Articles & Recipes

Tome Yum Soup with Mushrooms and Tofu (vegetarian)

October 12, 2018

Entice your family and friends with a glance at this gorgeous flame-colored broth studded with brilliant green herbs and then treat them to a whiff of its exotic citrus perfume as you serve it up Thai style, along with other dishes and a plate of jasmine rice.

Ingredients Makes 4 to 6 servings

4 cups vegetable stock, store-bought 1 L
3 large stalks lemongrass 3
12 wild lime leaves, divided, optional 12
21⁄2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice 37 mL
3 green onions, cut crosswise into 1-inch (2.5 cm) lengths 3
1 fresh green jalapeño 1
8 oz firm tofu, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks 250 g
1 cup well-drained, canned wholestraw mushrooms or sliced fresh button mushrooms 250 mL
2 tbsp chile paste, store-bought 30 mL
2 tsp granulated sugar 10 mL
1⁄2 tsp soy sauce 2 mL
1⁄2 tsp salt 2 mL

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, bring vegetable stock to a boil over medium heat. Meanwhile, trim lemongrass stalks: Cut away and discard any hard, dried root portions, leaving a smooth, flat base just below the bulb. Trim away the tops, including any dried brown leaf portions (you should have handsome stalks about 6 inches/15 cm long, including the bulbous base). Using the blunt edge of a cleaver blade or heavy knife or the side of an unopened can, bruise each stalk, whacking it firmly at 2-inch (5 cm) intervals and rolling over to bruise on all sides. Cut into 2-inch (5 cm) lengths.
  2. When stock is boiling, add bruised lemongrass stalks and half of the lime leaves, if using, and reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until stock is fragrant and lemongrass has faded from bright green to a dull khaki, about 5 minutes.
  3. While soup simmers, in a serving bowl large enough to accommodate the soup, combine lime juice, remaining lime leaves and green onions. Remove stem from jalapeño and cut crosswise into 1⁄4-inch (0.5 cm) thick rounds. Add 2 or more of the rounds to the serving bowl (the amount depends on your love of chile heat). Reserve any leftover chile for another use.
  4. Scoop out lemongrass from stock and discard. Increase heat to high and add tofu, mushrooms, chile paste, sugar, soy sauce and salt and stir well. When soup boils again, remove from heat and quickly pour into serving bowl. Stir to combine lime juice and herbs with the soup and serve at once.
This soup should be intensely and wonderfully sour, salty and spicy hot. If you like, check the seasoning just before serving and fine-tune it to your liking with a little more lime juice, chile paste, sugar and/or salt.

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