Vegetarian Tom Yum Soup

Vegetarian Tom Yum Soup
The Spruce
  • Total: 35 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
461 Calories
23g Fat
47g Carbs
29g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 461
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 30%
Saturated Fat 14g 72%
Cholesterol 6mg 2%
Sodium 1609mg 70%
Total Carbohydrate 47g 17%
Dietary Fiber 10g 36%
Protein 29g
Calcium 713mg 55%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Tom Yum Thai soup is the most popular recipe of all the Thai soups. It usually includes shrimp, but a vegetarian version is just as satisfying. Tom Yum soup is famous worldwide, and could possibly boost the immune system and help fight off cold and flu viruses.

The authentic Tom Yum recipe does not include coconut milk. However, some people prefer it with this ingredient (which makes it Tom Kha), resulting in a thicker, richer tasting soup. Coconut milk is listed as optional here--if you decide to omit it, be sure to add a little more stock. In Thailand, they often use Carnation evaporated milk, which is a good option for vegetarians, while vegans will prefer to use coconut milk.

This vegetarian/vegan version is easy to make, and just as healthy (if not more so) than the traditional recipe. Make this easy soup today as an appetizer, for lunch or as a nutritionally complete dinner. You'll love how it warms and energizes!


Click Play to See This Easy Vegetarian Tom Yum Soup Recipe Come Together


  • 5 to 6 cups vegetable stock (or faux chicken stock; good-quality)
  • 1 to 2 stalks lemongrass (minced, or 3 to 4 tablespoons frozen prepared lemongrass, available at Asian markets)
  • 3 whole makrut lime leaves (available fresh or frozen at Asian markets)
  • 1 to 2 red chilies (sliced, or 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed chili, or 1 to 2 teaspoons chili sauce)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal (or ginger, sliced into thin matchsticks)
  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms (such as shiitake, sliced)
  • 2 cups baby bok choy (leaves separated or chopped if large, or substitute broccoli or bell pepper)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • Optional: 1/2 can coconut milk (good-quality)
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons soy sauce (use wheat-free for gluten-free diets)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 to 2 cups soft tofu (sliced into cubes)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil (roughly chopped)
  • 1/3 cup fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves (roughly chopped)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Vegetarian Tom Yum Soup Recipe ingredients
  2. Pour stock into a soup pot. Add the prepared lemongrass, plus the lime leaves, chili, garlic, and galangal or ginger. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes, or until broth is very fragrant.

    Vegetarian Tom Yum Soup Recipe
     The Spruce
  3. Add the mushrooms. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft.

    Vegetarian Tom Yum Soup Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. Add the bok choy and cherry tomatoes. Gently simmer 1 to 2 more minutes (bok choy should remain on the crisp side).

    Vegetarian Tom Yum Soup Recipe
     The Spruce
  5. Reduce heat to low and add the coconut milk if using, sugar, soy sauce, and lime juice. Add the soft tofu and gently stir. Taste-test and adjust as needed.

    Vegetarian Tom Yum Soup Recipe
     The Spruce
  6. To serve, ladle soup into bowls with fresh basil and coriander sprinkled over.

    Vegetarian Tom Yum Soup Recipe
     The Spruce
  7. Serve and enjoy!


  • If making the stock from cubes or powder, but sure to make it strong (if it tastes good on its own, it will make a better soup).
  • When taste-testing, add more chili or chili sauce if not spicy enough.
  • If not salty enough, add more soy sauce or a little more stock or salt.
  • Add 1 more teaspoon sugar if too sour.
  • If too salty or sweet, add another squeeze of lime juice.

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