Thai Tom Yum Vegetable Soup

The weather in Bangalore has been quite weird, lately. One minute, it is bright and sunny, the other the skies turn dark and it begins to pour. Winds bend trees one minute, and the next moment there’s a 360-degree turn in the weather, with calm, clear skies. With these weather changes has come lots of illness, minor and major. Many of the kids and parents in the bub’s school have been going through viral fever and sore throats, and the same is the case with our neighbours. The bub, hubby and I have been battling a nerve-racking cough that has been lingering on and on and on. It has been disturbing our sleep, giving us painful sides, generally keeping us restless and not in the mood to do anything. There have been a few bright spots in the midst of all this restlessness, including the days I made a beautiful Thai Tom Yum Vegetable Soup from scratch. 🙂

The hubby and I love ourselves a well-made bowl of Thai Tom Yum Vegetable Soup. We opt for it whenever we visit a Pan-Asian restaurant, or I resort to ready-to-use packets (which aren’t great for health, I know!). This time around, I took the pain of hunting for authentic Thai ingredients like galangal, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, bird’s eye chillies and tofu, and made the soup from scratch. The effort paid off – the Thai Tom Yum Vegetable Soup turned out absolutely wonderful, quite close to the soup we have tried out and loved in restaurants. It was just the perfect salve for our tired throats, and we loved it so much that I went on to prepare it quite a few times over.

Why don’t you try making Thai Tom Yum Vegetable Soup, too? It is so apt for the rough weather changes that Bangalore is in the grip of, these days.

Here’s the recipe.

Ingredients (serves 2-3):

For the stock:

  1. A handful of lemongrass leaves, cut up using scissors
  2. A 2-inch piece of galangal, chopped and crushed with a mortar and pestle
  3. 1 heaped tablespoon fresh coriander stems, chopped up
  4. 2 Thai bird’s eye chillies, chopped up
  5. 2 kaffir lime leaves, torn roughly
  6. 4 cups of water

Other ingredients:

  1. 1 teaspoon oil
  2. A small piece of zucchini, finely chopped
  3. 2 medium-sized mushrooms, finely chopped
  4. 2 pieces of babycorn, chopped into rounds
  5. A small piece of tofu, chopped into small cubes
  6. A small piece of carrot, chopped into small cubes
  7. 2 medium-sized florets of broccoli, chopped small
  8. Salt, to taste
  9. 1 tablespoon soya sauce
  10. 1-1/2 teaspoon sugar
  11. 1 Thai bird’s eye chilli
  12. 2 lemongrass leaves
  13. 2 kaffir lime leaves
  14. A dash of lemon juice
  15. Some finely chopped coriander leaves, to garnish


  1. We will first make the stock for the Tom Yum Vegetable Soup. Take all the ingredients listed under ‘For the stock’ in a saucepan, and place it over high heat. When the water begins to boil, turn the heat to medium. Let the water boil for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Then, strain out the leaves and other ingredients and keep the water aside. The water should have absorbed the flavours from the ingredients and should be greenish in colour.
  2. Now, we will proceed to making the Tom Yum Vegetarian Soup. In a pan, heat the oil. Add in the chopped zucchini, baby corn, carrot, mushrooms and broccoli, along with a bit of salt. Saute on medium heat till the vegetables are partially cooked.
  3. Now, add in the tofu and the stock we prepared earlier. Slit the Thai bird’s eye chilli length-wise and add them into the pan, as well as the lemongrass leaves (cut into large pieces) and the kaffir lime leaves (torn roughly). Let everything cook on medium heat for a minute.
  4. Add in the soya sauce and sugar. Mix well. Taste and add salt if needed. Let everything cook together for a minute more.
  5. Switch off gas and add the lemon juice. Mix well.
  6. Remove the lemongrass leaves, the Thai bird’s eye chilli and the torn kaffir lime leaves. Ladle the soup, piping hot, into serving bowls. Serve immediately, garnished with some finely chopped coriander leaves.


1. If you don’t like very spicy soup, you can skip adding the Thai bird’s eye chillies to the pan (along with the tofu).

2. Use more or less of the bird’s eye chillies, depending upon how spicy you would like the soup to be.

3. A tablespoon or so of Thai red curry paste can be added to the soup, while adding the tofu, too, for extra flavour. I skipped that.

4. You can use ordinary powdered jaggery or palm jaggery to the Thai Tom Yum Vegetable Soup, instead of refined sugar.

5. Be careful while you are salting the soup. Soya sauce contains quite a bit of salt in it too, so it is better to add in a little less salt.

6. You can even add in garlic, tomatoes and shallots while preparing the stock for this soup. I like the soup without these ingredients, so I skip them.

7. Ensure that you remove the Thai bird’s eye chilli, lemongrass leaves and kaffir lime leaves from the soup before serving it.

Did you like the recipe? Do let me know in your comments!


I’m also sending this recipe to Fiesta Friday #229. The co-host this week is Liz @ Spades, Spatulas & Spoons.


23 thoughts on “Thai Tom Yum Vegetable Soup

  1. a well done thai cuisine is an absolute pleasue. the spices spread out like any indian kitchen, but they are quite unique. galangal, lime leaves etc. are best used in thai cuisine. nicely done !!


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