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Last Updated on August 29, 2023 by Jella Erhard

Learn how to make this delicious, easy, and healthy vegetable Tom Yum soup recipe that’s perfect for beginners. This creamy and authentic vegetarian Tom Yum soup is the best vegan Thai soup with coconut milk you’ll ever try.

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Vegetarian tom yum soup recipe with coconut

Easy Vegetable Tom Yum Soup Recipe For Beginners

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Tom yum is a healthy, delicious, and filling Thai soup. While Tom Yum is traditionally made with shrimp (Tom Yum Goong or Kung prawn) or with chicken (Tom Yum Gai) it becomes increasingly healthy and better for the environment too if you make it only with veggies. But don’t worry its spicy and rich taste will stay the same since it’s thanks to the flavorful herbs, not the animal products.

You can make clear Tom Yum and creamy Tom Yum which is our favorite. This is one of our favorite Thai soups with coconut milk that can easily be found all around Thailand. Tom Yum means to boil (Tom) and mixed (Yum) which refers to the cooking process and the ingredients. It has a distinct hot and sour flavor thanks to the herbs and spices used in the broth.

If you add all the herbs, spices, and veggies to your soup you can make your own authentic veg tom yum soup at home easily even if you’re a beginner. So, if you’ve been looking for a unique vegetarian Thai soup with coconut milk to make on your next travel-themed dinner party go with this healthy delight.

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Important tip for making Tom Yum soup at home

A few important things before we get started with the recipe. Be careful since the authentic Tom Yum soup is very spicy. This means that pay extra attention when you add hot spices to the broth and use a bit less if you don’t like hot dishes or are sensitive to them. While Tom Yum is healthy because it’s low in calories and fats, and thanks to the veggies and herbs that boost digestion. However, it can be too spicy for some so keep that in mind when adding that delicious and hot-hot Thai chilies. In case you have IBS or any type of digestive issues you should consider skipping chilies altogether.

How long does it take to make Vegetarian Tom Yum Soup?

Making your homemade tom yum soup with vegetables is easy and fast since it’s ready in about 30 minutes. If you choose to go with vegetarian tom yum paste, coconut milk, and go for organic and gluten-free options you can easily make this Thai dish one of the healthiest vegan soups ever. If you don’t like tofu grab some jackfruit or mushroom as a nice and creamy mushroom Tom Yum soup can be just as healthy and delicious.

creamy Vegetable Tom Yum soup recipe


Two types of Tom Yum Soup: Clear Tom Yum & Creamy Tom Yum

You can make two types of Tom Yum soups depending on whether you like clear or creamy-textured soups. The only difference between clear Tom Yum and creamy Tom Yum is the added evaporated milk or coconut milk depending on what you use to make Tom Yum creamy.

Creamy Tom Yum usually has more added Thai Chilli paste but both versions have it on their ingredients list.

What’s the difference between Tom Yum and Tom Kha?

Traditionally Tom Kha is made with chicken and Tom Yum is made with shrimp. Tom Kha also always has a bit of coconut milk added while creamy Tom yum was originally made with evaporated milk (unsweetened condensed milk). However, this also changed a lot over the years in Thailand and now many restaurants make creamy Tom Yum with Coconut milk instead of evaporated milk since it’s a healthier and more organic option.

How to make vegetable Tom Yum Soup

To make vegetable Tom Yum soup at home you’ll need the ingredients listed below and about 10-15 minutes of prep time and another 10-15 minutes of cooking time.

Can you freeze Tom Yum soup?

You can freeze Tom Yum soup (both vegetarian and non-vegan ones) without a problem. Its taste, nutrient content, and texture will not change. Actually, if you’re into vegan meal prepping you should add this easy-to-make yet super-filling soup to your list.

Pro-Chef Tips for the Perfect Tom Yum

  • Storage Symphony: Made too much? (Is there even such a thing with Tom Yum?!) No worries. Pop it in the freezer and savor the goodness another day.
  • Reheat Ritual: Gentle simmer, folks. We don’t want a volcanic eruption in the kitchen.

Vegetarian Tom Yum Soup Ingredients:

As I mentioned above you can use less or more (or skip completely) of certain ingredients like chili when you make your Vegetable Tom Yum soup. However, there are three ingredients that every Tom Yum soup must have no matter if it’s vegan, or made with shrimp, tofu, or chicken. These three vital Thai herbs are galangal, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves. If you skip any of these herbs your soup will not be the same and will greatly lose from its rich and varied flavor.

creamy Vegetable Tom Yum soup recipe (1)

Vegetable Tom Yum Ingredients

2 liters of water
4 stalks of sliced lemongrass
1 thumb-sized piece of galangal
10 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons canned Thai chili paste
10 tablespoons evaporated coconut milk
8 Thai chilies
½ kilo jackfruit
300 grams of mushrooms (oyster or shiitake), cut
2 tomatoes, cut
2 white onions, sliced
1 tablespoon of coconut sugar
2 teaspoons of Himalayan pink salt
8 tablespoons of lime juice
Half of cup of chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Make Plant-Based Tom Yum Soup in 4 Easy steps

1| Prep all the ingredients ready to cook and put the water in a big pot and bring it to boil.

2| Add lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, Thai chilies, and paste, as well as the garlic into the boiling water and cook for about 3 minutes until you can feel its distinctive scent.

3| Reduce the heat to about medium and add the mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, and jackfruit and cook for another 3-5 minutes.

4| Reduce the heat to low and add the rest of the ingredients and cook for another 3-5 minutes.

TIP: Taste test before completely pulling your soup off the heat and adjust according to your taste.

If you want to make Clear Tom Yum just skip adding evaporated coconut milk.

Vegetarian Tom Yum Paste

You can Make Vegetarian Tom Yum soup from vegan, organic gluten-free Tom Yum Paste too. This way you don’t need all the herbs just the mushrooms and the jackfruit, coconut milk which will decrease both your prep time and cooking time to about 15 minutes total.