This Thai coconut soup is rich, satisfying, and full of flavor! Made with a creamy spiced coconut milk base, crispy pan-fried tofu, tender veggies, and topped with fresh herbs, this soup tastes like it came from a restaurant, but is surprisingly easy to whip up in your own kitchen.
If you're using dried makrut lime leaves, start by placing them in a cup or bowl of hot water. Let them soak for about 20 minutes while you prep the remaining ingredients, then chop them finely.
Cut a slit down the length of each lemongrass stalk, then peel away the dried outer layers. Finely chop the inner core.
Coat the bottom of a large pot with a tablespoon of coconut oil and place it over medium heat.
When the oil is hot, add the shallot and cook it until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, galangal, and cilantro. Cook everything for about a minute, until very fragrant.
Stir in the broth, coconut milk, baby corn, mushrooms, lemongrass and makrut lime leaves. Raise the heat and bring the liquid to a boil.
Lower the heat and allow the soup to simmer for about 15 minutes, until the veggies are tender.
While the soup simmers, cook the tofu. Coat the bottom of a medium skillet with the remaining tablespoon of oil and place it over medium heat.
When the oil is hot, add the tofu in an even layer.
Cook the tofu for about 10 minutes, flipping it once or twice to achieve browning on multiple sides.
Remove the tofu from the skillet and transfer it to a plate.
Once the soup has simmered for about 15 minutes, stir in the broccoli. Simmer the soup for about 5 minutes more, until the broccoli is tender and bright green.
Remove the soup from heat and stir in the tofu, lime juice, and sambal oelek. Season it with salt to taste.
Ladle the soup into bowls and top it with fresh cilantro, basil and/or scallions. Serve.
*You can substitute a tablespoon of lime zest if needed, though the flavor will be slightly different.
**Lemongrass paste (available in the produce section of most supermarkets) may be used if you can't find fresh. I'm not entirely sure how much to use though, so I'd add it to taste, just a bit at a time when the soup is almost finished cooking.
***You can substitute regular ginger if needed, though the flavor will be slightly different.