Chef’s Recipe: seasonal Tom Kha soup by Erin Baker of the Natural Cookery School

Tom Kha Soup is comfort in a bowl. Creamy coconut milk, seductive chillies and fragrant lemon grass and lime leaves set this soup apart. The vegetables can be swapped with the season, the coconut can be swapped to low fat if that is a better option for you, the chillies can be reduced or increased.

Chefs Special

Serves 4


1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
800ml vegetable stock
2 stalks lemon grass, trimmed and bashed
2 inches galangal or ginger, sliced into 3 slices
1 onion, sliced into half circles
100g mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 small Savoy cabbage, sliced into strips
1 small carrot, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
1 tsp grated palm sugar or alternative
1 tbsp soy sauce or a little less tamari
pinch of salt, to taste
juice of 1/2 lime, more to taste
3 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced or zest of lime
1-3 Thai chillies, thinly sliced, to desired heat
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
20 fresh coriander leaves


  1. Pour the coconut milk into a pan or wok and use the tin to measure the stock; heat until boiling. Add the galangal, lemongrass and onion and cook until fragrant, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the mushrooms, cabbage and carrots (or whatever seasonal vegetables you choose) and continue boiling until cooked, about 10 minutes.
  3. Season with soy sauce, palm sugar and salt. Finally add lime juice, lime leaves, taste and adjust seasoning.
  4. Remove galangal and lemongrass. Ladle into bowls and garnish with chillies, spring onions and coriander.

For more seasonal recipes by Erin Baker, visit Erin also hosts cookery lessons, parties, and cooks up Meat Free Mondays on the last Monday of the month at Stroud’s favourite local, the Crown & Sceptre.