Vegetable Tom Kha Gai (Vegetable Coconut Soup)
Active Time: 25 minutes / Cook Time: 30 minutes / Total Time: 45 minutes
Makes 4 servings
- 1 1” piece ginger OR galangal, washed and sliced into thick coins
- 2 stalks fresh lemongrass*, tough outer layers removed OR 2 3” strips lemon peel (just the yellow, none of the white pith)
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth (you can use vegetable broth, but it will alter the flavor some)
- 1 tablespoon lime zest and ¼ cup lime juice** (from about 5-6 limes)
- 8 oz. shiitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced
- 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 8 oz. oyster mushrooms, torn into thin strips (or substitute shiitake or cremini)
- 1 small red bell pepper, very thinly sliced
- ¼ cup yellow onion, very thinly sliced on the vertical
- 1 small hot red chile, halved (optional)
- 1 (13.5) oz. can coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce OR 1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari plus 2 teaspoons vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves, divided lime wedges, for serving
*Lemongrass can be hard to find fresh (we do not recommend the dried or jarred; the flavor is not as good). If you do find it, it freezes beautifully when wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Buy extra and stash it away for other uses!
**If you can find them, Makrut (formerly known as Kaffir) lime leaves can be used in place of the lime zest and juice; you’ll need 10.
- Lightly smash the ginger. Cut the lemongrass into 4” pieces and lightly crush them with the flat side of your chef’s knife.
- Add ginger, lemongrass, lime zest and juice, and broth to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer 8 minutes.
- Strain the soup into a clean pan, or, if you don’t mind the lime zest floating around, use a slotted spoon to remove the ginger and lemongrass (or lemon peels).
- Bring the soup to a low simmer and add the mushrooms, bell pepper, onion, and hot pepper, if using. Cook until the mushrooms are softened but not mushy, about 20 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low and stir in the coconut milk, fish sauce, and coconut sugar.
- Remove from the heat, discard the chile halves, if desired, and stir in half of the cilantro.
- Once cool, divide soup into four airtight containers and top each with a sprinkle of the remaining cilantro and a lime wedge. Store in the fridge.