{Recipe; Vegan MoFo} Thai Green Curry Vegetable Soup

soupheadingWinter extended her clutches this week, knocking Spring from her cosy perch. First, we were greeted with cool breezes and cloud cover. Then in a demonstration of might, teeming rain descended during the darkness. The type of rain that prompts you to hope that the roof is free of holes.

With Winter knocking on our door, a warming soup was required.

This recipe features sweet potato, pumpkin, carrot, kaffir lime leaves, green curry paste, fresh lime juice, coconut milk and coriander leaves.



Serves 3 as a main, or 4 as an entree (appetiser)

575g/4 cups Kent pumpkin (or your preferred variety), chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

 1 generous cup of diced sweet potato 

1 medium brown onion, chopped

3 cups gluten-free vegetable stock

2-4 teaspoons of green curry paste (store-bought or homemade)

2 dried kaffir lime leaves

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup coconut cream

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice

fresh corinader leaves for garnish

4 whole dry-roasted macadamia nuts for garnish


1. Dry-roast 4 whole macadamia nuts in a fry pan, until lightly golden in colour. Cut each nut in half and set aside to cool.

2. Heat 2 or 3 tablespoons of water in a large saucepan on a medium heat. Add the chopped onions and saute until soft, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the garlic and curry paste (the quantity depends on the level of spiciness desired), and stir well. Heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add the pumpkin, sweet potato and carrot. Stir well to coat the vegetables with the paste.

5. Add the stock and kaffir lime leaves, and stir well. Cover the saucepan and bring the liquid to the boil. Lower heat, and simmer until the vegetables soften (about 20 minutes).

6. Remove the kaffir lime leaves. Puree the vegetables using a blender or immersion blender. If using an immersion blender, perform this step immediately. If using a blender, allow the soup to cool slightly before pouring it into the blender jug.

7. Once the soup has been pureed (and returned to the saucepan if using a blender), add the coconut cream and lime juice to the saucepan. Stir well. Heat the soup gently for a few minutes prior to serving.

8. Serve the soup, and garnish with coriander leaves and 2 macadamia halves. If serving as a main meal, prepare a side dish of baked vegetables or steamed green vegetables.

The Tiny Vegans’ Verdicts

Tiny Vegan, 6 years old, is not enamoured with pumpkin-based soups. The fact that this soup contained pumpkin was not revealed to him verbally. However, the colour of the soup was a giveaway. To his credit, he tried the soup – and he liked it.  I used a ‘kid-friendly’ amount of curry paste, and the other tiny vegans enjoyed their soup. 



{Recipe} Macadamia and Sweet Potato Curry

This delectable green curry features an unexpected – but very welcome – addition. Shiitake mushrooms!


Macadamia and Sweet Potato Curry has been a much-loved recipe in our home for over a decade.

My aunty, Hazel, discovered the original recipe and passed it on to Mat and I, back in our child-free days. The recipe, by Belinda Jeffery, had been published on the web site of our local ABC radio station (but has since been removed).

The original recipe contained fish sauce.  With a couple of amendments and a few enhancements, we transformed it into a spectacular vegan recipe. These days, Mat and I eat a much milder version of this curry to accommodate our children’s palates.

However, milder does not equate to plainer. This curry is delightfully tasty, with delicious hints of lime and lemongrass. The roasted macadamia nuts add an appealing flavour and texture. The baked sweet potatoes add…surprise, surprise…a delicate sweetness.

A homemade green curry paste complements this dish, beautifully.



Quantity – 4 serves

1/2 Tbsp coconut oil

600g (21oz) orange sweet potato

2 Tbsp green curry paste (store-bought or homemade)

400ml (14 fl oz) coconut cream

2 sticks lemongrass, crushed to release the fragrance

4 kaffir lime leaves, crushed to release the fragrance

100g (3oz) raw macadamia nuts, halved

1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms

1/2 Tbsp brown sugar

1 Tbsp fresh lime juice

Coriander leaves for garnish

1/2 Tbsp olive oil


1. Peel the sweet potato, and chop into large cubes. Spread the sweet potato on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove sweet potato from the oven. Set aside.

2. While the sweet potato is baking, spread macadamia nuts on a baking tray and roast in the oven for about 5 minutes. Do not over-cook. The nuts can go from golden to burnt in a very short space of time!

2. While the sweet potato is baking, soak the shiitake mushrooms in 2 cups of hot water for about 20 minutes. Retain 1/4 cup of soak water. De-stem and slice the mushrooms. Set aside.

3. Heat coconut oil in a large saucepan, and add curry paste. Stir over a low heat for 2-3 minutes.

4. Add coconut milk, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, mushroom water, and mushrooms. Stir. Increase to medium heat, and bring to the boil.

5. Add sugar and lime juice. Mix well. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for a few minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.

6. Add sweet potato and macadamia nuts, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove the lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves.

7. Sprinkle with coriander leaves and serve with jasmine rice.

Macadamia and Sweet Potato Curry served with Basil-Ginger Tofu, and jasmine rice.

Macadamia and Sweet Potato Curry served with Basil-Ginger Tofu, and jasmine rice.

What do the tiny vegans think of this recipe?

There haven’t been any requests from 4 year old tiny vegan to name this dish after him. Despite this, the recipe is a ‘hit’ with all of the tiny vegans.

My 6 year old son, the Least Adventurous Eater, eats this meal happily but avoids the shiitake mushrooms. He is not a fan of mushrooms. That is not a problem because the rest of us adore shiitake mushrooms, and are happy to eat his share too.

Each Monday, I feature a delicious vegan recipe that is enjoyed by my own family  – I hope your family enjoys it too.


{Recipe} Green Curry Paste (vegan)


Most store-bought green curry pastes contain shrimp paste, and an overload of salt and oil. This curry paste is mild, tasty, shrimp-paste-free, low in oil, low in salt, and kid-friendly. You can ramp up the heat by increasing the amount of green chillies if you prefer a spicier paste.

I adapted and veganized a recipe from a cookbook called The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook in order to develop this paste.

What non-vegan ingredient would be present in a green curry paste recipe from a vegetarian cookbook?

Shrimp paste.

Yep. Shrimp paste! A blatantly non-vegetarian ingredient. How did that pass the final (or first) edit?!

I used a mortar and pestle to prepare the paste. You could use a mini food processor if you prefer. However, this seemed like the perfect recipe to prepare with a mortar and pestle. It was!


Quantity- makes 5 Tbsp (approx.)

2 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 Tbsp ground corinader

1 tsp black peppercorns

5 large cloves garlic (or 10 small cloves)

1 – 1.5 tsp salt

1 tsp lime zest

1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1 tsp freshly grated ginger

1 Tbsp lemongrass, finely chopped

2 Tbsp coriander stems, finely chopped

2 Tbsp coriander leaves

1 Tbsp spring onion (shallots), white part only – chopped

1 Tbsp of large green chilli, finely chopped

1/2 tsp lime juice

1 Tbsp oil (I used coconut)


1. Heat a fry pan or skillet on a low heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the ground coriander, stir, and cook for one minute. Remove pan from heat. Add the cumin seeds and ground coriander to the mortar.

2. Add the black peppercorns, one tsp of salt, nutmeg, ginger, and garlic to the mortar. Grind the ingredients with the pestle until a paste begins to develop.

3. Add the oil and lime juice. Mix the ingredients with the pestle (or a small spoon) until the liquid is incorporated. Then add the lime zest, lemongrass. spring onions, and green chilli. Grind the ingredients to a paste.

4. Add coriander stems and coriander leaves. Grind until a paste consistency is obtained. Taste a small amount of the paste, and determine whether it requires the additional 1/2 tsp of salt, or more chillies.



Use the paste in curries and laksa. It is delicious with Macadamia and Sweet Potato Curry.

Store leftover paste in a lidded glass jar in the fridge, and use within 3 weeks.

Each Monday, I feature a delicious vegan recipe that is enjoyed by my own family  – I hope your family enjoys it too.


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