Tom Ka Thai Soup

Tom Ka Soup is a quick and easy Thai soup that’s packed with flavor and easy to whip up in just a matter of minutes with a few basic ingredients, all while staying 100% aip and paleo compliant. This thai soup is a perfect starter for a full Thai feast or perfect as a stand alone meal that you’ll enjoy over and over.

 

bowl of tom ka thai soup on a table

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When you think of soup, does the word quick usually come to mind?

No? Me either. Well, sometimes, but that’s with the instant pot.

I usually think of soup as something that’s best when simmer for hours (or at least 30 minutes) for all the flavors to combine.

But, last month in Thailand, when we went to cooking school I learned that really rich and flavorful soups can be made in no time. In fact all of the soups we made that day were cooked in 10 minutes or less.

(NOTE: most of the pics in this post were taken at the cooking school in Chiang Mai, Thailand and was made with chicken. Here at home I prefer to make the soup with prawns/ shrimp… but both are great!)

This soup continues the series of recipes I learned at cooking school in Thailand and today we’re going to have Tom Ka Soup. Tom Ka is a spicy and fragrant coconut milk soup made traditionally with chicken. In fact, the name literally means ‘galangal chicken soup.’

In today’s recipe I give options for shrimp or chicken. I know that it wouldn’t be called Tom Ka with shrimp, but I prefer the shrimp… so I tend to make it with shrimp. Which means that technically if made with shrimp it should be called Tom Goong Soup.

As I said before, this soup is both quick cooking and packed with flavor. In fact, if you’re using shrimp you can easily have this soup on the table in 18 minutes (add a few more minutes for chicken).

This soup can easily be a meal on it’s own, and you could easily pump it up with the addition of other vegetables. I particularly like it with sweet potatoes and asparagus added. Or, you can enjoy this soup as a starter with a couple of other Thai dishes for a complete Thai feast.

 

square image of a bowl of Tom Ka Thai Soup

Check out these Other Thai Recipes:

 

two bowls of tom ka thai soup with prawns sitting on plates with Thai salad
My favorite variation of this soup is with prawns and the addition of sweet potatoes.

 

 

Info on Thai Soup Ingredients:

  • coconut milk – coconut milk adds a creamy depth of flavor to many Thai dishes. Many brands contain additives, but this brand is just coconut and water and 100% AIP compliant.
  • lemongrass – adds a citrusy flavor to Thai dishes. The stem of lemongrass is too tough to eat, but the flavor it adds is amazing. You should be able to buy it fresh at any Asian grocery store  or dried online here. Dried isn’t as good, but will still give the Thai flavor.
  • galangal (or ginger) – galangal is Thai ginger. It has the same spicy flavor of regular ginger, but with a sweeter undertone. It can be replaced with ginger, but if you can get galangal then it’s worth using it and a little bit goes a long way. You can also order dried galangal here.
  • kaffir lime leaves – give a sweet, lemony scent and flavor to the soup. They are key in Thai cooking and can be bought at any Asian grocery store.
  • fish sauce – made from fermented fish and sea salt. Some brands also contain sugar, so please read the ingredients carefully. This brand is fully AIP compliant and is the one I prefer to use.

 

 

Who Wants Some Thai Soup?

 

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Tom Ka Soup


  • Author: Bethany Darwin
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: Thai

Description

Tom Ka Soup is a quick and easy Thai soup that’s packed with flavor and easy to whip up in just a matter of minutes with a few basic ingredients, all while staying 100% aip and paleo compliant. This thai soup is a perfect starter for a full Thai feast or perfect as a stand alone meal that you’ll enjoy over and over.


Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound of peeled shrimp OR 1 chicken breast cut into small bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup sliced white mushrooms
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass- cut diagonally into 1 inch pieces (or 3 TBSP dried)
  • 1 inch piece of ginger or galangal cut into thin slices
  • 1 medium onion quartered and rough chopped
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves – torn in half
  • 3 TBSP chopped coriander leaf/ cilantro
  • 1 TBSP coconut sugar
  • 1.5 TBSP fish sauce
  • 2 TBSP chopped spring onion

Instructions

  1. place coconut milk, broth, lemongrass, ginger/ galangal, kaffir lime leaves and onion in a pot over medium heat, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes
  2. while it boils, chop and prep remaining ingredients to be ready to toss them in the pot
  3. add mushrooms and shrimp or chicken, coconut sugar and fish sauce and simmer until shrimp or chicken is cooked through… 2-3 minutes for shrimp/ 8 minutes for chicken (check doneness)
  4. remove from heat and add lime juice, coriander and spring onion

Notes

  • Feel free to make this soup your own, by adding different vegetable. I like to add a chopped sweet potato at the beginning (so it has time to cook). It’s also good to add spinach or other greens near the end.
  • Traditionally this soup has a chopped tomato added at the beginning, so if you’ve reintroduced them please enjoy.

 

 

hot and comforting bowl of tom ka thai soup



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