Veg Thukpa Recipe: Healthy Tibetan Noodle Soup

Looking to learn how to make the the best homemade Veg Thukpa recipe?

Our quick & easy Tibetan Thukpa Soup is a perfect dinner idea for a cold day, taking just under one hour to make!

This comforting Veg Thukpa recipe features flavourful ingredients like garlic, ginger, onions, chili, cumin, coriander, soy sauce and turmeric.

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What Is Soup?

Soup is a liquid food, generally served warm or hot (but can also be served cold like gazpacho), that is prepared by combining meat or vegetables with stock or water.

Hot soups are additionally characterized by boiling solid ingredients in liquids in a pot until the flavours are extracted, creating a rich broth.

Soups are similar to stews, and in some cases there may not be a clear distinction between the two. Soups generally have more liquid (broth) than chunkier and heartier stews.

In traditional French cuisine, soups are classified into two groups: clear soups (bouillon and consomme) and thick soups (purees, bisques, veloutes).

Purées are vegetable soups thickened with starch; bisques are made from puréed shellfish or vegetables thickened with cream; cream soups may be thickened with béchamel sauce; and veloutés are thickened with eggs, butter, and cream.

Ingredients you'll need to make our healthy Veg Thukpa recipe.
Ingredients you’ll need to make our healthy Veg Thukpa recipe.

History of Soup

Evidence of the existence of soup can be found as far back as about 20,000 BC. Boiling was not a common cooking technique until the invention of waterproof containers, such as clay pots. To boil the water hot rocks were used.

The word soup comes from French soupe (broth), which comes through Vulgar Latin suppa (“bread soaked in broth”) from a Germanic source, from which also comes the word “sop”, a piece of bread used to soak up soup or a thick stew.

The word restaurant (meaning “restoring”) was first used in France in the 16th century, to refer to a highly concentrated, inexpensive soup, sold by street vendors, that was advertised as a cure to physical exhaustion. In 1765, a Parisian entrepreneur opened a shop specializing in such soups. This prompted the use of the modern word restaurant for eating establishments.

In America, the first colonial cookbook was published by William Parks in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1742, based on Eliza Smith’s The Compleat Housewife; or Accomplished Gentlewoman’s Companion, and it included several recipes for soups and bisques.

English cooking dominated early colonial cooking; but as new immigrants arrived from other countries, other national soups gained popularity. In particular, German immigrants living in Pennsylvania were famous for their potato soups. In 1794, Jean Baptiste Gilbert Payplat dis Julien, a refugee from the French Revolution, opened an eating establishment in Massachusetts called The Restorator, and became known as the “Prince of Soups”.

Our homemade Veg Thukpa recipe features cabbage, onion, garlic, chili, peppers, carrots and mushrooms.
Our homemade Veg Thukpa recipe features cabbage, onion, garlic, chili, peppers, carrots and mushrooms.

What Is Vegetarian Thukpa?

Thukpa is a Himalayan noodle soup, which can be served with meat, chicken or vegetarian and vegan ingredients.

The dish is popular in Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, and parts of northern India. “Thuk” translates to “heart” so it is known as heart warming and comforting dish.

In India, Tibet and Nepal the soup is made with a variety of local wheat-based egg noodle varieties. In Bhutan it would typically be prepared with buckwheat noodles.

Begin by sauteing sliced vegetables in a large pot with oil.
Begin by sauteing sliced vegetables in a large pot with oil.

Travel to Tibet by Cooking Veg Thukpa at Home

I love traveling through Asia. My first visit to Asia had me living in South Korea for a year as a teacher and it’s where I was first introduced to fermented vegetables like kimchi.

After my contract ended in Seoul I travelled throughout Asia for 6 months, visiting the PhilippinesIndonesiaSingaporeCambodiaLaosMyanmarThailandVietnamThe MaldivesIndia and Malaysia.

During my trip to India I had the opportunity to visit Delhi, Agra, Kerala and Mumbai. At several restaurants I had the opportunity to slurp through steaming bowls of chicken and veg Thukpa.

If you’re planning a Himalayan travel adventure, you’ll have the opportunity to sample a variety of regional veg Thukpa recipes, served at local restaurants throughout Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal and northern India.

Once you return from your trip, share your experience with family and friends by cooking our healthy Veg Thukpa recipe at home.

Use vegetable broth to flavour this traditional Tibetan noodle soup recipe.
Use vegetable broth to flavour this traditional Tibetan noodle soup recipe.

Where To Eat Authentic Tibetan Veg Thukpa

If you live in a large city in Canada or America you’ll likely have access to a local Tibetan restaurant that serves traditional Veg Thukpa.

Haven’t traveled to Asia before? It may be helpful to first sample Tibetan Thukpa at a local restaurant to better understand how the dish is served. You can assess the noodle to broth ratio, takes notes on the perfect garnishes and determine the spicy heat level before trying to make it at home.

In Toronto, popular Tibetan rrestaurants that may serve a traditional Veg Thukpa recipe include Tsampa Tibetan Restaurant, Loga’s Corner, Tibet Kitchen, Lhasa Kitchen, Om Restaurant, Tibet Cafe and Himalayan Kitchen.

Our Veg Thukpa recipe features chewy Chinese egg noodles.
Our Veg Thukpa recipe features chewy Chinese egg noodles.

My Family Loves Traditional Tibetan Thukpa

My family has a tradition of eating soup and salad for lunch on Sunday’s after getting home from church. Soup is such an simple and brainless meal to serve a busy family with kids.

My dad would often make cream of tomato soup and serve a bowl with grilled cheese sandwiches and pickles. Our family also loved slurping through bowls of Butternut Squash Soup, French Onion Soup and Chicken Noodle Soup.

Some of the fondest memories of my childhood spent in Toronto, Markham, Oakville and Muskoka are cozying up to a bowl of homemade soup with gourmet crackers, artisanal cheese and sourdough bread.

During October in Ontario we’d often visit popular Fall Fairs in Norfolk County, Niagara and Prince Edward County to go on fun rides, run through corn mazes and purchase fresh local fruits and vegetables at the peak of harvest season.

Garlic, onion, bell peppers, carrot, chili, mushrooms and cabbage are available in abundance year round in Canada but we especially love to serve this healthy soup during the chilly winter season.

The best Veg Thukpa recipe is full of hearty ingredients. This quick and easy Vegetarian Tibetan Soup is a great way to incorporate nutritious ingredients into your diet during the colder months of the year.

Use a ladle to serve our Veg Thukpa recipe in large soup bowls.
Use a ladle to serve our Veg Thukpa recipe in large soup bowls.

Veg Thukpa Ingredient Health Benefits

Our Veg Thukpa recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!

Onions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of onions can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.

Ginger contains at least 14 phytochemricals, many of which have impressive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also has a good source of copper, which supports your bones, blood and nervous system. 

Bell Peppers are an incredible source of vitamins C and A, which support your skin and immune system. They also provide beneficial carotenoid compounds such as beta-carotene, which has been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers.

An excellent source of vitamin A and the phytochemical beta-carotene, carrots help keep your eyes and bones healthy, and may help protect against several types of cancer.

An excellent source of vitamins K and C, cabbage helps keep your bones, blood, and immune system healthy.

Mushrooms are rich in B vitamins: riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. The combination helps protect heart health.

A good source of bone-strengthening vitamin K, cilantro is also rich in antioxidants that help protect the eyes from damage by free radicals. 

A rich source of blood-building iron, cumin may also help balance your blood sugar levels and reduce bad cholesterol. It is also traditionally used as a digestive aid.

The star component of turmeric is curcumin, a potent phytochemical that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is often prescribed in Indian Ayurvedic medicine to help relieve arthritis, aid digestion and inhibit the growth of cancers. 

Garnish this healthy Veg Thukpa recipe with garam masala, scallions, cilantro and chili paste.
Garnish this healthy Veg Thukpa recipe with garam masala, scallions, cilantro and chili paste.

Homemade Veg Thukpa Recipe Tips

This healthy Tibetan Veg Thukpa recipe is quick and easy to make at home. We’ve included a few tips for first time soup makers!

  • Use a large cast iron dutch oven with a high rim to reduce splatter when cooking.
  • We suggest using a high quality rubber spatula spoon when making soup so you can easily stir, scrape down the side of the pot and sip to check if it needs to be seasoned further with more salt before spooning into bowls.
  • Visit an Asian grocer or Indian Supermarket to purchase ingredients like soy sauce, chili sauce, spices and fresh egg noodles.
  • We wanted to write a quick & easy soup recipe so suggest using store-bought noodles. If you like to make all your meals from scratch, why not try making your own homemade egg noodles?
  • If you’d like to make the recipe really spicy, feel free to add additional chili paste, chili sauce, sliced chili or hot sauce.
  • Many veg Thukpa recipes also include tomatoes, green beans and spinach. Feel free to get creative with your vegetable ingredients based on your preferences.
  • We’ve used vegetable stock in this recipe but you could substitute with mushroom broth for additional savoury umami flavour.
  • Transform vegetarian thukpa into tasty chicken thukpa by substituting chicken stock for vegetable stock. Top the soup with shredded chicken breast.
We like to serve this Veg Thukpa recipe at a vegetarian or Tibetan-themed dinner party.
We like to serve this Veg Thukpa recipe at a vegetarian or Tibetan-themed dinner party.

What To Serve with Veg Thukpa Recipe

There’s nothing more comforting on a cold day then cozying up to a bowl of soup with a fresh salad, gourmet crackers, artisanal cheeses, sourdough bread, savoury muffins and homemade pickles.

If you’re hosting a large dinner party you might want to serve our easy Veg Thukpa recipe as an appetizer before serving heartier mains.

We love enjoying Tibetan Thukpa with Osaka Okonomayaki, Calgary Ginger Beef, Green Onion Cake, Indian Crepes, Vietnamese Crepe Bánh Xèo, Bun Cha, Pork & Beef Mince Curry Khua Kling, Chiang Mai Noodles Khao Soi, Pad Kra Pao Thai Basil Stir-Fry and Laos Papaya Salad Tum Mak Hoong.

After dinner why not dazzle your guests with one of our popular desserts such as Oat Flour Cookies with Chocolate Chips, Dark Chocolate Lindt Lindor Cookies, Maraschino Cherry Cupcakes Recipe, Cinnamon Babka For Chocolate Lovers, Rhubarb Strawberry Dutch Baby or Jordgubbstårta Swedish Strawberry Cake.

We like to double this Veg Thukpa recipe so we have plenty of healthy leftovers to enjoy throughout the week.
We like to double this Veg Thukpa recipe so we have plenty of healthy leftovers to enjoy throughout the week.

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Storing Tibetan Thukpa

If you have leftover Vegetarian Thukpa you can store it in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days. To reheat simply zap it in the microwave or simmer in a small saucepan on the stove.

We love doubling our soup recipes so can store leftovers in the freezer and save time on cooking in the kitchen. We suggest storing leftover soup in Pyrex freezer safe containers that have a snug lid so there’s not spilling.

NOTE: egg noodles don’t particularly freeze well. We suggest freezing the soup broth but defrosting and serving with freshly cooked noodles and garnishes.

Be sure to let your soup reach room temperature before storing it in the freezer. If you add a hot jar of soup to a cold freezer it will significantly reduce the interior temperature and potentially spoil your food.

Serve Veg Thukpa with chopsticks and a spoon.
Serve Veg Thukpa with chopsticks and a spoon.

How To Make Tibetan Veg Thukpa Soup Recipe

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Veg Thukpa Recipe

Learn how to make the best healthy Veg Thukpa recipe. Our easy vegetarian Tibetan noodle soup is flavoured with spices and fresh vegetables.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Tibetan
Keyword: Thukpa Recipe, Tibetan Thukpa, Veg Thukpa Recipe
Servings: 4
Calories: 256kcal

Equipment

  • Dutch Oven or Large Pot
  • Strainer
  • Spatula or Wooden Spoon
  • measuring spoons
  • measuring cups
  • French knife

Ingredients

  • 300 g Chinese Egg Noodles
  • 3 tbsp Canola Oil
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 tsp Ginger minced
  • 1 Green chili sliced
  • 1 Medium Spanish Onion sliced
  • 100 g Mushrooms sliced
  • 1 Carrot finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup Cabbage chopped
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper finely sliced
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 L Vegetable stock
  • Chopped Scallions garnish
  • Chopped Cilantro garnish
  • Spicy Chili Sauce garnish
  • Garam Masala garnish

Instructions

  • Cook noodles per package instructions until al dente. Strain and set aside.
  • In a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat add oil. Saute garlic, ginger and green chili for 1-2 minutes until browned and fragrant.
  • Add onions, mushrooms, bell pepper, carrots, cabbage and stir for 3-5 minutes until vegetables are tender.
  • Add cumin, turmeric, salt, coriander seeds, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. Mix well.
  • Add vegetable stock and let simmer on low heat for 5-6 minutes.
  • Serve our Veg Thukpa recipe by placing a handful of noodles in a soup bowl. Then ladle soup broth into the bowl and garnish with scallions, cilantro, spicy chili sauce and garam masala.

Nutrition

Calories: 256kcal | Carbohydrates: 31.1g | Protein: 5.8g | Fat: 14.4g | Saturated Fat: 3.1g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 1803mg | Potassium: 318mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6.9g | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 3mg

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