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Thai Vegetable Soup (Gaeng Jued)

Asian Soups

One of the myths of Thai cuisine is that it's all super spicy. False! A great example is a Thai vegetable soup, a light, simple soup bursting with flavor.


One of the myths of Thai cuisine is that it’s all super hot and spicy. Nothing could be further from the truth. A great example is a Thai vegetable soup (called Gaeng Jued in Thailand) which is a super simple recipe that’s frequently given to those that are plagued with some form of digestive complaint. 

Gaeng Jued in Thailand means “plain” or “bland” soup. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste good.

Light broth-based soups with only a handful of herbs and seasonings can be just as flavorful as more complex soups with many ingredients. For example, curries can contain well over a dozen different types of herbs, spices, and roots, all of which blend wonderfully. But you’d be hard-pressed to identify the lemongrass or any other ingredient. With Gaeng Jued and other Thai broth-based soups, you can really identify specific flavors and learn to really appreciate their fragrance and flavor.

You can also make this Thai vegetable soup heartier with the addition of jasmine rice and pork meatballs. In Thailand, pork meatballs are frequently included in vegetable soups. That may seem a little odd for what’s considered a light and plain meal (and a vegetable soup) but meat is viewed as extremely healthy in Thailand, including pork.

This recipe is also included in my cookbook, The Thai Soup Secret, as well as 39 other super simple, authentic, healthy, broth-based Thai soups!

Thai Soup Secret cover

Transform Your Health with Thailand’s #1 Superfood!

Includes 40 restorative recipes for broths, congees, and soups. All gluten and dairy-free!

Why Meat is Included

Nor is this soup (or any Thai soup for that matter) overloaded with meat. Most soups have small amounts of meat that act in balance with the other elements of the soup. Because bone broth is a good source of amino acids it’s considered to have what’s called a “protein sparing effect.” What that means is that it reduces the body’s need for protein. Perhaps this is why so many Asian soups contain small to moderate amounts of meat?  

You could certainly leave out the meatballs if you want. Many versions of this Thai vegetable soup use tofu in place of pork (and many include both).   

Either way, this recipe can be used for helping a wide variety of digestive complaints such as heartburn, GERD, IBS, bloating, inflammation, and excess gas.

As for the vegetables, feel free to experiment with some Asian veggies if you have an Asian market nearby.  Different types of bamboo shoots, radishes, mushrooms, gourds, root vegetables, greens, and celery are frequently found in the produce section and would all be perfectly fine to use.  

How to Make a Thai Vegetable Soup (Gaeng Jued)

thai vegetable soup

Thai Vegetable Soup

A fragrant blend of Thai herbs and spices with vegetables in a homemade bone broth.

Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Thai
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Craig Fear

Ingredients

For the pork meatballs:

  • ½ pound ground pork
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • 1 TBSP fish sauce or soy sauce

For the soup:

  • 1 quart chicken or pork broth
  • 2-3 cups vegetables of your choice – greens, Napa cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, etc.

Seasonings, to taste

Instructions

  1. Mix pork meatball ingredients together and form into small bite-sized meatballs
  2. Bring broth to a simmer and add the meatballs and veggies and simmer about 5 minutes.  Add softer veggies like greens and cabbage towards the end so as not to overcook.
  3. Ladle into individual bowls and add seasonings, to taste. You can add any combination of the seasonings in any amount you want.
  4. Serve with a side of jasmine rice, optional.
  5. Enjoy!

More Thai Soup Recipes to Try

Thai Vegetable Soup (Gaeng Jued)
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Thai Vegetable Soup (Gaeng Jued)
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About the Author

Craig Fear is the creator of Fearless Eating and the author of three books, The 30-Day Heartburn Solution, Fearless Broths and Soups and The Thai Soup Secret. After years helping clients with digestive issues, Craig decided to pursue writing full-time. He intends to write many more books on broths and soups from around the world! Click here to learn more about Craig.

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