Hot and Sour Mushroom Broth

This recipe is an adaptation of a similar recipe I found in a book called Veggie Chic by the great author Rose Elliot. I love broths (clear soups) because they are light yet full of flavour. If you are gluten intolerant you can use buckwheat- or rice noodles. Also note, if you are vegan, sometimes the Thai curry paste you buy from the shops, can contain shrimp paste. Some don't so look for the one you prefer. The soup is fairly hot (strong in taste) without burning your mouth (I hate it when my mouth is on fire).

If you can't find kaffir lime leaves it's better to omit completely rather than substituting with something else. Try sourcing kaffir lime leaves in supermarkets that focus on Asian food products.

A light and lovely soup, perfect when you need a dinner not too substantial

This recipe is:

  • Egg free
  • Gluten free
  • Lactose (dairy) free
  • Nut free
  • Vegan

Hot and Sour Mushroom Broth

Serves 2-3


  • 100-200 grams (3½-7 oz) noodles (optional). You can use rice-, soba-, udon-, or egg noodles
  • A small piece fresh ginger (similar to two grapes in size), cut in 3 parts
  • 3 stalks lemon grass, trimmed and chopped into 4 parts each
  • 1 lemon, cut in half (only the juice is used)
  • 1 lime, cut in half (only the juice is used)
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves (optional)
  • 1.3 litres (45 fluid ounces) water
  • 125 grams (4¼ oz) shiitake mushrooms, sliced or chopped
  • 80 grams (3 oz) chestnut mushrooms, sliced or chopped
  • 1 chilli pepper (red), chopped finely
  • Handful fresh spinach, chopped coarsely
  • 3-4 tablespoons tamari sauce
  • 1 teaspoon organic Thai Curry Paste (red)


  1. Remove the skin from the small piece fresh ginger (you can do this with a spoon or a small knife as the skin is thin). Cut into 3 parts.
  2. Trim the roots and the tough top of the 3 lemon grass stalks away, leaving about 15 centimetres of stem, remove the outer skin and chop the lemon grass in 4 parts each stem.
  3. Cut the lime and lemon in half. Set the lemon aside.
  4. Place chopped ginger and lemon grass in a saucepan along with 1.3 litres water.
  5. Squeeze the juice from the two lime halves into the saucepan. Add the kaffir lime leaves.
  6. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on.
  7. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes or longer.
  8. Slice or chop the 80 grams chestnut mushrooms and 125 grams shiitake mushrooms. Discard the tough stalks.
  9. Cut the chilli in halves, scoop out the seeds and membranes and chop finely. You might want to use plastic gloves if you have sensitive skin.
  10. Place a sieve on top of a big bowl. Pour everything through the sieve. Discard the lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and ginger. Pour the liquid carefully back into the saucepan.
  11. Turn the heat up and add 1 teaspoon Thai Curry Paste, sliced or chopped mushrooms and chopped chilli pepper.
  12. Tear or chop the handful of spinach leaves and add to the saucepan.
  13. Squeeze the juice from the two lemon halves into the saucepan along with 3-4 tablespoons tamari sauce.
  14. Add 100-200 grams noodles at this stage if desired and boil for 7-10 minutes or until cooked.
  15. Add more Thai Curry Paste and tamari sauce according to taste.
  16. Serve immediately.


  • You can use soy sauce instead of tamari sauce. Just keep in mind that the soy sauce is not gluten free.
  • The soup is even tastier the next day once the flavours have really settled. Pour the soup into plastic containers and re-heat the next day.
  • If freezing the soup, just make sure you freeze the soup before adding the noodles as otherwise they will become very soft.
  • For a thinner soup add more water.  
  • If the coconut oil is cold (in which case it becomes solid), place the jar in a bowl filled with hot water for a couple of minutes.      
  • You can use regular stock cubes instead of yeast free ones.
  • You can use chicken stock instead of vegetable stock.