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Vietnamese Hot and Sour  Soup with Tofu ( aka Canh Chua)- flavorful, warming and healing, this version is vegan and gluten-free!  For more brothy soups take a peek at these 20 Soul-warming Brothy Soups!
Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup Tamarind Soup with Tofu. Vegan GF | #vegan #soup
If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough. 
~Meister Eckhart~
I love the clean flavors of this Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup called, Canh Chua. Brothy, flavorful with a little heat, this vegan soup is rich and tangy, perfect for detoxing after all the holiday indulgences.  We first discovered this during our travels in Vietnam and I’ve never forgotten it.
Fresh mushrooms, tofu, herbs and tomatoes make up the bulk of it – but the secret to its great flavor is the tamarind paste. Don’t worry if you don’t stock tamarind paste, lime juice is an easy substitute.
But if you are tempted to try tamarind paste, it’s easily found at Asian Markets and gives this soup a particular kind of sourness that I really enjoy.
The nice thing about this recipe, besides being healthy and good for you – is that is quite easy and fast to make. And it’s a great soup to have if you are feeling under the weather.
For more broth-based soups to help you feel better….. make sure to take a peek at this post .

The first time I tasted this soup was in Central Vietnam a few years back. It was a welcome and unexpected change from all the Pho we had been having. Canh chua is often made with seafood, especially in the Southern Delta area, but this simple vegetarian version is popular in Central and Northern areas.

Its clean bright flavors feel very healing. Even though tomatoes are sadly out of season, I make an exception for this recipe, because I’ve come to crave it so much. Plan ahead and let the tomatoes soften and ripen on the counter for a few days before making the soup.

Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup Tamarind Soup with Tofu. Vegan GF |
Load it up with lots of chives and cilantro, and as many chili flakes as you can handle. If you are not a tofu person, substitute prawns or shrimp.
Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup Tamarind Soup with Tofu. Vegan GF |


Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup Tamarind Soup with Tofu. Vegan GF |

I hope you enjoy this simple, vegan Vietnamese soup.  So delicious, healthy and authentic… I got this recipe from a restaurant in Hoi Ann!


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Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup


Vietnamese Hot and Sour  Soup with Tofu ( aka Canh Chua)- flavorful, warming and healing, this version is vegan and gluten-free! 


Units Scale
  • 1/2 onion- diced (1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
  • 34 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms (shiitakes or cremini)
  • 4 Roma or vine-ripened tomatoes- diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce ( if using veggie stock)
  • 8 oz firm tofu, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon tamarind paste (or tamarind concentrate) or sub lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives or scallions


In a Medium pot, heat oil over medium high heat, add diced onions. Saute until tender, stirring often, about 4 – 5 minutes. Turn heat to medium, add garlic, and mushrooms.

Saute until mushrooms are just tender, about 3-4 more minutes. Add tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper. Saute until tomatoes begin to melt, about 2-3 minutes.

Add stock and soy sauce (optional). Add tofu and tamarind paste ( or lime juice). Bring to a boil, and let simmer for 3-4 minutes. Taste for balance. Add salt to taste.

Serve in a bowls with chopped cilantro and chives and chili flakes.

Serves 2 for dinner or 4 as a starter.


Serves 2 for dinner or 4 as a starter.


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Keywords: hot and sour soup, Vietnamese soup, vegan Vietnamese soup, Canh Chua

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  1. Woohoo this was fantastic! Thank you!!

    I made a double batch as dinner for four and I subbed an 8.5 oz can of chopped tomatoes for the fresh 🫣 and it was delicious! I had some stir fry noodles on hand, so added to the bowls and ladled the soup over them. Love, love, love!

  2. Faite pour hier soir, mes amis ont tous adorés et nous aussi !!!
    Bon, nous sommes en janvier en France, donc pas de tomate fraîche, mais j’ai des tomates italiennes en bocaux, elles sont extra, il est sur et certain que je referai ce délice en période des tomates fraîches du jardin !!! C’était somptueux déjà comme cela, à vérifier l’été prochain. Merci beaucoup pour tes recettes végétales toujours Extraordinaires et Succulentes !!! Très Belle Année à toi et tes proches

  3. I was in the middle of making a pot of soup and using tamarind paste when I thought about looking up to see if there was a good recipe on the internet.Since I am from Hawaii and always cooking Asian I’m always looking for new ways to make things. I put in okra this time and long beans, celery, carrots, red onion and chicken broth.I sent my husband to the store for tofu. This time I used my tamarind paste instead of just the Tamarind soup broth in the package – and oh my goodness it is so good the broth. I just love it. I try to have soups at every meal like the Japanese do I think they are very important to eat.

  4. Have not made but love this version over heavier Chinese version. Light color because chicken nroth.

Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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