I have been making an effort to check out new places in New Westminster since I moved here less than a year ago. This past weekend, I decided to check out Karmavore, a Vegan specialty store on Columbia Street. I heard that it had a little vegan cafe in the basement and I wanted to try one of their vegan soups.
I was impressed when I walked downstairs towards the deli case and saw some very pretty looking vegan desserts. I was also very curious of how their raw pizza may taste like, but I quickly reminded myself that my mission was to try their soup. BTW I heard that their Black Forest Cake made by Sprout is a sure winner (I will have to come back and get it when my mom is visiting next month because Black Forest Cake is her favorite dessert).
I soon found out that Karmavore Deli did have a soup. But, I was a tad disappointed that they did not have their own house made soup and they were serving up Happy Planet’s Thai Coconut Soup instead. I convinced myself that shouldn’t be such a home-made soup snob and just try it already.
Did you know that Happy Planet was founded by Gregor Robertson, Vancouver’s current Mayor? In 1994, he and Randal Ius pressed organic carrots from Gregor’s farm into bottles.
The Verdict of Happy Planet’s Thai Coconut Soup? The soup was very tasty yet light (a good thing to me) and on the spicy side (it had some yummy Thai chile). The amount of Thai chile was fine for me, but it may be too much heat for some people. There was some nice bits of tomato and all the ingredients tasted quite fresh – it was not a mushy premade soup surprisingly. I was also impressed that this soup was gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan with no preservatives. I never paid attention to this line of soups when I saw them at the grocery store. The best thing I loved about the soup was that it did not use noodles nor rice and had a lot of baby corns and bamboo shoots. I think the bamboo shoots were the superstar ingredient and can be a great substitute for noodles or rice in many Thai Coconut Soup recipes. I’ve been meaning to try a Thai Coconut Soup recipe that my brothers girlfriend shared with me – I think I may use bamboo shoots in it as a recipe adjustment as well!
If I was to try recreate Happy Planets Thai Coconut Soup at home, I would try to slim down the sodium a tad. When I look at the nutrition facts it is saying that there is 550mg of sodium per 250ml – I think it is a little high. I would not add any sea salt and rinse the baby corns in running water (if they are canned, they may have added salt or sodium).
Happy Planets Thai Coconut Soup Ingredients: Water, coconut milk (coconut milk, water, guar gum), baby corn, onions, bamboo shoots, tomatoes, carrots, red curry paste, red peppers, green peppers, sunflower oil, galangal, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, sea salt, lemongrass, evaporated cane juice, kaffir lime leaves.
Soup Mistress Rating for Happy Planet Thai Coconut Soup:
Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4/5)