I hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend & enjoying this beautiful (not so fall-ish but I ain’t even mad) weather (if you’re from MTL!). Take it all in because before we know it, they’ll be announcing the first snowstorm… SORRY TO BREAK IT TO Y’ALL, but yep… WINTER IS COMING.
Anywho, as you guys know, yesterday I whipped up a heck of an ice cream recipe (Check it out HERE: 5-Ingredient Vegan Vanilla Coco-Mango Ice Cream a.k.a. Dairy-Queen-Who?!) & low and behold, the secret behind why it’s dairy-free is COCONUT MILK! But, since I didn’t use the whole can, I had me some leftovers & Lord knows I don’t like to waste food.
So… KELLY IN THE KITCH UP TO THE CHALLENGE & CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! I had to figure out a way to use ½ a can of coconut milk to make something magically delicious (DUH! Not gonna feed myself or you guys toxins!). And in the spirit of WINTER CREEPING UP ON US, what better idea than to whip up a soup? A vegan, gluten-free, refined-sugar free, dairy-free & grain-free one, at that!
AND SO… DRUMROLL PLEASE… Vegan coconut lemongrass Thai soup, anyone?!
Okay so, it’s seriously amazing what can come about when you’ve got leftover coconut milk and a tad of imagination!
The main events in this baby are coconut milk, lemongrass stems, turmeric, ginger & sautéed onion, celery & garlic! And let me tell you… the flavour combination is INSANE!
Don’t get me started about the silky smooth texture on this baby! It is legitimately the definition of “TEXTURE GOALS”.
But wait a sec; you’re probably wondering why in earth’s mind I made lemongrass one of the main events in this babe, right? I don’t cook with it often but it’s something I’ve been meaning to incorporate into my cooking more & more since I’ve been doing a lot of research about it & discovered that a lot of its benefits seem right up my alley!
WHAT BENEFITS DO I SPEAK OF? Let me explain!
In a nutshell, it contains tons of antioxidants, flavonoids & phenolic compounds, which help provide tons of medicinal aids! It’s also anti-fungal & anti-microbial!
- Helps lower LDL cholesterol levels in the body.
- Detoxifies the body! It helps cleanse/flush harmful toxic waste & this in turn helps regulate liver & kidney function. It also makes it great for digestion & maintaining an overall clean system.
- May help treat certain types of cancers, such as skin cancer.
- May hep with prevention of certain gastrointestinal disorders!
- Super anti-inflammatory, which makes it great for treating issues like bloating, nausea, stomachaches, constipation, nausea & colitis.
- Helps calm the muscles & nerves, which helps induce sleep (This is one of the reasons why many will drink lemongrass tea before bed!).
- May help treat the common cough/cold & also contains tons of vitamin C, which makes it beneficial for treating certain respiratory disorders + the flu.
- May help with migraines & headaches and alleviating pain, in general. The phytonutrients in it improve blood circulation & help relieve spasms, muscle cramps & backaches!
- Super brain healthy! It stimulates the mind & helps with nervousness & some neuronal disorders.
- Maintains optimal levels of insulin & improves the tolerance of glucose in the body!
- Boosts the immune system, which assists in better absorption of nutrients & strengthens the body’s overall defense mechanism.
- Keeps skin healthy!
- Helps fight the symptoms of depression!
- Promotes the use of stored energy, which helps promote healthy weight maintenance & healthy metabolism, as well as the oxidation of fat in the body.
ALL THIS TO SAY, LEMONGRASS IS BASICALLY MAGIC.
It does everything you want it to do & more, right? I know. Same same.
Now that the convincing is done… as if you really needed it… THE PICTURE SPEAKS FOR ITSELF, DON’T IT?! I know. But whatever, I wanted to give you guys a little in on some of the benefits of lemongrass, and so I did. NOW HERE WE ARE. Ready to tackle this baby & make her YOURS!
Without further ado, let’s get right to it!
My loves, YOU WILL NEED:
- Coconut oil cooking spray;
- 1 medium onion, DICED;
- 2-3 stalks of celery, CHOPPED;
- 4 cloves of garlic, MINCED;
- 1 ½ – 2 cans of coconut milk (You can use light or full-fat coconut milk, but keep in mind that if you use full-fat, you might need to add more water depending on how creamy/thick you want your soup to be! I used 1 ½ cans of light coconut milk because I had a ½ can leftover & ½ cup of water);
- ½ cup of water OR vegetable broth (Omit the water/broth if you want a thicker soup. You shouldn’t have an issue blending it with just the coconut milk & if you do, you can add the water in by tablespoon until you obtain your desired consistency!);
- ½ cup of fresh cilantro, CHOPPED;
- 1 tsp. of ground ginger;
- 1 tsp. of smoked paprika;
- ½ tsp. of ground turmeric;
- ¼ – ½ tsp. of red pepper chilli flakes (depending how spicy you want it!);
- ¼ tsp. of black pepper;
- Sea salt for seasoning;
- 10 dried lemongrass stems;
- 2 tbsp. of Naked Coconuts coconut aminos (or reduced-sodium soy sauce or gluten-free Tamari);
- TOPPING: More fresh cilantro, black pepper, red pepper chilli flakes, hemp/flax/chia seeds, sliced almonds &/or Sriracha or lemon juice!
I know, the ingredients list seems long, BUT IT’S SO SIMPLE that you’re going to freak the F out. And if you think about it… half the list is composed of spices!! It’s all in the spices baby! Sometimes, a little goes a long way! Trust me! So get off your butt babies, take out them ingredients & WOW YOURSELF (& thank me later!).
NOW, for that HOW-TO?
- Spray a medium skillet with coconut oil cooking spray & heat over medium-high heat. Once heated, add in the garlic, celery & onion & sauté for about 5-6 minutes, until the garlic is browned & the onions are fragrant & translucent & the celery has softened!
- Once your veggies are ready, remove them from the heat & set aside to cool off a bit!
- Add the coconut milk & water/broth (if adding), as well as the cilantro to your blender! Then, throw in the sautéed veggies, spices & coconut aminos (or alternative, if using!).
- If your blender has a “soup” setting, USE IT. If not, WORRY NOT. You should have no issue blending this up in a normal blender on a regular setting because the veggies are already sautéed & softened & the rest of the ingredients won’t be harsh on your blade!
- Blend on high until a smooth, silky & creamy consistency is obtained! The goal is to make sure that all your veggies are blended (& basically, NO LONGER EXIST) & that all the spices have been blended with ‘em! Your soup should be a unified color (Don’t worry if it’s green-ish… IT SHOULD BE (thanks to the cilantro & turmeric!).
- Once your soup is ready, you can either pour it into a glass jar, container or Tupperware & let it cool off there (DON’T COVER IT JUST JUST YET) or let it cool in your blender, then store in a container & refrigerate!
- Before serving, warm it up (OBVS). I personally find that when warming soup, it’s best to do it on the stove in a small stockpot (as opposed to using the microwave) & to add in a little splash of coconut milk (if you have some on hand) or some other plant-based milk (such as almond or cashew milk!).