Bursting with flavor and speckled with fresh veggies and herbs, this vermicelli soup makes a delicious meal for any occasion. Thin rice vermicelli are bathed in a luscious vegetarian broth of coconut milk and creamy peanut butter, seasoned with red curry paste, ginger, garlic, lime, and soy sauce. It’s a 30-minute, one pan meal that truly delights the senses!
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Are you familiar with rice vermicelli? They’re very thin rice noodles that you may have seen in stir fries, spring rolls, salads, and other dishes from Asian cuisines.
I had never cooked with vermicelli until earlier this year when I made a Thai chicken noodle soup from my colleague’s cookbook Meals That Heal to eat with my mom. At first, I thought vermicelli was a type of Italian pasta, and when I couldn’t find them in the pasta aisle at the store, I settled for an angel hair noodle. But then I visited the international aisle to pick up curry paste, and I came across vermicelli on the same shelf!
I was so pleased to have found the real thing, especially when I saw how perfect they were in the soup recipe. After realizing the versatility of this ingredient, I knew I had to make a vermicelli soup for the blog!
Vermicelli are very thin and different than wide rice noodles you may find in pad Thai. As such, they do not absorb as much liquid as other noodles and grains, which makes them a perfect addition to soups. Plus, they’re very easy to eat and barely require any chewing! Here’s a helpful guide to different rice noodles if you are interested. Now…on to my vermicelli soup recipe!
How to Make Vermicelli Soup
For full instructions, scroll down to the recipe card. Here’s a preview of the recipe steps!
- Heat coconut oil in a soup pot. Cook the onion, carrot, and red pepper in the oil for a few minutes before adding the garlic, ginger, and red curry paste.
- Pour in the broth, and add the coconut milk, creamy peanut butter, lime juice, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the vermicelli, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until tender. Remove from heat.
- Stir in the fresh herbs. Ladle the soup into bowls, and top with peanuts.
How do you cook vermicelli?
Cooking instructions on some brands of vermicelli suggest just soaking the noodles in water that has been boiled but removed from heat. Other brands may recommend cooking vermicelli in boiling water. I cooked the noodles directly in the pot of boiling soup, and they turned out great. Check the label on your vermicelli to figure out the best cooking method for your recipe.
- Where to find vermicelli: As you can see in my photo of the ingredients, I first used Thai kitchen thin rice noodles. These look very similar to vermicelli, but I found that they absorbed more liquid in the soup. I made the recipe a second time using another brand of noodles that were specifically labeled as rice vermicelli, and they did not soak up as much broth. The recipe works both ways, but I personally like it with authentic rice vermicelli. Here is the brand that I used. You can find rice vermicelli at most large grocery stores in the international aisle, and I know that Whole Foods carries them. They may also be labeled as “rice sticks.” White or brown rice vermicelli can be used for vermicelli soup.
- Possible additions: If you do not need this soup to be vegetarian, feel free to add shredded chicken. I like to serve the soup with extra fresh herbs, crushed peanuts, and lime juice. Other possible toppings include scallions, hot sauce, bean sprouts, and Thai chili or jalapeno peppers.
- I used this red curry paste for the soup, but I imagine green curry paste would also work. You can also find those in the international aisle.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until warmed through. I have not tried freezing vermicelli soup, but I believe it would freeze well. Be sure to leave an inch of headspace when filling a freezer-safe container in case the soup expands.
If you love the seasonings in this vermicelli soup, I have some similar recipes for you! Check out the Spicy Peanut Tofu Buddha Bowl, Deconstructed Spring Roll in a Bowl, Peanut Soba Noodles with Roasted Broccoli, and Creamy Peanut Zucchini Noodles with Chicken.
I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.
Vegetarian Curry Peanut Vermicelli Soup
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 yellow onion - diced
- 1 large carrot - sliced into matchsticks
- 1 bell pepper - diced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
- 3 cloves garlic - minced
- 2 tablespoon red curry paste
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
- ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 lime - juiced
- 1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
- 4 ounces rice vermicelli
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
- ¼ cup chopped peanuts
- Heat coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and bell pepper, and cook for a few minutes until the onion is translucent. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and red curry paste, and cook for a few minutes until fragrant, being careful not to burn the spices.
- Pour in the vegetable broth and coconut milk. Add the peanut butter, using your spoon to break it up in the pot, followed by the lime juice and soy sauce. Increase heat to bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- Increase heat to medium-high to produce a gentle boil, then add the vermicelli to the pot. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until tender, or follow the instructions on the package.
- Remove the soup from heat, and stir in the fresh cilantro and mint. Ladle the soup into bowls, and top with chopped peanuts before serving.
- Other possible toppings: more lime juice, chopped scallions, hot sauce, red chili or jalapeno peppers, bean sprouts
- If you do not want this to be vegetarian, shredded chicken is a nice addition that also adds more protein.
- I highly recommend using authentic rice vermicelli, which can be found online or in the international aisle of most large grocery stores (including Whole Foods). You can substitute other types of thin rice noodles, but I found that they absorb more liquid than the vermicelli and the soup is less brothy with them.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until warmed through.
Questions? Comments? Let me know! – Lizzie