Most Thai Peanut Noodle soup recipes contain coconut milk and peanut butter. Because I follow a low-fat (and oil free) way of eating, I did not want to use coconut milk. Not only does a high-fat soup cause my gastrointestinal upset after adopting a low-fat diet, that saturated fat adds up quickly even in a light coconut milk. So my goal was to make a thick, rich peanut noodle soup without using coconut milk or peanut butter as ingredients.
And here it is: a coconut milk and peanut butter free Thai Peanut Noodle Soup that is low fat, but still just as rich and creamy with abundant peanuty taste! This recipe is also gluten free.
And what happened? My soup was TOO THICK the first three times I made it. One of those times it actually had too much flavor. I kid you not, I had to work at getting this soup thin enough I didn't have to call it a stew! That's what happens when you add potatoes I guess! So I removed the potatoes from this (which you could add back in if you want, but I'd do it at the end after they're cooked if you do), and even without them this broth is so thick you'll want to dip more vegetables in it if you have any left.
But once it was all sorted out, it the texture and thickness was on point!
Spicy Thai Peanut Noodle Soup
- 8 cups low sodium vegetable broth Prepared or homemade, mushroom broth works well too
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups mushrooms sliced
- 1.5 cups firm or smoked tofu cubed
- 2 small spicy red chilis diced small
- 3 cups bell pepper sliced
- 3 cups Bun bo Hue noodles thick rice noodle, cooked
- 1/4 cup cashews Soaked
- 3 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp lime zest optional
- 3 Tbsp coconut aminos Or Tamari
- 3 Tbsp ginger minced
- 3 Tbsp garlic minced
- 3 Tbsp Thai red curry paste Thai Kitchen or Aroy-D are vegan
- 1/4 cup lemongrass sliced (white section of stalk)
- 1 1/2 cups defatted peanut flour (Unsweetened peanut butter powder). See notes for substitutions
- Chili Garlic Sauce, or favorite hot sauce
- Add the vegetable broth to a large soup pot and bring to a simmer.
- Add the mushrooms, tofu, and chilis to the broth and let simmer.
- In a separate pot, cook the rice noodles according to package directions. When done, rinse, and set aside in a bowl.
- Prepare the soup base while your noodles and soup simmer. Add all ingredients except the peanut flour, and blend in a high-speed blender.
- Add peanut flour to soup base along with about a cup of the soup broth, and blend. Scrape down the sides to incorporate fully.
- When completely smooth, scoop the soup base into the simmering pot of vegetable broth and use a whisk to incorporate fully into the broth (you may notice some clumps, but keep whisking).
- When simmering again, add the noodles and bell peppers.
- When noodles and bell peppers are heated (after a few minutes), serve, garnish, and enjoy!
Notes and Substitutions
- For gluten free, use coconut aminos or a gluten-free tamari.
- For the vegetable broth, if not making my own and using a broth paste I will typically use about half the recommended amount of paste. You can also use water as the flavorings used in this recipe are often strong enough on their own.
- If you are using a high-speed blender, you do not need to soak the cashews in advance. You can soak overnight, or quick soak for an hour or so by soaking them in boiled water.
- If you are not using a high-speed blender, you may want to substitute the lemongrass or soak/cook in advance, test a smaller batch, or use a different form of lemongrass to spice or omit (it may not blend fully depending on your blender, and it's a very stocky/tough plant if not blended thoroughly!)
- This soup is spicy but quite mild unless you add additional chili garlic sauce. Spice this soup to your own heat level!
Ingredients and substitutions
- You can easily add a couple cups of additional vegetables to this soup. I have added celery and broccoli in the past.
- Bun bo Hue noodles are a thick round rice noodle used for spicy soups. They can often be found in an asian grocery. You can substitute any other thick rice noodle, or use something else like a ramen noodle if you wish. Remember to always cook the noodles separately, rinse and add at the end of the cooking process.
- I use fresh lemongrass for this recipe. You can substitute other forms of lemongrass flavoring, such as the fresh bottled lemongrass many supermarkets carry, spice jars, and so on. Do this to taste bit by bit as you blend the soup base.
- Peanut flour is a powdered defatted peanut, and you can purchase it online (it is fairly difficult to find in stores). It is a lot like powdered peanut butter, which is easy to find in stores, but does not have added sweeteners and has a different flavor (in my opinion, peanut flour has a better flavor). It is sometimes sold under the name peanut butter powder, but I look for a product that is unsweetened for the best taste. You can substitute the powdered peanut butter to keep this recipe low fat, or you could use a natural peanut butter. If using peanut butter, try about 1/3 of a cup and add more to taste as you blend the soup base.
- Chili Garlic Sauce (a common brand is Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce) is found in most larger supermarkets and most asian grocery stores. Of course, you can also make your own.
Recipe "Hop" Roundup: Vegan recipes that include peanut butter
This recipe is a part of a really great roundup of peanut butter based recipes. You can also click on the image to go to the recipe.
All of these recipes are vegan (no animal products of any kind). Please note that these recipes are not necessarily low fat or oil free.
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