Red Curry Lemongrass Soup

Red Curry Lemongrass Soup

We’re nearing the end of soup season here, but I just had to get this one in before we break into summer recipes. Or at least, before we break into cold summer soup recipes and before I go ga ga for gazpacho (ugh, I’m so sorry).

This is a warm and spicy one for the soul. I first started making this a few months ago when my mom was in town visiting while I was sick. All I craved was soup, so we made tons of soups together. Well, cookies and soups, to be exact.

Red Curry Lemongrass Soup Red Curry Lemongrass Soup

I’m not calling this Thai, because it’s in no way authentic, but there are some delicious Thai-like flavors going on here. It’s inspired by a few versions of Tom Yum (a brothy hot and sour soup) that I’ve been ordering lately at local Thai restaurants. The broth is simmered with ginger and lemongrass and spiced with red curry. The soup is filled with tomatoes, shiitake mushrooms, and lots of crispy bok choy.

This same soup is also delicious as a red curry coconut soup. If you’re feeling like a more creamy soup, just add a bit of coconut milk. Some days I like my soup creamy, some days I like it brothy – this is a versatile soup, no matter your soup mood.

Red Curry Lemongrass Soup

I like to serve this with baked tofu and jasmine rice (you could also use brown rice). Next time, I’m excited to try it with slurpy vermicelli noodles.

4.8 from 4 reviews
Red Curry Lemongrass Soup
Serves: serves 4-6
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, outer part removed
  • 5 cups vegetable broth*
  • 1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons tamari, more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cane sugar
  • juice and zest of 2 limes (about ⅓ cup juice)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cups shiitake mushrooms, de-stemmed and sliced** (see note)
  • ½ - 1 tablespoon red curry paste, more to taste
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 5 to 6 cups chopped bok choy (2 medium bunches)
  • Sea salt
  • cooked jasmine rice, for serving
  • optional: 1 cup coconut milk, light or full fat
  • optional: baked tofu or protein of your choice
  1. Using the back of a chef's knife, bash the lemongrass which will help release it's flavor. Slice it in half and chop it into 1-inch pieces.
  2. In a large pot, combine the broth, lemongrass, ginger, tamari, sugar, lime juice, and lime zest, and simmer for about 15 minutes. Strain the broth over a medium bowl, discard the lemongrass and ginger pieces, and set the broth aside
  3. Return the pot to the stove and heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and a small pinch of salt. Stir and cook until the mushrooms are soft, about 15 minutes. Stir in the curry paste until well incorporated, then stir in the tomatoes.
  4. Add the reserved broth and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the and bok choy. Simmer until the bok choy is tender but still vibrant green, 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more tamari or lime juice if desired. If you would like more spice, add more red curry. If it's too tangy, salty and/or spicy, add the coconut milk. Serve with rice and baked tofu, if using.
*I use the Whole Foods 365 brand vegetable broth.

**Shiitake mushrooms can be expensive, so I often use a mix of shiitakes and cremini mushrooms.

adapted from

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  1. The weather in Texas has gone crazy, it’s much cooler today, perfect for a dish like this one. I love the addition of the bok choy, looks so delicious.

  2. This. Soup. Gaah! Will be making it tomorrow night. It seems to be soup season 8 or 9 months out of the year here in Switzerland, which I love because soups are a weekly staple in our house. Thanks for the inspiration Jeanine!

    • Absolutely loved this soup. So flavorful and so simple. It will be repeated in our house for sure. Thanks Jeanine!

  3. Roxana from on said:

    I bet this will be wonderful with noodles! It sounds delicious!

  4. Taste of France from on said:

    That looks so good. And healthy.

  5. Kari from on said:

    Where do you buy lemongrass? I order lemongrass everything when going out to eat. I’d love to start cooking with it!

    • Hi Kari, I usually find it at Whole Foods – sometimes in the fresh herb section (which is always best) or in the area with the little boxes of herbs.

  6. Susan from on said:

    Interesting recipe, I must try to prepare.

  7. Hannah Cousar on said:

    So delish! I just made it..I did not have lemongrass but everything else..Added a huge dose of savoy cabbage and it was delightful. Thanks for a great soup:)

  8. Love quotes on said:

    I found only dried lemongrass…

  9. Mir on said:

    Made this soup tonight. I added some shrimps. It was delicious and easy to make. I really love your website and cookbook!

  10. Ann from on said:

    This soup looks delicious! I can’t wait to try it.

  11. Patti on said:

    What is “tamari”?

    • It’s similar to soy sauce except it’s gluten free (you can find it at any grocery store near soy sauces).

  12. leslieJeannene on said:

    I made this last week and although its hot in VA its so light its great. I did baby kale because I can’t stand bok choy and added some additional herbs and roasted tomatoes at the end. I will be making again this week for sure.

    • so glad you liked it – thanks for coming back to let me know!

  13. ASKola on said:

    After blazing through your cookbook, I was so happy when a friend told me you had a blog! I love tom yum and tom kha! Making this soup right now! Omg it smells divine and it is torturing my husband who has been on a cleanse for two days!

  14. Giuliana Zapata on said:

    Hola desde Argentina!! hice la sopa y estuvo genial!! me encantó! no lo pude hacer con las hierbas de limón y reemplacé bok choy por espinaca. Me imagino que debe cambiar bastante pero traté de hacerla con lo que tenía en casa. Salió exquisita! 😀 Gracias por la receta. Besos!

  15. Janet Byrnes on said:

    I made this soup this evening. It was quite good, but next time I’ll double the lemongrass, ginger, and red curry paste because we like spicy and bold flavors. I had one bunch of bok choy, not 2, and I think it was plenty. Also I didn’t have tamari but used a coconut derived “soy” sauce. Nevertheless, the soup was quite good, and I’d make it again.

    • Hi Janet, I’m so glad you enjoyed the soup!

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