curry Zoodle Soup (Gluten Free, Vegan Option)
This paleo coconut curry zoodle soup is quick and delicious, loaded with creamy coconut milk, intensely flavorful red curry paste, and zoodles. This recipe is a wonderful paleo dinner or paleo soup recipe to add to your collection. Low carb yet filling, you can make this paleo coconut curry zoodle soup a vegan coconut curry zoodle soup with an easy swap!
I still remember the moment I fell crazy in love with coconut soup. Like, “show up at your house in the middle of the night” crazy in love. Like, “Who’s that girl who commented on your Instagram?! I know you’re sleeping with her” crazy in love. Like… “slash your tires” crazy in love?
OK, so maybe I wouldn’t go that far (but seriously, who is she?), but hot damn, I fell hard and fast.
For coconut soup.
I’d taken a quick trip to Birmingham with a few college friends, and they had to go to this famous Thai restaurant there. It was one of their all-time favorites, but I just didn’t get it. Growing up, Thai food meant sweet noodles, drenched in a slimy sauce, topped with weird scrambled egg and um, peanuts? I just didn’t get it. I wasn’t, and am still not, a major noodle person, and for this, my aging mom bod thanks the heavens everyday. So to me, if all Thai food were like pad see ew or pad thai, I wasn’t into it.
And then I had a cup of the creamiest coconut soup, Thai tom kha, and nearly fainted. It was flavorful and balanced, with a richness from the coconut somehow delicately grounding the salty umami from the fish sauce, the spiciness from the Thai chiles, the sour lime juice. I think there might have been some literal magic working in that kitchen, but I’m not one to complain. That moment was one of only a few I remember vividly as being so good that the dish will flash before my eyes when I die. Nbd.
Of course, I was desperate to recreate the soup, and I even came up with a very-small-college-town-friendly recipe that I posted over a decade ago on food.com. But no matter what I did, no matter how many authentic recipes I tried, no matter how many times I drove 45 minutes just for fresh lemongrass, I didn’t come close.
It wasn’t until someone somehow got me the recipe that I realized the secret: red curry paste. How! What! I! Ugh. I was already a fan of the standard red curry with tofu, but this? Next level.
Since that moment, I’ve had red curry paste in my fridge at all times. Move into a new house? OK, we need almond milk for the baby, dozens and dozens of LaCroix, and, oh yeah, red curry paste. Everything else can wait.
So when it comes to needing a quick and easy yet delicious weeknight dinner, coconut curry often comes to mind. And this paleo coconut curry zoodle soup fit the bill perfectly, when I was in the mood for something flavorful but not too heavy. We used tofu because, well, we kind of love tofu, but I’ve included directions for using chicken to make it truly paleo. And if you’re making vegan coconut curry zoodle soup? You’ll just leave out the fish sauce and add more salt instead. Versatile, non?
You will seriously love this paleo coconut curry zoodle soup. Perfect when you’re filling icky or just feeling damn hungry, you’ll fall in love with it, just like I did. Except… don’t slash my tires. OK. Cool…
Paleo Coconut Curry Zoodle Soup
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- ½ of one onion sliced
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 small red chile chopped
- 6 slices fresh ginger ¼" long slices
- 1 lemongrass stalk cut into 2-inch sticks and smashed
- 2 tablespoons red Thai curry paste
- 2 14.5-ounce cans chicken broth or vegetable broth for vegan
- 1 13.5-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 medium red bell pepper deseeded, cut in half across the middle, and sliced into strips
- 8 ounces white mushrooms sliced
- 2 large chicken breasts approximately 1-1 ½ pounds, cut into bite-sized pieces; OR use 12 ounces firm silken tofu, cubed
- 1 8-ounce can bamboo shoots drained
- 2-3 tablespoons fish sauce to taste, or use soy sauce for vegan
- 3-4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 3 green onions sliced
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 2 large zucchini spiralized
- Heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, chile, ginger, lemongrass, and red Thai curry paste and sweat, stirring often, about 5-7 minutes, or until the onion is beginning to soften.
- Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes.
- Strain mixture and discard aromatics. Return infused chicken broth to stovetop and add coconut milk. Whisk to combine well.
- Add bell pepper, mushrooms, chicken, and bamboo shoots and simmer over medium to medium-low heat until chicken is cooked through and red bell pepper is softened, about 15 minutes.
- Add 2 tablespoons fish sauce, 3 tablespoons lime juice, and coconut sugar and stir to combine. Taste and add more lime juice or fish sauce, if desired.
- To serve, place a serving of zoodles (spiralized zucchini) in a bowl and pour hot soup over. Top with green onions and cilantro. Serve immediately.
- I use this spiralizer and absolutely love it.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.
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