Coconut Curry Soup is warm, satisfying, fragrant and extremely versatile, made with coconut milk, red curry paste, chicken, veggies and more!
This Coconut Curry Soup is fragrant and flavorful, light yet creamy and bursting with layers of warm, comforting aromatic flavor. The rich, complex broth is made with coconut milk, red curry paste, Thai basil (or regular), ginger, garlic, lime juice, fish sauce and cilantro along with tender chicken, mushrooms, carrots and rice or keep it low carb and use your favorite veggies and protein. This Thai Coconut Curry Soup is a meal-in one or serve it alongside chicken satay to complete the feast!
Thai food is my absolute favorite with its symphony of savory, salty, sour flavors! Don’t miss Tom Kha Gai, Tom Yum Soup, Thai Chicken Noodle Soup, Thai Soup with Chicken and Wild Rice, Red Curry Chicken, Panang Curry or Pad Thai.
How to Make Coconut Curry Soup Video
WHY YOU’LL LOVE This Thai Curry Soup
RESTAURANT delicious. This Thai Coconut Curry Chicken Soup is a tangy, savory, sweet and salty tango of perfect proportions. Additionally, the textural dance of juicy chicken, veggies and rice is pure magic.
Add anything you like! The star of this Coconut Curry Soup is the broth, so feel free to make it your own with any type of meat or vegetables. Make it a clean-out-the-fridge dinner, make it vegetarian, use shrimp, etc.
Easy pantry swaps. This recipe is made with pantry friendly ingredients with the exception of the Thai basil, which may be substituted for regular basil (or even dried in a pinch). So, make it any night of the week!
One pot wonder: The chicken, veggies and rice all simmer together in one pot which means only ONE POT to clean!
Thai Coconut Curry Soup Ingredients
This Coconut Curry Soup recipe features a fragrant coconut milk broth infused with spicy, sour, sweet, umami flavors. The ingredients list may look lengthy, but it is actually a very easy soup to prepare. Here’s what you’ll need to make this Thai soup recipe (full measurements in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):
What Can Be Substituted for Thai Basil?
If you can’t find Thai basil near you, you may use regular basil instead. While traditional basil, (Italian basil/sweet basil) is milder and lacks the slight anise flavor typical of Thai cuisine, it is the best substitute if you cannot get your hand on Thai basil. At some point, however, I highly suggest you source Thai basil to really bring the authentic flavor.
How to Make Coconut Curry Soup
Coconut Curry Chicken Soup is very straightforward to make, despite the long ingredient list – most of the ingredients are just dumped directly into the soup! Here’s an overview of how to make it (full recipe in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):
- Step 1: Brown the chicken. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and sear in sizzling hot oil just until golden. The chicken will not be cooked through at this point but will be added back to the pot later. Remove the chicken to a plate but leave the drippings behind which are flavor gold.
- Step 2: Sauté the aromatics. Add onions and carrots to the drippings and sauté over medium-high heat for a few minutes. Add the red curry paste, ginger, garlic and sauté for 2 minutes or until the onions are softened.
- Step 3: Simmer the soup. Add the chicken back to the pot, followed by the chicken broth, coconut milk, diced tomatoes, soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Cover and gently simmer until the chicken is tender enough to easily shred with two forks.
- Step 4: Shred the chicken. Remove the chicken and let it rest until it’s cool enough to shred.
- Step 5: Cook the rice. Meanwhile, add the bell peppers, mushrooms and rice to the pot. Simmer just until the rice is cooked, about 10 minutes.
- Step 6: Add the remaining ingredients. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the shredded chicken, cilantro, lime juice, and basil.
- Step 7: Garnish and serve. Garnish individual servings with cilantro, freshly squeezed lime juice, chili sauce or chili peppers to taste.
This Thai Curry Soup is a meal-in-one full of protein, carbs, and veggies, but we also love it with a fresh, crunchy salad such as Chinese Chicken Salad, Crunchy Asian Salad, Chinese Salad, or Asian Pineapple Salad.
You can transform this soup into a feast by serving it with appetizers! We love it with any of the following Asian appetizers, even though most of them aren’t Thai:
Can This Recipe Be Made in Advance?
The flavors of this Coconut Curry Chicken Soup are even better the next day! If making the soup to serve later, take extra care not to overcook the rice so it stays al dente instead of mushy. The rice will soak up broth while it’s stored, so be prepared to add additional chicken broth or coconut milk. Better yet, omit the rice, then add cooked rice to the leftovers.
How to Prep Ahead
You can prepare most of the ingredients ahead of time to have your Thai Coconut Curry Chicken Soup on the dinner table more quickly:
-Trim chicken: Trim excess fat from chicken and store trimmed chicken in an airtight container or freezer bag in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. You can even go one step further and season the chicken with salt and pepper.
-Chop vegetables: Chop the vegetables and aromatics a couple days ahead of time, the night before dinner, or just a few hours before cooking, then store in airtight containers in the refrigerator.
HOW LONG IS Thai coconut curry soup GOOD FOR?
Let the soup cool to room temperature, cover, and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
How Do I Reheat Coconut Curry Chicken Soup?
-Stove: Reheat large batches on the stove over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until warmed through, adding additional broth as needed.
-Microwave: For smaller batches or individual servings, transfer soup to a microwave-safe dish, cover with a microwave-safe lid or paper towel. Microwave for 90 seconds, stir, then continue to microwave for 30-second intervals, if needed.
Can I freeze Coconut Curry Soup?
I do NOT recommend freezing the Coconut Curry Soup with the rice in it, as the rice will become a funny texture once thawed. You may, however, freeze the soup without the rice. To do this, prepare the rice separately and add it to individual serving bowls before ladling the coconut broth over top. The soup without rice can be frozen for up to three months.
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- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (may sub breasts or rotisserie chicken, see notes)
- salt and pepper
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 2-4 tablespoons red curry paste (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 14 oz. cans quality coconut milk
- 1 14 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes with juices (optional)
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 3/4 cup uncooked basmati rice (optional)
- 1/4 cup minced cilantro
- 1/4 cup minced fresh Thai basil leaves (or regular or 1 TBS dried)
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Asian chili sauce or sriracha to taste
- chopped cilantro
- lime juice
- chili peppers
- crushed peanuts
- Season chicken with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven/soup pot. Once hot, add the chicken and sear until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Remove chicken to a plate but leave the drippings.
- Add chicken back to the pot followed by chicken broth, coconut milk, diced tomatoes, soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, bay leaves, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer (covered) for 15 minutes or until chicken is tender enough to easily shred with two forks.
- Remove chicken and let rest until cool enough to shred. Meanwhile, add bell peppers, mushrooms and rice to the pot. Simmer approximately 8-12 minutes or until rice is cooked. *Note: Cooking time may vary depending on how long it takes to bring your soup to a boil so I suggest checking the rice occasionally until done.
- Remove from heat and discard bay leaves. Stir in the shredded chicken, basil, cilantro, lime juice, and Asian chili sauce to taste. If you would like a less “chunky” soup, stir in additional broth or coconut milk. Garnish servings with desired toppings.
- Adjust the curry paste: If you are using a milder brand like Thai Kitchen then I would start with 3-4 tablespoons curry paste. If you are using a spicier brand, like Mae Ploy, I would start with 2 tablespoons. You can add more curry paste to taste once the soup is simmering or add chili sauce to taste at the end of cooking.
- Rotisserie chicken: You may swap the chicken thighs for 2 ½ cups shredded rotisserie chicken. Add the chicken at the end of cooking when you would add the shredded chicken thighs back to the soup.
- Rice: Please only use basmati rice, other rice tends to become mushy. Alternatively, add any cooked rice to soup bowls and ladle soup over top.
- Recipe variations: Swap in shrimp, different vegetables, make it vegetarian, etc. See post for ideas/details.
- Leftovers: The rice will soak up broth while it’s stored, so be prepared to add additional chicken broth or coconut milk. Better yet, if you expect leftovers, omit the rice, then add cooked rice to the leftovers when reheating. Store the soup in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Prep ahead: The chicken can be trimmed and the vegetables and aromatics chopped and stored in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator.
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