This vegetarian Tom Kha Soup is a twist on a classic Thai favorite. An aromatic and coconut-infused delight that brings together the rich flavors of traditional Tom Kha with a plant-based version that promises to tantalize your taste buds. This simple and vibrant soup is perfect for those looking to explore the world of Thai food without sacrificing flavor.
What is Tom Kha soup made of?
Tom Kha Soup is a Thai coconut soup known for its rich and aromatic flavors.
While recipes can vary, the basic ingredients typically include coconut milk, lemongrass, lime leaves, Thai bird chilies, mushrooms, and tofu or other protein sources like chicken or shrimp.
The flavorful soup is seasoned with ingredients such as soy sauce, and lime juice, and often features additional vegetables and herbs like cilantro. This combination creates a harmonious blend of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavors that characterize this popular Thai soup.
How is lemon grass cooked?
Lemon grass is a versatile herb used in various cuisines, particularly in Southeast Asian cooking. To cook lemon grass, follow these steps:
- Trimming: Start by removing the tough outer layers of the lemongrass stalk until you reach the softer, pale inner part. Trim off the root end and the upper green portion, keeping the middle part, which is the most tender and flavorful.
- Smashing or Bruising: Lemongrass has a tough texture, so it’s often recommended to bruise or smash it with the back of a knife or a pestle. This helps release the essential oils and flavors. You can also make several cuts or slices to further expose the inner layers.
- Slicing or Chopping: Depending on your recipe, you can either finely slice the lemongrass or chop it into larger pieces. Finely sliced lemongrass works well in soups, curries, and marinades, while larger pieces are suitable for infusing liquids.
- Cooking Methods: Lemongrass can be added whole or in pieces to liquids like broths, soups, and sauces to infuse them with its flavor. Remember to remove the lemongrass pieces before serving, as they can be tough to eat. Alternatively, add sliced or chopped lemongrass to stir-fries for a burst of citrusy aroma and flavor. Larger pieces of lemongrass can be used as skewers for grilling or roasting, infusing the food with its essence.
By following these steps, you can make the most of lemongrass’s unique flavor and aromatic qualities in your cooking.
What ingredients are needed for making Vegetarian Tom Kha Soup
To prepare a delicious Vegetarian Tom Kha Soup, you will need the following ingredients:
- 6 oz of vegan chicken: This can be found in most grocery stores or you can substitute it with tofu if you prefer.
- 1 stalk of lemongrass, peeled and chopped: Lemon grass is a common ingredient in Thai cuisine and can be found in most Asian markets.
- 1 cup of mushrooms: Any type of mushrooms can be used, but shiitake mushrooms are a great choice for this recipe.
- 3 tsp of freshly grated ginger: This adds a nice, spicy flavor to the soup.
- 1/4 cup of onions: Any type of onion can be used, but yellow onions are recommended for this recipe.
- 3 cloves of garlic: Garlic adds a nice, savory flavor to the soup.
- 2 tbs of red curry paste: This gives the soup a nice, spicy kick.
- 1/2 cup of vegetable broth: This is used as the base for the soup and adds flavor.
- 1 cup of canned coconut milk: Creamy coconut milk gives the soup a creamy, rich texture.
- 3 tsp of brown sugar: Brown sugar adds a hint of sweetness to the soup.
- 1 tbs of soy sauce or vegan fish sauce: Soy sauce adds a nice, salty flavor to the soup.
- Juice of 1/2 lime: Lime juice adds a tangy flavor to the soup.
- Salt and pepper to taste: These are used to season the soup according to your personal preference.
Make your own Thai chili paste
If you want to make a Thai chili paste at home, that’s a perfectly amazing idea. The best thing about it is really, really simple.
For an easy step-by-step instruction recipe, check out my homemade Red Curry Paste for use in all your vegan recipes.
To give it a distinctly Thai touch, make sure to use Thai chilies and you are ready to go.
How to make Vegetarian Tom Kha Soup
Prepare the lemongrass by peeling away the tough outer layers and chopping the tender inner parts into small pieces. You can use a food processor or a sharp knife for this. Set the chopped lemongrass aside.
Heat up some oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions, chicken , minced garlic, and chopped lemongrass to the pot, and cook for around 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and the garlic is fragrant.
Add the sliced mushrooms, chili paste, sugar, soy sauce, coconut milk, vegetable broth, grated ginger, and a pinch of salt and pepper to the pot. Stir everything together, and bring the soup to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low, and let the soup simmer for around 10 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender and the flavors have melded together.
Add the fresh lime juice to the soup, and stir well. Taste the soup, and adjust the seasoning as needed by adding more salt, pepper, or lime juice.
Serve the soup hot, garnished with some fresh cilantro leaves and chopped green onions if desired. Maybe a lime wedge. Enjoy!
How to store Vegetarian Tom Kha Soup
To store Vegetarian Tom Kha Soup properly and maintain its freshness, follow these guidelines:
- Cooling: Allow the soup to cool to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing. Rapid cooling helps prevent bacterial growth.
- Refrigeration: Transfer the soup to an airtight container. Glass or plastic containers with tight-fitting lids work well. Store the soup in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Make sure to check for any signs of spoilage, such as off smells or changes in color, before consuming.
- Freezing: If you want to store the soup for a longer period, consider freezing it. Use freezer-safe containers or resealable plastic bags. Leave some space at the top to allow for expansion as the soup freezes. Label the containers with the date to keep track of storage time. Vegetarian Tom Kha Soup can generally be frozen for 2-3 months without a significant loss of quality.
- Thawing and Reheating: When ready to use, thaw the soup in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat the soup on the stove over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Ensure it reaches a safe temperature (165°F or 74°C) before serving. Avoid reheating the soup multiple times, as each reheating cycle can impact the quality.
- Additional Tips: Remove any ingredients that might not freeze well, such as tofu or vegetables with high water content, before freezing. Add these fresh ingredients when reheating the soup. If the soup thickens upon reheating, you can adjust the consistency by adding a bit of water or vegetable broth.
By following these storage guidelines, you can enjoy your Vegetarian Tom Kha Soup at its best, whether freshly made, refrigerated, or frozen for later use.
Other Thai recipes to try
- Sheet Pan Thai Vegetables
- Easy Pad Thai Sauce
- Thai Noodle Salad
- One Pot Pad Thai Noodles
- Thai Quinoa Salad
- 6 oz of vegan chicken
- 1 stalk of lemongrass, peeled and chopped:
- 1 cup of mushrooms
- 3 tsp of freshly grated ginger
- 1/4 cup of onions
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp of red curry paste
- 1/2 cup of vegetable broth
- 1 cup of canned coconut milk
- 3 tsp of brown sugar
- 1 tbsp of soy sauce or vegan fish sauce
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Prepare the lemongrass by peeling away the tough outer layers and chopping the tender inner parts into small pieces. You can use a food processor or a sharp knife for this. Set the chopped lemongrass aside.
- Heat up some oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions, chicken, minced garlic, and chopped lemongrass to the pot, and cook for around 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the sliced mushrooms, chili paste, sugar, soy sauce, coconut milk, vegetable broth, grated ginger, and a pinch of salt and pepper to the pot. Stir everything together, and bring the soup to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low, and let the soup simmer for around 10 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender and the flavors have melded together.
- Add the fresh lime juice to the soup, and stir well. Taste the soup, and adjust the seasoning as needed by adding more salt, pepper, or lime juice.
- Serve the soup hot, garnished with some fresh cilantro leaves and chopped green onions if desired. Maybe a lime wedge. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1.5 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 416Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 770mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 5gSugar: 9gProtein: 28g