Sweet and creamy with coconut milk, sour and aromatic with lime and lemongrass, spicy with fiery red chilies, and all brought to harmony by the salty base note of fish sauce. Meet Tom Kha Gai.
Creamy Carrot Coconut Soup
Dietary Compliance: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Almost-Paleo, Paleo, Vegan-friendly
This soup is shockingly bright orange with a texture like velvet and the brightness of fresh-squeezed orange juice and spicy ginger. Creamy coconut milk adds to the flavor, and unrefined coconut oil provides its great thyroid-friendly health benefits. The orange juice brings out the natural sweetness of the carrots, while the addition of lime complements the coconut milk. I wouldn’t describe it as Thai, but I borrowed from their incredible flavors to hit the flavor mark I wanted.
If you make this with homemade chicken stock (aka bone broth), and organic, vitamin A-rich carrots, you’re delivering some serious love to your thyroid. I like to add the musky sweetness of cream sherry to mine; the alcohol cooks out, but you can skip it, no problem.
If you’d prefer a vegan version, substitute vegetable broth for the chicken stock. That’s one of the great things about this soup: it meets a lot of today’s common dietary restrictions, and you can adapt it easily to meet even more, so it makes a friendly (and colorful) addition to any dinner party or potluck menu.
Here’s some info about the thyroid-friendly nutrients in this dish:
- 1 cup of carrots provides 428% DV of Vitamin A. Boiling carrots actually increases their vitamin A content.
- 1 cup of carrots contains 3.6 grams of fiber, which can help relieve constipation. They are also low in calories and a good choice for weight loss.
- Consumption of unrefined coconut oil has been touted for its benefits to thyroid sufferers, including weight loss, increased metabolism, increased energy, and reduced inflammation. It also provides the brain and body with needed healthy fats in the form of MCFAs (medium-chain fatty acids).
- Bone broth is one of the most highly recommended foods for anyone suffering from an autoimmune disease. The collagen and glycine can help repair cell damage in the intestinal tract.
Creamy Carrot Coconut Soup
This colorful pot boasts a texture like velvet and the brightness of freshly squeezed orange juice and spicy ginger. Dietary Compliance: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Almost-Paleo, Paleo, Vegan-friendly.
- 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup organic unrefined coconut oil
- 1/4 cup cream sherry, (optional)
- 1 1/2 lb carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
- pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 14-fl oz can coconut milk
- 2 medium oranges, juice only
- 1/2 medium lime, juice only
- 2-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
- 1 tsp. fine sea salt, or to taste
- dash white pepper, or to taste
- sliced green onion and/or toasted coconut chips, for garnish
In a large soup pot over medium heat, saute onions in coconut oil until soft, about 10 minutes. Add sherry (optional), and simmer 5 minutes more or until liquid has reduced. Add carrots, chicken stock, and nutmeg, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until carrots are tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
Add coconut milk and return to a simmer. Remove from heat and add orange juice, lime juice, and ginger.
Working in batches, carefully blend hot soup with blender* (see note) or immersion blender until smooth and velvety. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Garnish with green onion and/or toasted coconut chips and serve.
- If using a regular blender, use caution as steam can create an excess of pressure when unit is turned on, causing the lid and hot soup to go flying. Start at the lowest speed with your hand on the lid, pulsing if necessary to get the soup spinning, and then work your way up to full speed. Once it's whirling, you're good to go.
- This soup is also lovely with the addition of a spice powder like curry or garam masala. Add a tablespoon to the pot while sautéing the onions, or stir it in by the 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon when reheating leftover soup by the bowlful.
- If you’d prefer a vegan version, substitute vegetable broth for the chicken stock.