Tom Kha Soup (Vegetarian Thai Coconut Soup)

It is that lovely time of the year, when mostly everyone is coughing, sneezing and sniffling everywhere you go. It comes to us all at some stage, and we are no exception! It started with my son, then me and now my husband. This week has been dark and gloomy with all the rain throughout the day. The joy! I just can’t wait for this week to end! So, there is only one thing for it and that is a good homemade soup!

Tom kha roughly translate to boiled galangal. You may be wondering what the heck it galangal? Galangal is a member of the ginger family, though its taste is quite distinct – it has a citrusy almost piney flavor. Tom Kha is must try for all Thai food lovers! You will find all the classic Thai flavors in the incredible soup. Rich and creamy coconut milk infused with the amazing aroma of galangal, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. Vegetables and tender pieces of mushrooms make this soup really hearty.

Tom Kha soup may look complicated, but it actually comes together very quickly, no long simmering required. The only challenging part may be finding the ingredients. The aromatics that give this soup it is unique flavor profile, are typically only sold in Asian markets. I have seen some recipes substitute ginger for galangal, and I can say first hand it does not give the same flavor. This is probably one of the reasons why I don’t make this soup often, but when I do, it is so worth it! If you find galangal root and kefir lime leaves, then definitely recommend you freeze them for future use, because I promise you will want to make this soup again, soon!

Serves 2

Per serving Calories 400, Fat 30g, Carbs 25g, Fiber 5g, Protein 10g


1 stalk lemongrass, cut into 1 inch pieces and pound with black of knife to release aroma

5-6 kaffir lime leaves, rolled together and pounded with back of knife to release aroma

1 galangal, cut thick slices

3 cups of vegetable broth

1-2 Thai chilies

1 package of mushrooms, slices

1 cup of onions, finely chopped

1 tbsp Thai chili oil (optional)

14 oz canned full fat coconut milk

1 lime (juice and set it aside)

1 cup of tofu, cubed

Salt to taste

¼ tsp sugar

½ cup chopped cilantro for garnishing


Add vegetable broth, coconut milk, lemongrass, lime leaves, galangal, and chilis and bring to boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes to allow aromatics to season the broth. While the broth is still simmering, add tofu, mushrooms, onions, and chili oil (optional). Continue to stir every couple minutes making sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan. Let the veggies simmer for 6-8 minutes. Add sugar and salt to taste. Turn off heat, depending on how big your serving bowl is, squeeze anywhere from ½ to 1 lime in each bowl. Add extra slices of chili, if you want more spice in your soup. Enjoy your Tom Kha soup by itself, noodles or rice. Top it off with chopped cilantro. Enjoy!

Notes – If you don’t have vegetable broth, you can use water instead. If you like your soup on the spicy side, add more chilies and chili oil. If you are not fan of tofu, you can omit the tofu and just make this soup with vegetables.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s