Skip to main content

Serves 6

Every soup has a time and a place. Some soups are best supped from steaming flasks on cold days outdoors; others are made for soaking into crusty bread during a cosy fireside supper. Some soups are refined dinner-party starters to be savoured, others are hastily slurped lunches on the hoof. This soup belongs in another category all together, spanning the seasons and tantalising the palette with exotic flavours whether served to guests or enjoyed as a family lunch.

Capturing the complexity and delicacy of Thai flavours while being wonderfully simple to make, The Vegetarian Society Cookery School’s recipe is egg-free, gluten-free, and completely vegan. The crispy wontons add a welcome textural contrast – just be sure to finely chop all the filling ingredients to ensure each one gets its fair share of flavours.


For the soup

        • 125g shiitake mushrooms

        • 1½ litres vegetable stock

        • 2 stalks lemon grass, finely chopped

        • 4cm ginger, peeled and finely chopped

        • 1½ tbsp lime juice

        • 4 kaffir lime leaves

        • 1½ tbsps shoyu sauce (Japanese soy sauce)

        • 100g chestnut mushrooms, sliced

        • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

        • 1 large clove garlic, crushed

        • 1½ tbsp sweet chilli sauce

For the wontons

      • 60g shiitake mushroom tops, diced (use stalks in soup stock)

      • 75g pressed tofu, (eg hazelnut or smoked with sesame seeds), finely diced

      • 2 spring onions, finely chopped

      • 1½ tsp red chilli, very finely chopped

      • 1 tsp ginger, finely chopped

      • 1 tsp shoyu sauce

      • 30g vegan margarine, melted

      • 100g ‘Jus-Rol’ filo pastry (leave in packet until you use it, to avoid drying and cracking)


To garnish

    • Sprigs of coriander, chopped

    • Red chilli, chopped 


1. To make the  soup, take the stalks out of shiitake mushrooms and keep the caps aside.

2. Put stock into a saucepan together with the shiitake stalks (you can also add the stalks from the shiitake mushrooms used in the wontons, lemongrass, ginger, lime juice, lime leaves and shoyu.

3. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain, reserving the liquid and discarding the vegetables. Return the liquid to pan and reheat.

4. Add sliced shiitake mushroom caps to the pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile sauté the garlic and sliced chestnut mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of oil, stirring all the time, until the mushrooms are softened. Add mushrooms and garlic to the pan together with sweet chilli sauce.

5. To make the wontons, preheat the oven to 180°C/160ºC fan/gas mark 4.

6. Mix the first six wonton ingredients together. Melt the vegan margarine. Cut the filo sheet into twelve 10cm squares and make an eight-pointed filo star by placing one square of filo on your work surface, brushing with a little melted margarine and placing a second square on top, rotated 45°. Brush with a little more margarine.  

7. Put 1 tbsp wonton mixture in the centre of the filo star and draw up edges and twist to make a money bag. Brush the outside with more margarine. Place on baking tray lined with baking parchment. Repeat until you have 6 wontons.

8. Bake in the oven for 7–10 minutes until golden and crisp.

9. To serve, reheat the soup and pour it into 6 warmed small soup bowls. Just before eating, place a wonton in the centre of each and garnish with coriander sprigs and red chilli.