Leading The Good Life

Spicy Thai Coconut Soup with Cilantro Lime Cauliflower “Rice”

First, some more snow photos. I was actually late to work this morning because I turned around to get these pictures. I just knew the sun would melt the snow on the branches and it wouldn't look the same on my way home.

And I'm so glad I did. It was just gorgeous.

(Joslyn Castle)

And now, with snow comes soup. Try this spicy coconut soup that I made this weekend. It is packed with vegetables and flavored with Thai curry paste. A faux rice made from steamed, crumbled cauliflower that's spiked with fresh cilantro and tangy lime juice is the perfect counterpart.

We bulked ours up with a bit of pan-fried tofu (me) and shredded chicken (Kate.) Quite tasty, if I do say so myself.

Spicy Thai Coconut Soup with Cilantro Lime Cauliflower "Rice"

Serves 4-6

Time 30-45 minutes


For the "Rice":

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • zest of 1 lime
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, minced (about 1/4 cup)
  • salt, to taste

For the Soup:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 cup snow peas
  • 5 shiitake mushrooms, cleaned (can be reconstituted dried mushrooms)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 2 13-15 oz cans light coconut milk
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons tamari (or soy sauce)
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 Tablespoons minced cilantro leaves
  • salt, to taste

Optional Additions:

  • pan-fried tofu
  • shredded chicken
  • cooked shrimp


  • Break the cauliflower into florets. Steam until very tender, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, prep vegetables for the soup. Peel and slice the carrot into thin coins. Matchstick the pepper, and thinly slice the snow peas and mushrooms. Set aside.
  • Prep the aromatics: thinly slice the green onions (white are green parts), grate the ginger, and mince the garlic. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium. Add the vegetables (carrot, pepper, peas, and mushrooms) and stir to coat. Saute until slightly softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the aromatics and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. (Be careful, garlic can burn quickly.)
  • Add the curry paste and stir until well incorporated.
  • Shake the cans of coconut milk to mix up any cream that has naturally separated. Add both cans of coconut milk as well as the vegetable broth and tamari to the soup pot, and stir to combine.
  • Bring soup to a simmer, and continue simmering over low.
  • Transfer the cooled cauliflower to a food processor and pulse until it resembles rice. (Be careful not to puree it or you'll end up with something more like mashed potatoes.)
  • Pour the cauliflower into a medium bowl. Stir in the lime zest, lime juice, and cilantro. (Remember to save the juice from 1/2 of the lime plus 2 Tbs minced cilantro for the soup.) Taste, and add salt as necessary.
  • Add the reserved lime juice and cilantro to the soup. Taste for salt and spice, adding tamari, salt, and/or additional curry paste.
  • Serve in bowls with big scoops of cauliflower "rice" and cooked tofu, chicken, or shrimp, if desired.

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Comments (4) Trackbacks (1)
  1. Although the soup looks a little high calorie for Dad and me, Dad’s looking forward to my trying the cauliflower “faux rice” to add to our broth-based soups for a little “heft”!

    • Actually, the only calorie-dense ingredients are the olive oil & coconut milk. And you could probably cut out the oil – just steam the veggies or let them boil until tender. 500 for the coconut milk isn’t bad for 4 servings. Glad to hear you tried the “rice”!

  2. I would love to taste your soup. It sounds and looks awesome!
    We tried the faux rice tonight in a chicken and rice dish and it was excellent! Cauliflower is a great substitute for white rice.

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