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Tom Kha (Thai Vegetable Galangal Soup)

Tom Kha (Thai Vegetable Galangal Soup) by SeasonWithSpice.com

Play with your food. Make a mess in the kitchen.  Your meals will become routine if you don’t. 

The diversity in Southeast Asian cuisine is the consequence of cooks not shy about playing with their food.  For example, fiddling with the ingredients of Tom Yam Goong and then adding in coconut milk to create Tom Kha Gai (Thai Chicken Galangal Soup)

Or forget the chicken - dump the Gai – to make a vegetable version called Tom Kha (Thai Vegetable Galangal Soup).

Tom Kha (Thai Vegetable Galangal Soup) by SeasonWithSpice.com

Omitting the chicken broth from a traditional chicken soup recipe probably won’t leave the soup with much flavor.  But with Tom Kha, you won’t realize that anything is amiss as you sip the rich, spicy, aromatic, Thai soup concocted from the steamy fusion of vegetable broth, coconut milk, and the tropical spices of galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and Thai bird’s eye chili peppers. 

With the base soup ready, just add in you favorite veggies.  For my recipe here, I kept it simple and tossed in a combination of cauliflower, carrots, long beans, onions and tomatoes.  Sometimes, I’ll add in a meaty vegetable like pumpkin, eggplants, or mushroom.  Or even chunks of fresh pineapple to lend a light sweetness to the soup. 

Dump the Gai, and enjoy a bowl of Tom Kha all to yourself!

Tom Kha (Thai Vegetable Galangal Soup) by SeasonWithSpice.com

shop lemongrass powder, kaffir lime leaf powder and galangal powder at Season with Spice shop

Thai Vegetable Galangal Soup (Tom Kha) by Season with Spice 
Serves 2-3

2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 stalks lemongrass - outer layers removed, ends trimmed, and stalks sliced into 2-inch pieces
1.5 tsp Season with Spice's Galangal Powder or fresh galangal, sliced into thin disc
4 kaffir lime leaves, torn and bruised lightly
1/2 cup coconut milk 1 small cauliflower – cut into florets
Half a red onion – cut into chunks
Half a carrot – sliced into matchsticks
Long beans (or green beans) – sliced into 2-inch pieces
2-3 Thai bird’s eye chili peppers, lightly crushed or 2 Season with Spice's Dried Thai Red Chili Peppers
1 tomato – quartered
2 tbsp fish sauce (or salt to taste for pure vegetarian)
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp Thai chili paste called Nam Phrik Phao (optional)

1. In a pot or sauce pan, combine vegetable broth, lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves. On medium fire, bring soup to a boil.
2. When soup begins to boil, reduce the fire to bring the soup to a simmer. Add in coconut milk, cauliflower, onion, carrots, long beans. and Thai chili peppers. Stir occasionally. Once the cauliflower and beans are almost cooked, add in the tomato.
3. Once all the vegetables are cooked and tender, season with fish sauce (or salt), lime juice, and Thai chili paste (if using). Taste and make adjustment if necessary.


Rosa May said...

I love Tom Kha Gai, so I'm sure I'd love the vegetarian version this Thai soup.



Kankana said...

That is one of my fav and I love the wok you used . So cute and tiny :)

Tanvi Srivastava said...

Love this recipe. You are so right ...with such aromatic spices in here, I wont miss the chicken stock. Trying this soon. That wok is so cute..I want!!

Victoria at Flavors of the Sun said...

I agree with Rosa May when she said she love Tom Kha Gai and would certainly like this vegetarian version.

Ira Rodrigues said...

I made this for my lunch and of course using your recipe, it was so yummy. I included snow peas and edamame :))

Season with Spice said...

The wok is quite adorable:) I had to steal it from my mom's kitchen when I saw her using it.

Season with Spice said...

So true Tanvi. I don't miss the chicken stock..so easy with the vegetarian version.

Season with Spice said...

Thanks Victoria. Would be so good with all the fresh vegetables you can get at your farmers market.

Season with Spice said...

Ahh...so glad to know that you enjoyed the recipe. Yea, snow peas and edamame are lovely additions:) Thank you Ira!

awesomeveganrad said...

This looks like a great recipe! I will leave out the fish sauce to make it truly vegetarian. (Fish aren't vegetables, contrary to popular belief.)

hotlyspiced said...

That's a wonderful looking soup, full of texture and flavour and colour. I love Thai food and their soups are amazing.

Season with Spice said...

Thanks Hotly Spiced:) I agree, Thai cuisine is sensational.

Anonymous said...

This looks like a great recipe! I will leave out the fish sauce to make it truly vegetarian. (Fish aren't vegetables, contrary to popular belief.)

Season with Spice said...

Completely overlooked that, thanks for pointing it out! I've updated the recipe.

food 4 tots said...

I'm going to play with my food soon and whip up this soup for my family. Looks so vibrant and inviting! ;)

Shailja Mehta said...

where can i get galagal

Season with Spice said...

Hi Shailja, if you're in the US, you will most likely be able to find fresh galangal at an Asian grocery store, and even in some mainstream grocery stores now.

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