Tom kha

Serves 4-6

This month’s recipe is a winter warmer from Chef Erin Baker. This fragrant coconut, lemongrass and galangal soup is gluten free and vegan.

Enjoy finding the right ingredients for this one for the best results – Kaffir lime leaves, galangal and lemongrass are available in most Asian grocery stores.

For the broth

400ml coconut milk
800ml water
3 lemon grass stalks, bashed with a knife bottom or rolling pin to release flavour
5cm (2 inches) galangal, thinly sliced
3 shallots, sliced

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Ts & Cs apply.

For the soup

100g shiitake or brown mushrooms, thinly sliced, stems removed if using shiitakes
2 small pak choi or ½ small Chinese cabbage, sliced into small strips
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
2 medium tomatoes, sliced into wedges
3 kaffir lime leaves, torn to release flavour
1 tsp palm sugar or coconut sugar
pinch of salt, to taste
1 tbsp soy sauce or 1/2 tbsp tamari for gluten free
juice of ½ lime, more to taste
25g fresh coriander, roughly chopped, reserve some to garnish


2 Thai chillies, thinly sliced, more if you like it hotter
2 spring onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
reserved coriander leaves

To make the broth, put the coconut milk and water into a large saucepan or wok and add the stock. Heat until boiling. Add the lemongrass, galangal and shallot and simmer for at least 15 minutes, 30 minutes if you have time. Pass the broth through a sieve to remove any chunks, pressing gently to extract as much flavour as possible. Return the broth to the saucepan.

To the broth add the mushrooms, pak choi, carrot, tomatoes and lime leaves and continue simmering until cooked, about 10 minutes.

Season with the sugar, salt and soy sauce. Finally, add the lime juice and coriander. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Thai food should always have a good balance of sweet, salty, sour and spicy.

To serve, ladle the broth into bowls and garnish with the chillies, spring onions and reserved coriander.

Erin Baker has recently opened her new cookery school, Natural Cookery School, Days Mill, Old Market, Nailsworth, GL6 0DU.