This vegetarian tom yum soup recipe is light, flavourful, spicy and hearty all at the same time. A mix of meaty Asian mushrooms are poached in a fragrant broth of lemongrass and lime leaves and soured with lime juice. A spoonful of chili paste is stirred in at the end for a bit of heat to warm you up and you’ve got a nourishing, steaming bowl of soup that’s great for chilly weather.
Thai cuisine really rocks out with soups. My vegan version of Tom Kha Gai, or Thai coconut soup, is one of the most popular recipes on the blog and, similarly to this recipe for vegan tom yum soup, can be prepared in just 15 minutes.
The base for both soups is quite similar, in fact. With lemongrass, lime leaves and galangal being essential ingredients. Tom yum differs, however, with the use of tomatoes, which help to add a sour note and make this recipe a sort of a Thai hot and sour soup.
I’ve kept my vegetarian tom yum soup recipe simple by just using a mix of Asian mushrooms as the primary ingredient.
I’m fortunate to have found a packaged mix at my local grocery store containing white and brown shimeji, shiitake and baby oyster mushrooms that’s absolutely perfect for this soup. But other varieties such as enoki or king oyster would work as well and most other vegan versions of this recipe call for simple white button mushrooms.
You could also add in some other veggies to this soup. I’ve seen versions with a bit of spinach, zucchini or carrots for colour, diced or shredded tofu for meatiness or even rice noodles. Feel free to get creative!
This vegetarian tom yum soup recipe is great served alone as a light lunch. Since it’s so quick and easy to make, serve it as a starter to a Thai-inspired vegetarian meal along with this vegan pad thai, vegan pineapple fried rice, or these vegan drunken noodles.
This vegetarian tom yum soup recipe is light, flavourful, spicy and hearty all at the same time. A mix of meaty Asian mushrooms are poached in a fragrant broth of lemongrass and lime leaves and soured with lime juice.
5 minPrep Time
5 minCook Time
10 minTotal Time
- 5 cups (1.2 litres) water
- 2 stalks of lemongrass
- 2 shallots, peeled and cut in half
- A piece of galangal about 4 cm (1.5 inches) long, cut into slices
- 4 kaffir lime leaves, ribs removed
- 1 medium tomato, cut into 8 wedges and seeds removed
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoons Asian chili paste
- 250 grams (9 oz) mixed Asian mushrooms (I used shimeji, shiitake and baby oyster but other varieties or white button mushrooms will do), larger ones sliced
- 3 – 4 tablespoons lime juice (about 2 limes)
- 5 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- A small handful of fresh cilantro
- Bring the water to a boil in a medium-sized pot.
- Meanwhile, smash the lemongrass lightly with the back of your knife or a pestle and cut it into 3 or 4 pieces to fit in your pot.
- Add the lemongrass, shallots, galangal, lime leaves and chopped tomato to the water and boil for 5 minutes or until you have a fragrant, herbal broth. Smash the tomatoes with your spoon as they cook so that they meld into the broth.
- Add the soy sauce, sugar, chili paste and mushrooms. Bring the soup back to the boil then turn off the heat. If you’re using button mushrooms, you may want to boil the soup for a couple of minutes until they’re soft.
- Add the lime juice and taste the broth. Adjust the seasonings to reach a balance of salty, sweet, spicy and sour, if necessary. Finally add the cherry tomatoes.
- Serve the soup into bowls, avoiding the lemongrass, galangal and lime leaves as they are not edible. Garnish with some fresh cilantro.