Sunflower Soup

A family recipe for a delicious Thai inspired soup that's similar to tom kha gai, but with a twist. It's light, refreshing and very flavorful. It's also incredibly easy to make.

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Servings: 8

Prep Time: 00:15

Cook Time: 00:30

Main Ingredients

6 cups vegetable stock

2 cans coconut milk (13.5 fluid ounces each)

4 kaffir lime leaves (find in specialty asian food stores)

3 1- inch pieces fresh lemongrass

4 roughly quarter sized slices fresh ginger

1 small sliced onion

2 tablespoon shiro miso paste (see note)

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon 1 1/2 teaspoons good-quality curry powder

1 teaspoon thai chili paste (may sub sriracha, adjust to taste)

vegetables of choice (peppers, mushrooms, carrots, green beans go great with this)

1 block tofu-cut into half inch cubes

2 - 3 scallions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons of lime juice (juice of one lime)

a few leaves of fresh thai basil

1/4 cup cilantro leaves-roughly chopped

garnishes: lime wedges, cilantro, fresh basil, chili flakes, scallions, etc.


1To a large heavy-bottomed pot, add the vegetable stock, coconut milk, lime leaves, lemongrass, ginger, sliced onion, miso paste, sugar, curry powder, and chili paste. Bring to a boil before covering and reducing heat to low, allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

2In the meantime, heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a skillet. Fry the tofu until lightly browned. Move around every minute or so until almost all the tofu cubes have some good color. Add the tofu, along with your vegetables of choice to the soup and allow to simmer for an additional 10 minutes or so.

3Right before serving, add the sliced scallions, lime juice, thai basil, and fresh cilantro to the soup. Taste to check the seasoning, add more salt, chili paste, or lime juice if you feel it needs it. You can also add more curry powder if you want.

4Serve soup with extra lime wedges, scallions, basil, cilantro, chili flakes, etc. Garnish however you'd like. Enjoy!

5P.S. Be careful to pick the kaffir lime leaves, ginger and lemongrass out of your bowl before eating. They're unpleasant to get a large mouthful of. I personally prefer to leave them in the pot though as they provide extra flavor to the leftovers.

Additional Notes

The miso paste is a substitute for fish sauce. Fish sauce has a rather salty "umami" flavor. Miso also has this flavor and made for a decent stand-in. However, if you can find it, you can also sub in vegan 'fish' sauce or another ingredient that has a salty umami flavor. If you're allergic to soy, perhaps try coconut aminos and some extra salt, or perhaps a chickpea miso paste. This dish gets better the longer it sits and is therefore even better leftover. I personally enjoy serving my leftover soup over some cooked rice noodles with some extra tofu on top. I also like garnishing my noodles with some red cabbage for crunch and color!

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