Just when I was starting to think spring was on the way, we got hit with another batch of snow. Sigh. Even though I’m completely over winter, and mostly over comfort foods of winter, I couldn’t help but feel the need for a soup for dinner the other night. And maybe it’s just all of our Southeast Asia trip planning or the at least once a week trip or takeout from our favorite Thai restaurant, but I have been in a serious Thai mood lately. There is one soup in particular I used to love in my pre-vegan days. Tom Kha Gai soup is coconut milk based and usually features chicken and mushrooms. It used to be one of my favorite orders and I haven’t had it in years. While grocery shopping I stumbled upon some fresh lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves, and was instantly inspired. So I decided to try my hand at my own veganized Tom Kha Gai soup.
Unfortunately, this is one of those recipes I didn’t expect to work out or be worth a blog post, so I didn’t photograph the entire process. It was also on a weeknight and getting myself to do more than the bare minimum on a weeknight is rare. I managed to photograph the leftovers in the morning since I’ve recently decided I hate taking photos not in daylight. (That could be a whole separate post on the horrors of winter days with less sunlight and the ginormous difference between photos with natural light and those with every light in my kitchen on to try and recreate daylight. And don’t even get me started on using a flash. Ick). But despite all my qualms with lighting and prep work, I have to say this soup turned out so unexpectedly well that I couldn’t help but share it. The few shots don’t do this soup justice, I must say. The photos can’t capture just how tangy and creamy and absolutely delicious it was, but maybe you can try it out at home and I’ll feel justified in sharing the recipe anyway.
What you’ll need:
- 1 1/2 cups chopped portobello mushrooms (oyster mushrooms would work great too)
- 8 kaffir lime leaves (I found them at Whole Foods in the pre-packaged fresh herb area)
- 3 sprigs lemongrass (found in the same place as the lime leaves)
- 1 cube vegan bouillon
- 1/2 tablespoon white miso paste
- 1/2 package of tofu, pressed
- 3 cups of water
- 1 can of low-fat coconut milk
- cilantro for garnish
While I am still trying to make the best use of my slow cooker, I have found that soups are pretty hard to screw up. Other meals I destroy all the time by accident but soup is a good one for slow cooking. If you’re not going to use a slow cooker, simply letting this simmer on the stove for a while should also do the trick. Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker except for the coconut milk, tofu, and cilantro.
Cook on low for about 6-7 hours and then add the coconut milk and tofu to the soup, cover and let it all mix together until the tofu and milk is warmed (about 20-30 minutes). Serve with a bit of cilantro for garnish and enjoy!
Make sure to eat around the lemongrass sprigs and leaves. If you want, you could pick them out. But I left them in since they didn’t bother me. This was a comforting and surprisingly filling soup that completely cured my craving for a Thai soup that I’ll definitely be making again soon.