Vegetarian Tom Yum Soup

Vegetarian Tom Yum Soup

Vegetarian Tom Yum Soup – healthy, comforting, and delicious!

Tom Yum soup is the ultimate Thai street food. It is sweet, sour, tangy and has a distinct flavor. I always order Tom Yum Soup when I visit any Thai restaurant. As I am a non-vegetarian, I love Tom Yum Soup with Shrimp, but my husband and older one love the vegetarian version which has tofu added to it as protein. 


I grew up as a soup lover. I have my mother to thank for that. The instant I displayed even the slightest symptom of a cold, she was there, either ginger tea or a hot bowl of tomato black pepper soup. When I was in India, I had only tasted two soups- Hot and sour veggie soup and Tomato soup.

When I first visited a Thai restaurant with one of our relatives in Seattle, she recommended us having Tom Yum soup.  The first sip made me fall in love with that soup, the distinct flavor of something lemony was something that tempted me so much. When I researched, I got to know that the main flavor of Tom Yum Soup comes from the Trinity

      • Lemongrass
      • Kaffir lime leaves
      • Galangal ( Thai ginger)(use ginger in case you don’t find this)

    Check the notes below to find out more about these ingredients.

This recipe is very versatile, you can replace the tofu with shrimp or chicken, have a non-vegetarian version, really the possibilities are endless. And talking about busy weeknights, it can be made in 15 minutes, the broth takes 2 minutes to make and you can chop the rest of the ingredients while it simmers.

Few points to note while making this soup is
a)  Never use vegetable broth for this soup, the vegetarian version soup tastes best when it has Mushroom flavor in it.
b) Although you can add the veggies of your choice if it a vegetarian version, adding mushrooms is a must.
c) The best mushrooms to use in this recipe are either Shitake Mushrooms ( best fit) or Baby Bella mushrooms. The Button Mushrooms become chewy and they don’t taste that good.
I feel I have to warn you, this Vegetarian Tom Yum Soup is totally ADDICTIVE!

There are various ways to make Vegetarian Tom Yum Soup,

here is my version-


Vegetarian Tom Yum Soup

A delicious and comforting soup that is full of flavors

Course Soup
Cuisine Asian, Thai
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Author Swati Goyal


  • 8 Cups Water
  • 2 sticks Lemongrass cut into 4 inch sticks
  • 6 Kaffir lime leaves torn
  • 3-4 Garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 1 inch Galangal/Ginger cut into slices
  • 1 medium Onion Roughly chopped
  • 1 Cup Shitake Mushrooms
  • 2 medium Carrots sliced
  • 150 gms Firm Tofu cut into cubes
  • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • 1 Lemon
  • Fresh Coriander or cilantro to garnish
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 Thai green or red Chilies
  • 2 tsp Soy Sauce
  • 3 medium Tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Red Chili paste


  1. Pour 8 cups of water in a deep bottomed pan and keep it on the stove to boil. Add lemongrass, Onions, garlic, galangal and kaffir lime leaves to the pot and let boil for 10 minutes. till they release their flavor.

    Mean while place the tomatoes in boiling water for 5 minutes so that their skin can come off. Once the skin comes off, dice the tomatoes into big cubes and keep aside.

  2. Once the stock is boiled, strain it a bowl and throw the lemongrass. Lemon grass and lime leaves are just added for flavorings and they are not eaten with the soup. you can discard them at this stage or while having the soup.

  3. In the same pan, heat oil, then add the chili paste, add Mushrooms and give everything a quick stir and then add the stock back to the pan. Let the soup boil for 5 minutes and then add Tofu, soy sauce,  salt , sugar and tomatoes. Let this boil for a minute more and then add green chilies. 

  4. Turn off the flame and then add lime juice. Garnish with fresh Cilantro leaves and serve it hot.

Kaffir lime leaves- They are used a lot in Southeast Asian cuisine and are highly aromatic, just tear a leaf and smell the distinct aroma. You can recognize them by their beautiful green color and double leaf lobes, the leaves are thick and shiny on top.
Lemon Grass-Itis an herb which is utilized for its distinct lemon flavor and citrusy aroma. It is a tall, perennial grass which is native to India and some Asian countries.
Galangal- Galangal is also known as Thai ginger or Siamese ginger (because it resembles fresh ginger so much), but it really is its own ingredient. It’s commonly found in Thai, Indonesian, and Malaysian cooking. The skin of galangal is smoother and paler than ginger and its flesh is much harder.
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