Tom Kha Soup (Vegan)

This soup is bursting with aromas from lemongrass, galangal and keffir lime leaves. The flavors will get your tastebuds tingling.

Tom Kha originates from Thailand. Tom means soup and Kha means galangal, which is a fragrant root often used in Thai cuisine. I love the well rounded flavors and aromas of this soup. This one differs from Tom Yum soup, which is spicier in taste and doesn’t involve any coconut milk. Tom Kha on the other hand has a mellower flavor, which works really well with earthy mushrooms.

The Aromats

This soup doesn’t contain any spices. Its the aromats that provide all the flavor. You will easily find all of these at an Asian store. Sometimes the Asian stores stock keffir lime leaves in the freezer section. I wouldn’t recommend skipping or substituting any of the ingredients here as these are the key to the recipe. You can buy them in bulk and freeze for later use so you won’t have to pay a visit to the Asian store every time you want to make this soup. Just pop the ingredients into a ziplock lag and freeze for up to 2 months.

Looking for Tom Yum Soup (with seafood)? Here’s the recipe linked for you.

Ingredients At A Glance

Do not be intimidated by the exotic ingredients list. These are easily available at any Asian store.

Watch the video instructions below to easily follow the recipe

Tom Kha

This aromatic and flavorful soup comes together within minutes if you have the ingredients on hand.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Thai
Servings 2


  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 2 Thai red chilies (bird's eye) (skip if preferred mild)
  • 1 (5 cm piece) galangal
  • 1 shallot
  • 400 ml (2 cups) vegetable stock
  • 1 ½ tsp salt (or 2 Tbsp fish sauce if not making vegan)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 150 grams (2 cups) beech mushrooms
  • 400 ml (2 cups) full fat coconut milk
  • 1-2 tsp lime juice
  • a handful chopped coriander
  • 4-5 thai basil leaves (optional)


  • Place the lemongrass onto a chopping board and smash it with the back of a heavy knife (this helps to release the flavors better). Then cut the lemongrass into 4-5 pieces. Slit the Thai chilies lengthwise. Slice the galangal into thick slices. Peel and dice the shallot.
  • In a pot, add the vegetable stock and all the aromats that you chopped earlier. Put it on medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let the stock simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add salt, sugar, mushrooms (separate the stalks) and coconut milk. Bring it to a simmer and let cook for 5-7 minutes. Do not boil rigorously after adding coconut milk, otherwise the fat will accumulate on the surface.
  • Turn off heat. Add lime juice, coriander and Thai basil (if using). Serve hot.


  • You can add boneless chicken along with (or substituting) mushrooms if you wish.
  • Fish sauce could be added instead of salt if you aren’t making it vegan and like the umami taste of the fish sauce.
  • You can serve this soup over rice or noodles also.
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