This best Vegetarian Tom Kha Soup with tofu has all the unique flavors of galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and Tom Kha Paste coming together in a harmonious blend. This soup is easily adaptable to a vegan Tom Kha soup by swapping out one or two ingredients.
- What is Thai Tom Kha soup?
- Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Ingredients for Vegetarian Tom Kha Soup
- Vegetables to use in Thai coconut soup recipe
- How to Make Vegetarian Tom Kha Soup
- Garnishing Options
- Helpful Kitchen Notes and Tips
- What to Serve With Tom Kha Soup
- Variations and Substitutes
- Storing Leftovers
- Frequently Asked Questions
- More Thai Recipes You'll Love
- The Best Vegetarian Tom Kha Soup Recipe
- More Thai Soups You Might Enjoy
What is Thai Tom Kha soup?
Tom Kha soup is a Thai coconut soup that has a distinct and unique flavor. Thai food enthusiasts love it, and it can be enjoyed any time of year. The creamy soup has an umami flavor from the creamy coconut milk, which makes it very flavorful. If you prefer a vegan option, this recipe is the perfect Thai soup for you to enjoy!
Whether you're a seasoned Thai food lover or exploring this cuisine for the first time, this easy vegan Tom Kha soup is a culinary delight. Don't miss out on the chance to savor this distinctive Thai favorite.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Healthy meets delicious! This Tom Kha tofu soup with vegetables is vegan-friendly!
- Kid friendly. This light and mild soup is not spicy, making it a favorite among kids and Thai food lovers who prefer a more mild flavored soup.
- Authentic Thai Flavors: This Vegetarian Tom Kha Soup captures the essence of traditional Thai cuisine, allowing you to enjoy the flavors of Thailand in your kitchen.
- Versatile: This recipe is incredibly adaptable, allowing you to customize it to your taste preferences. You can make it spicier, sweeter, or tangier, depending on your liking.
- Complete Meal: With a perfect balance of vegetables, tofu, and aromatic seasonings, this soup can serve as a satisfying main course for any meal.
- Easy and Accessible: Most ingredients can be found at your local Asian grocery store or well-stocked grocery store, making it convenient to prepare.
Ingredients for Vegetarian Tom Kha Soup
- Tom Kha Paste: The heart of this dish provides the quintessential Thai flavors. Use store-bought or make your past with this easy Tom Kha paste recipe.
- Vegetable Stock or Broth: The base for the soup, ensuring it's rich and flavorful. Use chicken broth or stock if you are not a vegetarian or vegan.
- Galangal root: A key ingredient that contributes a unique, peppery, and citrusy flavor. It gives a distinct flavor that is important for the flavor profile of this soup.
- Lemongrass stalks: Add a fresh, lemony aroma to the soup. Check your local Asian market for Lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves.
- Kaffir Lime Leaves: Infuse a zesty, citrus note to the broth.Also called Makrut lime leaves
- Vegetable Medley: A colorful mix of vegetables that provide a variety of textures and flavors.
- Firm Tofu: A protein-packed addition that makes this soup a complete meal.
- Oil: Used for frying the tofu to get the pieces more firm and crispy. Use avocado, grapeseed, vegetable, canola, or coconut oil.
- Dried Rice Noodles: A classic Thai element, contributing a hearty texture. Use any rice noodles you can find.
- Coconut Milk Creates a creamy and rich base for the soup. I used canned coconut milk found at my local Asian store.
- Sugar: Balances the spicy and tangy flavors with a touch of sweetness. Use white, palm, or brown sugar. Coconut sugar is also a great option.
- Fish Sauce: Provides umami depth to the soup. Use vegan fish sauce, coconut aminos, or soy sauce to make a vegan Tom Kha recipe. Read more about the different sauces in Thai cooking here.
- Fresh lime Juice: Infuses a tangy and citrusy zest. Lemon juice is fine as a substitute, but you may need to add extra for a tangy and flavorful soup.
Vegetables to use in Thai coconut soup recipe
These vegetables will be a great addition to your soup! Get creative and experiment with different vegetables. Baby corn, shiitake mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, button mushrooms, Green beans, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, zucchini, bok choy, peapods, cabbage and carrots
How to Make Vegetarian Tom Kha Soup
Creating this Vegetarian Tom Kha Soup is an enjoyable culinary journey. Let's break it down into easy steps.
Step 1: Soak the noodles according to package instructions or until the noodles are soft and pliable.
Step 2. Make the crispy tofu. On medium heat, add oil to a pan. Once hot, add the tofu, and do not touch or turn the tofu until the tofu is lightly brown. Then, turn the pieces over and fry the other side until you have a crispy tofu. Cook about 4-5 minutes per side. Sprinkle a dash of salt and pepper for a little seasoning.
Step 3: Build the broth. Slice the galangal into thin slices. Crush the lemongrass stalk for maximum flavor release using the back of a knife. Tear the kaffir lime leaves to release their aroma.
In a large pot, on medium-high heat, add the galangal, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves and Tom Kha paste.
Step 4: Add Vegetable Broth. Pour in the vegetable broth and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes to infuse the flavors.
Step 5: Season the broth with fish sauce and sugar. Add a little first and more as needed.
Step 6. Add Vegetables. Add all the vegetable medley to the simmering broth. Cook until the vegetables are tender. 5-6 minutes.
Step 7: Add the coconut milk. Add the canned coconut milk, stir, and cook for 2 more minutes.
Step 8. Add the crispy tofu and juice last. Stir together and seasoned with more fish sauce, sugar, or lime juice until you are happy with the flavors. Add chilis or hot peppers here if you prefer more heat. Turn the heat off and get ready to assemble your bowl of soup.
Step 9. Drain and add the noodles to the serving bowls. Ladle the soup over the noodles or rice, garnish, and enjoy hot!
Garnish your Vegetarian Tom Kha Soup with fresh cilantro, sliced green onions, a drizzle of chili oil, and a lime wedge for extra flavor.
Helpful Kitchen Notes and Tips
- Adjust the level of spiciness by adding Thai chilies.
- Use a slotted spoon to fish out galangal and lemongrass stalks before serving to prevent guests from biting into the hard, fibrous pieces.
- For a vegan version, substitute fish sauce with vegan fish sauce or soy sauce.
- The soup tastes even better the next day as the flavors meld.
What to Serve With Tom Kha Soup
Serve your Vegetarian Tom Kha Soup with soaked rice noodles, steamed jasmine rice, or all on its own for a satisfying meal. Use any of these rice noodles pictured below with your Tom Kha soup.
Variations and Substitutes
Feel free to experiment with different vegetables to create your variations of this soup. You can also add cherry tomatoes for a burst of freshness.
Leftover Vegetarian Tom Kha Soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 days, making it an ideal option for meal prep. Be sure to separate the noodles from the broth.
Freezing Tom Kha soup is possible. Again, keep the noodles separate from the soup to prevent sogginess.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can use light coconut milk for a lower-calorie version of vegetarian Tom kha soup. It will still give the soup a creamy texture but with fewer calories.
The best vegetables for this soup are mushrooms, bell peppers, carrots, and baby corn. These vegetables add a nice crunch and flavor to the soup.
To make this soup spicier, you can add more Thai chilies or chili flakes. Adjust the amount according to your spice preference. Add a dash of Sriracha or hot sauce for an extra kick.
This vegetarian Tom Kha soup is gluten-free! Rice noodles, glass noodles, or vermicelli are made from rice flour and are gluten-free. They are commonly available in most regular and Asian grocery stores.
Tom Kha Paste can be found in an average grocery store, especially in the international or Asian section. However, if you can't find it, you can make your paste by blending together lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and other traditional Thai ingredients.
More Thai Recipes You'll Love
- Thai red curry paste. A homemade and authentic Thai red curry paste.
- Tom Kha kai. Thai coconut soup with chicken.
- Tom Yum is a famous Thai sour soup with aromatic herbs and spices.
- Creamy Tom Yum soup. Another version of Tom Yum with a sour coconut soup.
- Thai kabocha squash dessert with coconut cream, palm sugar, and pandan leaves.