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Vegan Tom Kha Soup With Tofu

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This vegan tom kha soup recipe with tofu and vegetables is a meat-free rendition of the traditional dish from Thailand, tom kha gai. You’ll love this creamy Thai coconut soup because it is so comforting and bursting with tropical flavors!

vegan tom kha soup in two bowls

This vegan tom kha soup draws inspiration from tom kha gai, a Thai soup that is traditionally made with chicken. Sometimes this soup is also made with shrimp, but this tofu tom kha is for all my vegetarians and vegans out there!

“Tom kha” literally translates to “boiled galangal”. Galangal root is a spice similar to ginger, but with a distinctly different flavor that is more citrusy, and almost piney. This soup gets its uniquely aromatic flavor mostly from the galangal, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, red curry paste, and coconut milk.

This soup works great as an appetizer or main dish! If you’re looking for a crowd-pleaser to serve at your next dinner or gathering, this vegetable tom kha soup is something everyone can enjoy! You also might want to check out my spicy vegan japchae recipe.

🥄 Why This Recipe Works

  • This tofu tom kha is a flavorful alternative to tom kha gai which is made with chicken.
  • Despite the fact that this is a vegetarian tom kha soup recipe, it is filling and satisfying as-is. You can, however, substitute the tofu in this tom kha with chicken or shrimp if you prefer.
  • This is the perfect soup for when you’re feeling under the weather as it is so soothing on a sore throat and aromatic enough to help clear out sinuses.
  • If you’re looking for a beginner-level recipe that anyone can make, this is a great option!

🛒 What You Need To Make Vegan Tom Kha Soup

vegan tom kha soup ingredients

📝 Recipe Modifications And Substitutions

  • Coconut milk: Make sure you’re using unsweetened full-fat coconut milk! I usually use organic coconut milk because it tends to be more flavorful.
  • Vegetable broth: You can use store-bought, but I used homemade (check out this apartment homesteading for beginners post for more homemade kitchen staple ideas.)
  • Lemongrass: I prefer to use fresh lemongrass stalks, but you can also use lemongrass paste.
  • Galangal: Galangal root is a spice from the same family as ginger, although it has a very unique taste. You can find fresh galangal at nearly any Asian supermarket, or you can buy dried galangal on amazon. I would not recommend substituting this ingredient.
  • Kaffir lime leaves: This is another ingredient I don’t recommend substituting, but if you have to you can add extra lime juice or lime zest to make up for it.
  • Vegan fish sauce: Soy sauce can be used as a substitute, or you can use coconut aminos to make this recipe gluten-free.
  • Firm tofu: Silken tofu also works really well, as I’m sure pretty much any tofu would.
  • Limes: If you don’t have fresh limes, lemon or lime juice will work.
  • Shiitake mushrooms: You could use any variety of mushrooms but I always go for shiitake or button mushrooms when I’m making vegan tom kha soup.
  • Chili oil: Totally optional, but I like to top each bowl with a sprinkling of chili oil before serving to give it a little bit of added spice.
  • Serranos: These are also optional.
  • Carrots & cherry tomatoes: You could substitute or supplement these with other veggies such as onions, red bell pepper, shallots, green onions, Thai red chilies, etc.
  • Cilantro: I garnish each bowl with a generous amount of cilantro before serving, but if you don’t like cilantro you can garnish it with Thai basil, green onions, or Thai chilies.

*See above images or recipe card for full list of ingredients

🥣 What Equipment Do I Need?

For this recipe you will need a large pot and a strainer. You will also need red curry paste and vegan fish sauce as well as lemongrass and galangal, which you can get from the links below if you can’t find them fresh at an Asian market near you.

🥢 How To Make This Recipe

Step 1: In a large pot, sauté the shiitake mushrooms over low heat, then remove and set aside.

Step 2: Make diagonal cuts along lemongrass stalks, then remove and discard the outer layer of each piece. Crush pieces with the side of a knife to help release flavor, and then sauté in oil along with galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and Thai red curry paste for two minutes.

Step 3: Add vegetable broth and then bring to a boil. Place the lid over the pot and reduce to a gentle simmer for 30 minutes, then strain the broth and add in vegan fish sauce, brown sugar, and the juice of 2 large limes.

Step 4: While the soup continues to simmer, peel carrots and dice along with the tofu. Thinly slice serranos, and roughly chop the cilantro.

Step 5: Add mushrooms, tofu, carrots, serranos, and cherry tomatoes to the pot. Return the lid to the pot and let the soup simmer gently for 15-20 minutes. Add the coconut milk last, give the soup a good mix, and serve. Garnish each serving with chopped cilantro and chili oil.

Pro tip: You don’t want the soup to come to a boil after adding the tomatoes, or they’ll start to collapse Make sure you keep it at a gentle simmer.

vegan tom kha soup with tofu in two bowls

🤷🏻‍♀️ Recipe FAQs

Does tom kha have dairy?

Regardless of whether you’re enjoying a vegan tom kha soup recipe or tom kha gai which has chicken, there is no dairy in tom kha. This soup gets its creaminess from coconut milk, making it a great option for anyone who does not eat dairy.

What does Tom Kha mean in Thai?

In Thai, “tom” means “boiled”, or “soup”, whereas “kha” means “galangal”. Galangal root is a spice similar to ginger and is one of the key flavors in tom kha. You may often see “tom kha gai” listed on menus in Thai restaurants, “gai” meaning “chicken”.

What does Tom Kha soup taste like?

Tom kha has an indescribable taste that is savory, sour, sweet, umami, and everything in between. This soup is creamy and slightly sweet from the coconut milk, citrusy from the lime juice and galangal root, and often spicy, depending on how it’s made.

vegan tom kha with tofu topped with cilantro and chilli oil

Want more Thai flavors? Try this keto coconut shrimp curry for your next dinner!

👩🏻‍🍳 Pro Tips

  • If you want to make this vegetable tom kha soup a heartier meal, you can add rice noodles, or serve it with jasmine rice.
  • If you’d prefer to add some protein to this vegetarian tom kha soup, you can add chicken or shrimp.
  • To make this recipe gluten-free, just substitute the vegan fish sauce with coconut aminos!
  • You can store this vegan tom kha soup in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the fridge.

Love this vegetable tom kha soup recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section further down the page.

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📖 Recipe

vegan tom kha soup in two bowls

Vegan Tom Kha Soup With Tofu

This creamy, comforting Thai coconut soup is sweet, sour, spicy, and beautifully aromatic. Vegan tom kha soup is the perfect appetizer or main dish for any occasion!
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine Thai
Servings 4 servings
Calories 654 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 5 oz shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 stalks fresh lemongrass
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • galangal root
  • 5-10 kaffir lime leaves (5 large ones or 10 small ones)
  • 1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp vegan fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 large limes (juiced)
  • 1 cup carrots (diced)
  • 7 oz firm tofu
  • 1-2 serranos
  • 10 oz cherry tomatoes
  • 5 cups coconut milk
  • ¼ cup cilantro (to garnish)
  • ¼ tsp chili oil (optional)

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot, sauté the shiitake mushrooms over low heat, then remove and set aside.
  • Make diagonal cuts along lemongrass stalks, then remove and discard the outer layer of each piece. Crush pieces with the side of a knife to help release flavor, and then sauté in oil along with galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and red curry paste for two minutes.
  • Add vegetable broth and then bring to a boil. Place the lid over the pot and reduce to a gentle simmer for 30 minutes, then strain the broth and add in vegan fish sauce, brown sugar, and the juice of 2 large limes.
  • While the soup continues to simmer, peel carrots and dice along with tofu. Thinly slice serranos, and roughly chop the cilantro. 
  • Add mushrooms, tofu, carrots, serranos, and cherry tomatoes to the pot. Return the lid to the pot and let the soup simmer gently for 15-20 minutes. Add the coconut milk last, give the soup a good mix, and serve. Garnish each serving with chopped cilantro and chili oil.

Notes

  • You don’t want the soup to come to a boil after adding the tomatoes, or they’ll start to collapse Make sure you keep it at a gentle simmer.
  • If you want to make this vegetable tom kha soup a heartier meal, you can add rice noodles, or serve it with jasmine rice.
  • If you’d prefer to add some protein to this vegetarian tom kha soup, you can add chicken or shrimp.
  • To make this recipe gluten-free, just substitute the vegan fish sauce with coconut aminos!
  • You can store this vegan tom kha soup in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the fridge.

Nutrition

Serving: 2cupsCalories: 654kcalCarbohydrates: 24.3gProtein: 6.45gFat: 54.3gSaturated Fat: 1.3gSodium: 1332.1mgFiber: 3.3gSugar: 17.3g
Keyword tom kha soup vegetarian, tom kha tofu, vegan tom kha soup, vegetable tom kha soup
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6 Comments

  1. OH MY GOD, THIS SOUNDS PHENOMENAL! I’m trying this this week! I can’t wait! I love the sound of this! *Chef’s kiss!* The photos look incredible–Now I’m hungry!

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