10-Minute Tom Yum Soup (Vegetarian)

Thai vegetarian tom yum soup recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

Tom Yum, or Thai Hot & Sour Soup, is my go-to for slurping away the winter blues in January.  It’s refreshingly spicy, with a citrusy, sourish flavor that wakes me up after the sun sets at 5pm.

Tom Yum is fresh, healthy, and surprisingly quick to cook up as a side dish for a Thai-inspired meal, or to accompany a simple stir-fry or fried rice.

Vegetarian tom yum soup recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

To keep the prep and cook time short, make a vegetarian version of Tom Yum, and use the ground forms of the key spices – Kaffir Lime Leaf, Lemongrass, and Galangal – to extract the flavors quickly.

kaffir lime leaf powder, lemongrass powder and galangal powder at SeasonWithSpice.com

For veggies, you just need a few.  Start with tomatoes – it’s essential for Tom Yum in order to build on the sourish taste in the soup.  Next, choose a chili pepper.  A mix of dried and fresh chilies work great.  Try a couple of spicy dried red chilies, along with fresh jalapenos.  Finally, toss in some fresh button mushrooms, and slices of green bell pepper.

Thai hot & sour soup recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

To complete the soup, squeeze in fresh lime juice, sprinkle in some Thai Ginger-Lime Sea Salt, and garnish with fresh cilantro. 

That’s it.  Start with a Basic Thai Spice Set, add in some veggies, and you have a 10-Minute Tom Yum, piping hot, ready to enjoy for dinner on a winter night.

buy kaffir lime leaf and galangal powder at seasonwithspice.com asian spice shop

10-Minute Tom Yum Soup (Thai Hot & Sour Soup) 
by Season with Spice
Serves 2-4

2 1/2 cups water
3-4 medium size tomatoes – quartered
1 tsp Season with Spice's Kaffir Lime Leaf Powder
1/2 tsp Season with Spice's Lemongrass Powder
1/2 tsp Season with Spice's Galangal Powder
1 tbsp oil
2-3 dried red chili peppers
6 oz or more of baby button mushrooms (you can also use oyster or straw mushrooms, or a mix)
Half a green bell pepper – sliced thinly and halved
Season with Spice’s Thai Ginger-Lime Sea Salt, or 1.5 tbsp fish sauce to taste
Freshly squeezed lime juice (about one lime)
Fresh jalapeño slices (optional)
A handful of fresh cilantro, to garnish

Optional vegetables:
Carrots, yellow onion, or baby corn

1. In a soup pot, add in water, and 2/3 of the quartered tomatoes. Bring it to a boil over high heat. You can use the soup ladle to lightly smash the tomatoes.
2. While the soup is heating, combine the kaffir lime leaf, lemongrass, and galangal powders in a small bowl. Add in about 1 tablespoon of oil and 2 teaspoons of water. Stir to form into a paste.
3. Once the tomatoes start to cook down, lower the heat to medium, and then add in the mushrooms. Next, stir in the spice paste. Then break the dried red chili peppers in half, and toss into the soup. If you prefer a milder heat, keep the chili peppers whole.
4. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and let it cook for 5 minutes.  Then add in the bell pepper slices, season with salt or fish sauce, and squeeze in lime juice. The tomatoes should be melded into the soup well at this point - which gives the soup a good base flavor and texture. Taste and adjust any seasonings (squeeze in more lime juice if needed). Add in the last 1/3 of the tomatoes, and fresh jalapeno slices (if using). Turn heat off. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves. Serve hot, and include a few lime wedges on the side. 

For my traditional seafood version of this Thai soup – Tom Yum Goong – which uses all fresh spices, click on the image below: