Thai Lemongrass Soup Recipe

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Thai lemongrass soup recipe, a quick and easy dish full of the spicy and sour tom yum flavors you love. With tender chicken and healthy vegetables swimming in a light yet spicy broth, this is comfort food better than any takeout order.

Thai lemongrass soup with tomato, coriander, onion, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves served in a pot.

This recipe makes a spicy Thai lemongrass soup, for a creamy version, try my tom yum gai soup with evaporated milk. For a variation, you can make it with coconut milk. My tom yum talay with a mix of seafood is another must-try!

What is Thai lemongrass soup

Thai lemongrass soup, also known as tom yum, is a popular Thai dish with a spicy, sour broth infused with lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves. Often made with shrimp or chicken, it’s a signature dish in Thai cuisine.

Tom yum nam sai

Tom yum nam sai is the Thai name for a spicy clear Thai soup, beloved for its hot and sour tom yum flavors. Unlike some variations, it doesn’t include evaporated milk or coconut milk and is more spicy and light.

Close-up of Thai lemongrass chicken soup highlighting the spicy broth, lemongrass, galangal, makrut lime leaves, coriander, onion, and tomatoes.

This tom yum without coconut milk is perfect for those who love spicy Thai food. If you prefer something mild and creamier, try my tom kha gai recipe for Thai coconut chicken soup.

Tom yum nam khon is the Thai name for a creamy tom yum soup with evaporated milk or coconut milk. For a taste of this creamier variant, try my tom yum kung recipe.

Two more mild soups you can try are tom yum pla (with fish) and khao tom (Thai rice soup).

Lemongrass chicken soup

Craving something spicy and light yet comforting and easy enough to whip up at home? This lemongrass chicken soup is exactly that.

It’s a warm, soothing soup with a spicy kick filled with the aroma of fresh herbs and spices. Its key ingredients are chicken and lemongrass, with juicy chicken that almost melts in your mouth and the lemongrass infusing the soup with its signature zesty and lemony notes.

Pot of Thai soup with lemongrass, chicken, vegetables, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves.

Galangal and kaffir lime leaves are two more must-haves in this Thai soup with lemongrass. These ingredients create a complex yet balanced flavor profile that’s hard to replicate.

And hey, you can totally make this soup as spicy as you want to. The heat mostly comes from my Thai chili paste, but you can simply add dried chilies to taste. I suggest quickly frying and draining them before tossing them into the broth for more spice.

It’s the perfect recipe for when you want some authentic Thai food at home. Sure, Thai restaurants can be fun, but sometimes we just want to cozy up with our family and friends and something deliciously homemade.

If you want to pair this spicy Thai soup with more hot and sour dishes, I suggest trying this tom yum fried rice and dry tom yum noodles.

Ingredients

For the exact measurements, please scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post.

Ingredients for Thai lemongrass soup labeled: water, chicken, lemongrass, kaffir lime, tomato, galangal, salt, chili paste, coriander, flavor seasoning, tom yum paste.
  • Chicken – You can use both bone-in and bone-out chicken thighs and opt for skin-on or skin-off as per your preference. Thighs bring a rich, juicy texture and the bones can contribute to a deeply flavored bone broth. Chicken breasts can be used as a lean alternative and is ideal for a lighter, less fatty soup for a quick dinner.
  • Kaffir lime leaves – Kaffir lime leaves add a burst of zestiness with a citrusy aroma, elevating the soup’s complex flavor. You can find these fresh, dried, or frozen at Asian grocery stores.
  • Lemongrass – Lemongrass is a staple in Thai cooking, infusing the soup with a fresh, citrusy aroma.
  • Galangal – Galangal, a family of ginger, adds a spicy, earthy kick with a warm peppery note. In Thai cooking, galangal is used on a regular basis, and many Thais have galangal growing in their yard.
  • Coriander – Adds a refreshing note to the soup. Feel free to garnish with more coriander before serving.
  • Flavor seasoning (RosDee) – RosDee is a popular Thai seasoning powder we use to add umami to our spicy lemongrass soup and enhance the overall flavors. A substitute for this Thai bouillon is a different chicken stock bouillon powder, like Knorr.
  • Tom yum paste – My tom yum paste recipe is the heart of this Thai lemongrass soup. Made with tamarind paste, palm sugar, fish sauce, shallots, makrut lime leaves, and chilies, it infuses anything it touches with the classic hot and sour tom yum flavors we all love.
  • Thai chili paste – My Thai chili paste recipe for nam prik pao infuses the chicken lemongrass broth with a unique spicy flavor thanks to the mix of shrimp paste, dry red spur chilies, garlic, salt, and more.
  • Large tomato – A large, ripe tomato adds a juicy, refreshing sweetness and an acidity that brightens the flavors. You can substitute with small tomatoes like cherry tomatoes if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Onion – Onions add a slight crunch and a layer of depth with a subtle yet essential natural sweetness. Feel free to add more vegetables to this chicken soup recipe, like bok choy.
  • Salt – A pinch of salt simply enhances the flavors.
  • Water – The base of the soup, melding everything together into a spicy broth.

Cooking instructions

Cooking process of Thai lemongrass in a soup with a spicy clear broth.

Step 1: Place a pot over medium heat and add water, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, galangal, flavor seasoning, salt, tom yum paste, Thai chili paste, and sliced onion. Bring to a boil.

Final stage of Thai lemongrass soup cooking process.

Step 2: Once boiling, add sliced tomatoes and chicken. Let the soup simmer over medium heat until the chicken is cooked. Remove from heat and garnish with coriander. Serve immediately and enjoy.

Kitchen tools

  • Cutting board and sharp knife for prepping the ingredients and slicing chicken
  • Measuring spoons and cups for getting your ingredient quantities right
  • Large pot or Dutch oven is essential for simmering your soup
  • Strainer if you want to remove larger herbs and spices before serving
  • Ladle for stirring and serving your soup

Tips for Thai soup with lemongrass

  • Balance the flavors: Thai cuisine is all about balancing spicy, sour, salty, and sweet. Taste-test before serving and adjust the seasonings if needed.
  • Fresh ingredients: For the most authentic and fresh flavors, use fresh lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and chicken.
  • Don’t overcook: Avoid overcooking the chicken, this will make it tough rather than tender and juicy.
  • Spice it up: This soup is a healthy choice and perfect for spice-lovers. Add more Thai chili paste or add dried chilies to make it spicier. Alternatively, you can sprinkle with red pepper flakes. You can make easily it just right for you!

How to serve Thai soup with lemongrass

Serve your Thai chicken lemongrass soup in deep bowls and make sure each serving has a balance of chicken and vegetables. Garnish with your favorite fresh herbs like cilantro, Thai basil, or freshly chopped green onions. A lime wedge for a few squeezes of fresh lime juice along with a few slices of red chili pepper add to the presentation and flavor.

A side of steamed jasmine rice or Thai sticky rice can make the soup more filling. Serve with a portion of authentic chicken pad Thai for a side of noodles.

How to store Thai chicken lemongrass soup

Allow your Thai lemongrass soup leftovers to cool to room temperature and store it in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Freezing instructions: You can freeze your soup – simply store it in a freezer-safe container or bag and freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.

Reheating instructions: Warm the soup over medium heat on the stove until hot. Avoid boiling to preserve the texture of the ingredients. For a quicker option, you can reheat it in the microwave.

Frequently asked questions

Where to buy lemongrass?

Lemongrass can be purchased at Asian markets, specialty food stores, and many supermarkets. It’s often found in the fresh produce section.

How can I transform this into a vegetarian soup?

You can substitute chicken with tofu or mushrooms and other vegetables. Be aware that the tom yum paste and chili paste used in this recipe call for fish sauce and shrimp paste.

Is this recipe gluten-free?

Yes, the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free, as long as you ensure that your pastes and other condiments are gluten-free.

My soup is too spicy!

If your soup is too spicy, you can add a bit of coconut milk or evaporated milk to make it creamy and balance out the spiciness. Serving it with rice can help too.

Do I have to use chicken?

No, it’s not a must. You can use other alternatives like shrimp, tofu, or just vegetables. This soup is incredibly versatile.

Can I make this ahead of time?

Yes, this soup is suited for meal-prep. Just prep ahead and reheat when you’re ready.

Is Thai lemongrass soup healthy?

Yes, it’s a light soup rich in flavors and low in calories, making it a healthy choice.

Can I make this in an instant pot?

Yes, this Thai lemongrass soup can be made in your instant pot.

More Thai soup recipes you’ll love

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Prep Time 15 min Cook Time 10 min Total Time 25 mins
Servings: 2 Calories: 269

Description

This Thai lemongrass soup recipe is healthy, quick, and delicious. Serve with rice or on its own. Make it with chicken or your choice of protein like shrimp and tofu. So versatile!

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place a pot over medium heat and add water, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, galangal, flavor seasoning, salt, tom yum paste, Thai chili paste, and sliced onion. Bring to a boil.

  2. Once boiling, add sliced tomatoes and chicken. Let the soup simmer over medium heat until the chicken is cooked. Remove from heat and garnish with coriander. Serve immediately and enjoy.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 2


Amount Per Serving
Calories 269kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4.46g7%
Total Carbohydrate 33.53g12%
Dietary Fiber 5.3g22%
Sugars 9.19g
Protein 30.44g61%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Note

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • Flavor seasoning: RosDee is a popular Thai seasoning powder we use to add umami to our spicy lemongrass soup and enhance the overall flavors. A substitute for this Thai bouillon is a different chicken stock bouillon powder, like Knorr.
  • Tom yum paste
  • Thai chili paste
Keywords: Thai lemongrass soup, Thai lemongrass soup recipe
About Author

Praew

I owned my own Thai restaurant and have years of experience in various other Thai restaurants. I've been whipping up classic Thai dishes by my mother's and grandma's side since I was just a little girl. Now I'm sharing my deep-rooted passion with my authentic Thai recipes on this food blog.

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