Thai Noodle Soup
Soup is what we turn to when it’s cold and the only hope is to bunker down under layers and layers of blankets. It remedies our sniffles and comforts us on the days we need it most. As soon as fall temperatures hit us the chili recipes come flying off the shelves. Meal prep shifts to slow cooking pots on chilly Sunday afternoons.
But soup doesn’t have to be only for the coldest of winter days. It be can be light enough to eat year round. This Thai noodle soup is perfect for that. The meat is so tender and full of flavor. It doesn’t taste just like boring ground meat. The garlic and ginger infuse their flavors into the meat as it cooks. The fresh scallions, cilantro, lime juice and salty cucumbers on top are fantastic. They balance out the rich flavors of the broth. This soup is layers on layers of flavors. It is so good!
Thai Noodle Soup Recipe
- 1 cucumber
- 1 and 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, minced (substitute ginger paste)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup kale, chopped, stems removed (optional)
- 3 scallions, diced
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 lime
- 4-ounces rice stir-fry noodles
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1/2 tsp siracha (1 tsp if you more heat)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp unami paste (optional)
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup water
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1/2 + 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- Sweet chili sauce (optional)
Prepare the Ingredients
- Cut half of the cucumber into matchstick-sized pieces. (Honestly, any shape is fine.)
- Mince fresh ginger into 1 and 1/2 tsp.
- Peel and mince 3 cloves of garlic.
- Remove the stems from the kale and chop into 1 cup.
- Dice the scallions. Keep the green and white parts separate.
- Remove the cilantro leaves from the stems and chop into 2 Tbsp. If you have cheese cloth, wrap the cilantro stems in the cheese cloth and tie off the top. If you don’t have cheese cloth you can skip the stems.
- Quarter the lime.
Make the Soup
- Place the cucumbers in a small bowl and sprinkle with about a 1/2 tsp of salt. Stir the cucumbers and set aside while you prepare the soup.
- Place the rice noodles in a large bowl and cover with warm water to re-hydrate the noodles. Let the noodles soak about 30 minutes while preparing the soup.
- In a large bowl mix together the ground turkey, garlic, ginger, 1/2 tsp siracha, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes and 1 tsp unami paste (optional). Use your hands to thoroughly combine the ingredients.
- In a large Dutch oven or sauce pot, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Add the meat and cook until browned. There will be moisture in the pot as the meat cooks – that is fine, no need to drain.
- To the sauce pot add 4 cups of stock, 1 cup of water, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp fish sauce (optional), 1/2 tsp kosher salt and the bundle of cilantro stems (optional). Cover and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the kale, whites of the scallions, half of the green scallions and the juice of 2 of the lime quarters to the soup. Cook for 5-6 minutes until the kale softens. Remove the cilantro stems.
- Drain the noodles.
- Scoop individual portions of the noodles into separate bowls. Spoon the soup over the noodles. Sprinkle with the fresh cilantro, green scallions, cucumber and lime juice. Top with sweet chili sauce (optional.)
I listed some of the ingredients as optional because I hate when a recipe calls for something that I don’t use often and the leftovers sit in my refrigerator for months before making their way to the trash. The optional ingredients enhance the flavors, but the soup will still taste great without them so use that as a guide when deciding if you want to skip a few things.
This recipe is meant to be a soup, not noodles covered in a sauce. The broth is richly layered in flavors. If you are not a fan of ginger, this soup is probably not for you. The ginger is very prominent in the flavoring of the meat. You could reduce it or eliminate it, but I think the taste would be a little lacking.
I used brown rice noodles which are a little firmer than regular rice noodles. I thought they held up better in the soup, but use what you can find. If you aren’t able to find rice noodles you can substitute even good ‘ole spaghetti noodles.