Thai Coconut Soup, or tom kha, is a classic Thai soup that’s so much more intensely flavored than most western soups, it’ll wake you up, tingle your taste buds and make your nose run (in the best way.)
This soup is completely different from all the other soups that I make and that’s why I love it. There’s not a clove of garlic, pepper grinder, or hunk of Parmesan cheese in sight.
The ingredients are beautiful in themselves, falling into a palette of zesty flavorful greens that make up the backbone of flavors, along with the less assertive but luminescent whites of the onion, mushrooms, baby bok-choy, chunks of chicken and coconut milk
The soup gets its beautiful salmony color from the chili and red curry pastes. I was happy to discover them in new smaller 4 oz sizes, which is perfect for someone who cooks Asian food only occasionally.
The only ingredient you might have trouble finding a stalk of lemongrass. I found mine hanging out all by itself in a bin shoved against the corner of one of the produce shelves, looking a little worse for wear. It has a unique flavor so it’s worth it if you can locate it, but don’t worry if you can’t find it. You can also buy lemongrass paste in the Asian section of your supermarket.
If you’d like to make a vegan version of this soup, substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth, Tamari sauce for the fish sauce, and tofu for the chicken.
Reader Rave ~
“This is the perfect soup for a gray winter’s day. Thanks for the lovely and luscious recipe :-)” ~Amy
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 white onion, sliced
- 1 1/2 inch piece of peeled fresh ginger, minced
- 1 stalk lemongrass, upper and outer leaves trimmed off, peeled and halved the long way
- 2 small hot peppers, sliced
- 1 can coconut milk (DON'T use coconut creme...that's for cocktails)
- 1 Tbsp chili paste
- 1 Tbsp red curry paste
- 2-3 Tbsp fish sauce
- 2 cups cooked chicken
- 1 head baby bok choy, sliced
- a couple of handfuls of sliced mushrooms
- handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
- juice of 1 lime
- salt to taste
- minced red bell pepper for garnish (optional)
- Put the chicken stock and water in a soup pot, along with the onion, ginger, stalk of lemongrass and sliced hot peppers. Simmer over medium low heat for about 15 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk, pastes, fish sauce, chicken, mushrooms and bok choy. Let it simmer for another 15 minutes until the vegetables are just tender.
- Add the lime juice, cilantro and salt to taste. Remove the lemongrass and serve.