Red Curry Lemongrass Soup

A healthy Thai red curry soup made with ginger, mushrooms, tomatoes, and bok choy. We love this healing vegan & gluten-free 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 soup for the soul. I first started making it 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.

4.9 from 7 reviews

Red Curry Lemongrass Soup

This warming, versatile soup is inspired by some of my favorite Thai flavors - ginger & lemongrass. Mix in coconut milk for a creamier version, or add baked tofu to make it a meal.
Recipe type: Soup
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 baby bok choy (2 medium bunches)
  • Sea salt
  • Cooked jasmine rice, for serving
  • Optional: 1 cup full-fat coconut milk, for a creamier soup
  • Optional: baked tofu or cooked 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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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  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

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

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      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.

  4. Susan from

    Interesting recipe, I must try to prepare.

  5. Hannah Cousar

    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:)

  6. Love quotes

    I found only dried lemongrass…

  7. Mir

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

  8. Ann from

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

  9. Patti

    What is “tamari”?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

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

  10. leslieJeannene

    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.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

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

  11. ASKola

    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!

  12. Giuliana Zapata

    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!

  13. Janet Byrnes

    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.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

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

  14. Veronica

    This was perfect for tonight’s dinner, after several days of treats and holiday foods. Light a fresh, added some broccoli florets to it.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Veronica, I’m so glad you loved it!

  15. Allie

    OMG! We just made this – so good! We added the cup of coconut milk to 4 cups of vegetable broth. We will def make this again, and prob add shrimp next time. Thanks for a great recipe, Jeanine! xo

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hey Allie! So nice to hear from you, I hope you’re doing well! I’m glad you loved the soup 🙂 xo

  16. Annabelle

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe! I have tried it a few times with and without coconut milk and I absolutely love it!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      yay – I’m glad you’ve been loving this one too!

  17. Mindy

    This was delicious and full of bright flavors on a fall evening. We baked some tofu with soy sauce/chili paste/sesame oil and it was great added to the soup with some jasmine rice. We will definitely make this again! Thank you for the great recipe!

  18. Carrie

    Anything special I should do with tofu if I want to add as a protein?

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.