Tom Yum Yum Yum Soup
Aside from being one of the most popular soups in Thailand, Tom Yum Soup has some serious health benefits due its potent combination of herbs and spices. In fact, this Thai soup is currently under scientific study, and it appears to have immune-boosting power as a natural remedy for cold and flu viruses. Lemon grass can be used to make a tea that aids in nausea as well as reducing the length of colds and flues. The cilantro of the soup is a digestive aid. Kaffir lime leaves and the limejuice is used as a shampoo; the leaves taste so yummy that they are used to freshen one’s breath in Thailand as well as cleaning folks’ teeth! Coconut milk is the mother of all immune systems builders; its got good fat fo’ ya! My friend Jack Peele taught me how to hook this soup up and dang SHORTY I love it! I had never eaten the ingredients before but now that we’ve been introduced I’ve learned to weave them into my diet in other recipes.
In my version of the soup, I’ve included coconut milk (officially “Tom Khaa”) which adds both richness and flavor while keeping the soup super healthy. ENJOY!
3 – 4 c. veggie soup stock (this a makes enough soup to serve 2 people – double the recipe for 4 or more)
1 stalk of lemon grass, lower 1/3 minced grass – using your food processor.
3 kaffir lime leaves (available fresh or frozen at Asian food store – or order them on line).
1 small package Tofu cut into cubes and steamed before placing in soup.(you can use chicken or shrimp if your down with it)
2 tbsp. fish sauce (order on line, if not found in your market)
1-2 small red chilies, minced or ½ tsp. dried crushed chili to taste – if you don’t eat spicy you can skip this)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Optional: a handful of cherry tomatoes
Generous handful of shitake mushrooms, sliced thinly
1 green and or red bell pepper, sliced
½ can coconut milk (don’t use the lite stuff it’s too weak )
1/3 c. fresh coriander roughly chopped – Coriander is Cilantro! Use fresh Cilantro the dried stuff doesn’t work in this recipe.
Optional: additional red chilies or Nam Prik Pao Chili Sauce (1-2 tsp.)
Optional: 1 tsp. brown rice syrup and a squeeze of lime.
- For instructions on how to buy, prepare, and cook with lemongrass, see: All About Lemongrass.
- Pour stock into a deep cooking pot and turn heat to medium-high.
- Add processed lemongrass to the pot, including the parts of the lemongrass stalk you didn’t slice. Boil for 5 minutes, or until fragrant.
- Add garlic, chili, lime leaves, and mushrooms to broth. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
- Add Tofu or Shrimp, bell pepper, and cherry tomatoes (if using). Cook 5-6 minutes, or until shrimp is pink and plump.
- Turn down the heat to low and add 1/2 can coconut milk plus fish sauce. Test-test the soup for spice and salt, adding more chili and/or fish sauce (instead of salt) as desired. If too sour for your taste, add 1 tsp. brown sugar; if too salty, add a squeeze of lime juice. Add more coconut milk if you want your soup richer/creamier, or if it’s too spicy for your taste.
- Serve in bowls with fresh coriander sprinkled over. Enjoy!! (See below for more variations on this recipe.)
- For a vegetarian version, see my Easy Vegetarian Tom Yum Soup Recipe
- For a more traditional/authentic Tom Yum Soup (without coconut milk), see: Traditional Tom Yum Soup
- If you prefer chicken over seafood, substitute chicken breast for shrimp (cut the chicken into bite-size pieces).
- Rice noodles can also be added for a delicious noodle-soup version of Tom Yum.