The Best Coconut Soup

Written by Sarah Britton (My New Roots)

“To say this dish is good would be the understatement of the year. It is so explosively flavourful, so complex, sobeguilingly delicious that you will want to make it over and over again, as I have. It is also disappointingly easy; just throw everything into the pot and simmer for a bit, strain, and voila! It’s kind of like making a big pot of tea. It just goes to show that when you have the right ingredients, delicious food can be so delightfully simple.” – Sarah Britton,My New Roots


2 cans coconut milk
10 cilantro roots
6-7 stalks lemongrass
3 shallots
2-4 bird’s eye / Thai chilies (to your taste)
50g / 1.75oz galangal root (or ginger)
50g / 1.75oz palm sugar (or coconut sugar)
12 kaffir lime leaves
generous handful of white button mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic
juice of 3 limes
3 Tbsp. fish sauce (or tamari or salt to taste)
about 1 cup water (depending on the consistency of the coconut milk)


  1. Begin by preparing all the soup’s ingredients. Wash the cilantro well in a bowl full of water, swishing the greens and roots around until completely free of dirt. Remove the upper portion of the stems, and setting them aside for garnish – we just want to use the roots here. Cut the lemongrass off where the white base portion ends and discard the tops. Pound the lemongrass until they are cracked and open. Slice the shallots. Peel and cut the galangal into chunks and pound it until it releases a little liquid. Tear the lime leaves into smaller pieces. Slice the mushrooms. Peel and smash the garlic.
  2. In a medium saucepan, place the coconut milk, cilantro roots, lemongrass, shallots, chili, galangal, sugar, lime leaves, and garlic. Bring to a very gentle simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, with a lid on.
  3. Strain soup through a sieve into another saucepan. Discard all solids. Add the sliced mushrooms, limejuice, fish sauce, and water until it is the right consistency. You want the soup to be light, but still creamy – this is up to you. Bring soup up to a light simmer again just to cook the mushrooms slightly. Do not boil. Season to taste and serve immediately with cilantro leaves, a slice of chili, extra lime and thinly sliced lime leaves. Serve with rice, if desired.

Serves 3-4

To read the full post, visit Sarah’s blog.