Tom Kha | Vegetarian Thai Soup

The only reason to make this Tom Kha again and again is because you will fall in love with the flavours. I urge you to try this with any vegetables you have in your fridge, and even add some protein if you want to. Just stick to the basics and you will have a dish that comes together in no time at all.

Tom Kha
Tom Kha
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At the beginning of February I decided I wanted to wear a specific dress to my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary party. I needed to have it made shorter and could not take it to the boutique as I did not have enough time. Nadia recommended a seamstress to me, and I took the dress to her. I was not overly impressed with her first attempt as she had not listened to me. But she undid the hem and redid as it was meant to be. When I got back from Johannesburg I went and bought material for 3 pairs of pants and a dress. I asked her to cut the one pair of pants first, so it could be measured but she went ahead and cut all three. And all of them were too short. I came up with the idea of adding a false hem to fix her mistake.

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I had given her a dress to work from and the one she made was slightly wider and shorter. But I wrote off these errors to the fact she had just lost her husband. Each outfit came to just under what I would have paid had I bought them off the shelf. Then last month, having worn the pants only a few times I noticed the stitching had come undone on one of them. I asked a friend if she could resew them for me, which meant unpicking them. And seeing as she was taking them undone, I asked her to make them smaller. I have had all three altered, and now these are the most expensive items in my cupboard. They will have to be worn until they literally fall apart. I am writing off the original cost to charity.

Tom Kha

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5 from 2 votes

Tom Kha

This versatile soup can be made as spicy as you want it to be
Recipe Category: Soup, Vegetarian
Makes enough for: 2 people


  • 400 mls coconut milk, divided
  • 2.5 cm fresh root ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, cut into 3 and bruised
  • 10 red spring onions, thinly sliced, reserve some of the green tops for garnishing
  • 4 lime leaves
  • 1 chilli, split down the middle
  • 100 mls water
  • 250 g mixed exotic mushrooms, chopped if necessary
  • 50 g fine beans, trimmed and halved
  • 3 small red peppers, seeded and thickly sliced
  • 175 g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 22.5 mls soy sauce
  • 2.5 mls palm sugar
  • 10 mls lime juice
  • 10 g fresh coriander, roughly chopped, divided
  • Chilli oil for serving *


  • Place 250mls coconut milk into a heavy bottom saucepan and bring to a simmer over a medium temperature
  • Add the ginger, lemongrass, spring onions, lime leaves and chilli and simmer for 4 minutes
  • Pour in the rest of the coconut milk and the water, stir to combine and simmer for 1 minute
  • Add the mushrooms and simmer for 4 minutes
  • Then add the beans and simmer for 1 minute
  • Add the red pepper, tomatoes, soy sauce and palm sugar and stir to combine
  • Reduce the temperature and leave to simmer for 8 minutes
  • Remove from the heat, add the lime juice and half of the coriander and stir to combine
  • Taste and add more soy sauce or lime juice if needed
  • Serve garnished with the spring onions, coriander and a few drops of chilli oil if you want it spicier


* optional

Tom Kha

Today is Carli’s birthday, and the last day of our family holiday. Dave and I are heading to London for a celebration. We will be back at work on the 20th of November. I might not be able to read any blogs while we are away so please forgive my lack of visiting back. I will reply to comments when I can. You can follow our trip by taking a look at our holiday blog.

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20 thoughts on “Tom Kha | Vegetarian Thai Soup

  1. Oh that’s a bit annoying and sort of poor work for a seamstress ie someone that does that for a living. I wonder if her work is normally like that or she is absent minded because she lost her husband (wow, poor thing, I don’t know if I could work).

  2. Mmmmm this looks so good. I would personally add some tofu, but only for protein. It’s totally perfect as it is. Thai food is so outstanding. I hope you find another seamstress…

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