Cauliflower Tom Kha Soup

Tom kha soup recipe

Thai tom kha soup (tom kha gai coconut soup) is one of those cravings for me that hits almost instantaneously and I just have to order it immediately to be delivered because pre-planning is not my forte. But if I happen to have the forethought to gather the ingredients to have in my house to make this tom kha soup recipe “at some point this week” this one comes together so quickly that it’s one of my faves. My husband also loves it, but I do not have the kind of kids who allegedly “eat everything” so tom kha soup is usually something I make for us on those nights where mac and cheese or “pasta with red sauce” is requested (demanded?)

I’m in an on-again-off-again relationship with chicken, so usually I make this with very thinly sliced tofu, but it’s an extra fan-favorite with chicken. It’s also loaded with healthy ingredients such as coconut milk, ginger, and lemongrass, which are all known for their various health benefits. For example, ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and can help with digestion, while lemongrass is believed to have antibacterial and antioxidant effects.

I really love to cook Thai or thai-inspired food – the ingredients are so flavorful and well balanced and can somehow be hearty but not heavy.

I once went to a Thai cooking class and – though it was about a million trillion years ago – the classic Thai cooking tagline I learned “The sweet, the spicy, the sour, the salty, the bitter” has stuck with me all these years and it’s super helpful when I’m thinking through how to balance out flavors.

It’s also an excellent word bank for describing my various moods on any given day – but that is another story altogether.

Enjoy! Let me know how it goes!

Kitchen items that make this recipe easier:

Dutch Oven

Immersion blender

Onion chopper (super optional)

Tom kha soup recipe

Cauliflower Tom Kha Gai Soup

Print Recipe

Super easy and super comforting Thai coconut soup! Packed with veggies, grain, gluten and dairy free, and easily adaptable to be vegan or Whole30 approved.
Course Soup
Cuisine thai
Keyword soup, comfort food

Equipment

  • 1 immersion blender You could put it in your blender, but to make this soup a one pot wonder – an immersion blender is key

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 Large Shallots diced – doesn’t have to be pretty
  • 2 Cups Cauliflower chopped
  • salt and pepper duh
  • 4 Cloves garlic Chopped, crushed, or minced – doesn’t super duper matter
  • 1 13-oz can Coconut Milk – regular
  • 1 13-oz can Coconut Milk – light
  • 2 Tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 4 Cups chicken or veggie broth
  • 1-2 Tsp lime zest I love a lot of lime
  • 3 Medium limes, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • ½ Tsp ground coriander
  • 2 Stalks lemongrass white and light green parts
  • 2 Lbs chicken, thinly sliced (cooked or raw- you can chose to cook in the broth if raw) or 2 blocks extra firm tofu thinly sliced
  • 2 Cups white mushrooms thinly sliced if possible, pre-sliced is fine
  • ¼ Cup fresh cilantro chopped

For garnish if desired

  • fresh cilantro leaves
  • Wedges lime

Instructions

  • In a large pot (or I prefer my Dutch Oven), heat the olive oil over medium heat
  • once the oil is hot, add diced shallots with salt and pepper and cook for about a minute
  • Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant
  • Add the chopped cauliflower and sauté for a couple minutes to brown a few parts of a few pieces and to get it all up in those delicious flavors you just created – careful not to burn anything. Shallots should be tender, cauliflower should have a little “give” but ok if its still raw at the core
  • Add your cans of coconut milk (you can totally use two light or two regular, but I found that this combo delivered the right consistency for me, especially since the cauliflower adds so much creaminess. (Sorry I used that word. LMK if you have an alternative. I couldn’t think of one)
  • Add the chicken broth, fish sauce, lime zest, lime juice, sugar (if adding), chiles (be careful – you can always add, you can’t take away. And don’t forget the seeds are where the heat comes from) or pepper flakes, and ground coriander, give it a good stir
  • Use the side of your knife to crush the lemongrass stalks, cut into about 3” pieces, and add to the soup. Bring to a gentle simmer.
  • this is where the choose your own adventure starts in terms of protein
  • If you’re adding raw chicken (I recommend chicken thighs – slice ‘em thin) – throw it in here and simmer soup until the chicken is cooked through and cauliflower is soft
  • If you’re using pre-cooked or rotisserie chicken or tofu – don’t add yet, just simmer the soup for a few minutes or until you’re sure the cauliflower is super soft
  • remove lemongrass and chicken (if applicable) and set to the side
  • Use immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth, taste for seasoning
  • Add chicken or tofu and mushrooms and throw the lemongrass back in there – simmer 3 minutes or so.
  • Stir in the cilantro and remove the lemongrass if you want (or leave it in, just eat around it, which is what I usually do)
  • top with cilantro and serve with lime wedges and enjoy!

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