Coconut Curry Chicken Soup

Coconut and curry are one of the most sublime combinations out there. And after downing a bowl of Thai Curry Soup at our nearby Noodles & Company many years ago, I knew I needed to come up with a version of my very own. Because one bowl is simply never enough. And I love soup leftovers!

This Coconut Curry Chicken Soup is super flavorful, and mild enough that our kids enjoy it, too. If you’re unfamiliar with some of the Asian ingredients listed…well, I was too, many years ago. But I promise you – if you check out the Asian section in your grocery store for the items listed below, your taste buds will be forever grateful.

  • Green curry paste – I have some kind of affection for green curry paste. A blend of ginger, chilis, and spices, it is sweeter and milder than red curry paste. But if you like heat, definitely go for the red!
  • Coconut milk – Fragrant and creamy, coconut milk adds just the perfect touch of delicious comfort to this soup. I prefer regular coconut milk over light, for its added creaminess and flavor, but feel free to substitute with light.
  • Thai fish sauce – An essential ingredient in many Asian curries and sauces, fish sauce lends a subtle salty flavor that is hard to duplicate. But if you can’t find it…or you just don’t want to use it…you’ll still be fine. The soup will still taste great without it.
The aroma, texture, and combination of flavors in this soup have made this one of my very favorites. I love that it can be a light yet filling lunch as a simple bowl of soup, or a more hearty dish when ladled over rice or noodles. And the versatility in ingredients is endless. Honestly, you can substitute a bit of this for a bit of that, whatever you’re in the mood for, and you’ll always have one happy tummy.

Coconut Curry Chicken Soup

Yield: 8 to 10 servings


  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 T. green curry paste
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 T. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced and cut into 1" long pieces
  • 8 oz. fresh mushrooms, very thinly sliced
  • 8 c. low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 14-oz. cans coconut milk
  • 2 T. fish sauce
  • 1 T. curry powder
  • 3 T. brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 c. cooked and shredded chicken breasts (or use deli chicken)
  • 1/4 c. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges, to serve with finished soup

other tasty optional ingredients:

  • fresh spinach leaves
  • carrots, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • snow peas, trimmed and cut in half on the diagonal
  • hot red chili, minced, for extra heat
  • fresh mint, thinly sliced


* I highly recommend getting all the chopping, slicing, and juicing done before you fire up the stove!

In a Dutch oven or heavy stock pot over medium heat, saute the butter and onion, just until the onion is softened. Add the curry paste and stir to combine. Then add the garlic, ginger, red bell pepper, and mushrooms. Cook until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add chicken broth, coconut milk, fish sauce, curry powder, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, and chicken. Stir to combine and cook until thoroughly warmed. Before serving, stir in lime juice, green onions, and cilantro. Season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste. It may take a couple teaspoons of salt to reach good flavor, depending on the saltiness of the rest of the ingredients - just start out by adding a 1/2 teaspoon at a time, tasting after each addition.

Serve as is, or over cooked basmati rice or pad thai rice noodles. Have lime wedges available for a fresh squeeze of juice.

Inspired by my favorite Noodles & Company soup (Thai Curry Soup).


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50 Responses to “Coconut Curry Chicken Soup”

  1. #
    Natalie @ Cooking for My Kids — February 22, 2012 at 7:50 am

    This soup looks amazing. I have never cooked with some of those Asian ingredients, but the photo of this soup, combined with your descriptions of everything, has definitely inspired me to try….starting with this soup. Yummy!

    • Brenda replied on February 22nd, 2012 at 9:42 pm

      Go for it, Natalie! I have so much fun learning about new foods/ingredients and stretching my palate. I refuse to eat boring food! :)

  2. #
    Harriet — February 22, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Looks amazeballs! I love a good chicken soup, but with coconut and curry? Sounds fab!

    • Brenda replied on February 22nd, 2012 at 9:43 pm

      Thanks, Harriet! :)

  3. #
    Maria — February 22, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Ooh, what a great soup! Love the flavors!

    • Brenda replied on February 22nd, 2012 at 9:43 pm

      Thank you, Maria. :)

  4. #
    Living The Sweet Life — February 22, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I love love love soup – -and you’re right, one bowl is never enough – – but the leftovers are always so much better :) I’ve never tried mixing coconut milk and curry on my own… I’ve had it dozens of times at Thai restaurants, but I’m always worried my milk will curdle. Hmm… you’re recipe seems so simple, that I may just have to get over my fear – – thanks :)

    • Brenda replied on February 22nd, 2012 at 9:45 pm

      I live for soup leftovers, it’s always better the next day! Don’t worry about the coconut milk curdling…it works perfectly. :)

  5. #
    Paula — February 22, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    I’m one of your readers not familiar with a lot of Asian ingredients but I do know a good soup when I see one. Looks wonderful.

    • Brenda replied on February 22nd, 2012 at 9:46 pm

      Thanks, Paula!

  6. #
    Shaina — February 22, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    This looks just fabulous. I adore curry, and a coconut curry and chicken soup just sounds fantastic for a snowy day.

    • Brenda replied on February 22nd, 2012 at 9:48 pm

      Thank you, Shaina. We enjoyed dipping some of Zoe’s warm pitas in this awhile back…so good!!

  7. #
    Robert — February 23, 2012 at 2:17 am

    I really love curry so much. I am sure adding coconut will be good. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  8. #
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — February 23, 2012 at 5:06 am

    I just love using coconut milk in my cooking, it adds such a nice richness to foods.

  9. #
    Kate — February 23, 2012 at 6:56 am

    I’ve got about 4 or 5 different versions of this soup hanging around the kitchen; the combination of curry and coconut milk are a favorite of mine as well, and I just love how all these simple ingredients combine together to create such a satisfying soup. A little bit of heat is all it takes to chase the chill away.

  10. #
    K&B N. — February 24, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Yummmm ! I love curry

  11. #
    Jessalyn — February 27, 2012 at 10:49 am

    I made this soup the other night for dinner and it was delicious. My husband and I both loved the flavor! I used red curry paste (we like things a little spicy) and added carrots. Thanks for another wonderful recipe!

    • Brenda replied on February 28th, 2012 at 9:24 pm

      Your variation sounds awesome, Jessalyn! I wish I could get by with the red curry paste with my kids. Their taste buds are getting more and more daring…some day!! So glad you liked the soup!

  12. #
    Chung-Ah @ Damn Delicious — February 27, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    I just got into cooking Thai food at home and this recipe has definitely been added in my “to-make” list. Once you get into cooking certain Asian foods, it becomes so much easier because you already have all the ingredients right in your pantry.

    Now this soup looks fabulous, packed with tons of veggies and flavors. This will be perfect for the cold winter days we’re having now. Thanks for sharing :)

    • Brenda replied on February 28th, 2012 at 9:27 pm

      Lovely to hear from you, Chung-Ah! You are so right…the more you make it, the easier it is. It takes a bit to build up a few of the ingredients for the pantry, but after that, it’s just YUM.

  13. #
    TidyMom — February 29, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Looks and sounds delicious Brenda!! thanks for joinging Soupapalooza!

  14. #
    Amanda — February 29, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Did you know I have never been to Noodles and Co? What is wrong with me?? Well, now I dont have to, I can just make your soup! :)

  15. #
    Hallie Sawyer — March 4, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    I LOVE Noodles & Company’s Thai Curry Soup! I can’t wait to try your version. The recipe looks great!

    • Brenda replied on March 6th, 2012 at 10:55 pm

      Well, I’d love to know what you think of it then! Thanks, Hallie!

  16. #
    cheryl — March 9, 2012 at 10:24 am

    I have the ingredients on the counter and I am ready to chop. I am looking forward to a delicious lunch with my husband. :o) TGIF

    • cheryl replied on March 9th, 2012 at 11:27 am

      oh WOWWOOWOWO!!! I just took my first taste of the soup and it is FABULOUS!!!!! Thank you for sharing this recipe. xo

      • Brenda replied on March 10th, 2012 at 2:58 pm

        I’m SO HAPPY you liked it! Yay!! xo

  17. #
    Natalie @ Cooking for My Kids — March 19, 2012 at 6:27 am

    I made this soup last night. My husband, who is not even a soup lover, declared this the best soup I have ever made. He loved it. We all loved it…well 3 out of 5. It was too spicy for the youngest littles, so I made them a simple broth noodle soup instead. It was absolutely fantastic, Brenda. Thank you so much for an amazingly delicious recipe! You truly, truly amaze me with your stunning photos and brilliant recipes.

    • Brenda replied on March 21st, 2012 at 1:18 pm

      Ohhhhh…I’m so happy you liked it, yay! Thank you so much for coming back to comment, Natalie! xo

  18. #
    Mary@FitandFed — March 22, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Beautiful and looks yummy! Love the bright red and dark green garnishes on the light green soup (red pepper strips and…. looks more like spinach than cilantro).

  19. #
    Emily — September 20, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    8 cups of chicken broth? Really? That is SO much. The first time I made this I misread it as one 8 ounce can and that was perfect.

  20. #
    Hangeroo — September 22, 2012 at 11:27 am

    This soup looks delicious. Will have to try it when I have all the ingredients assembled. However, I would definitely decrease the amount of chicken broth or increase the amount of coconut milk. Also, I’d serve with jasmine rice, not basmati. Jasmine rice is what is eaten by the Thais and other people of Southeast Asia. Indians and parts of the Middle East tend towards basmati. It sounds weird to eat it with pad Thai noodles. I assume you mean the rice noodles used to make pad Thai. Even then, I can’t recall eating a curry like that over noodles. I think the jasmine rice is the way to go. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  21. #
    Wicked Wanda — October 27, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    This soup was simply AMAZING… husband could not stop talking about it.
    This recipe is going into my recipe binder. Thanks for sharing the recipe….

    • Brenda replied on October 31st, 2012 at 9:02 pm

      Wonderful! I’m so glad you liked it. Thanks for coming back to let me know – I appreciate it! :)

  22. #
    Jenni — November 26, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Awesome recipe :)
    Looks absolutely delicious! Here is a chicken soup you might like to try.
    Thanks for sharing,

  23. #
    Olga — March 6, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    What a scrumptious looking soup. The combination of flavors sounds delicious. I’ve always wanted to try Coconut Curry Soup. The picture is beautiful.

  24. #
    Claire — April 11, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    This recipe is amazing! This is my second time making it. My husband and I just love it. It is so flavorful, creaming, and delicious. We’ve been making it with red chile paste since that is what I already I have on hand, and the extra spice is just great. Thank you for a terrific recipe!

    • Brenda replied on April 15th, 2013 at 2:35 pm

      That’s wonderful to hear, Claire – thank you so much for coming back to let me know! :)

  25. #
    Kellie — May 26, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    This looks just delicious! I like pineapple in my curry. Has anyone tried this? Normally, it is put with red curry, but if green is sweeter, it might be good!

  26. #
    SuzanneU — February 14, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    I made this tonight for Valentine’s Day. O.M.G. My hubby and I are in LOVE with this soup. Thank you for a new recipe to add to our rotation. NUMMY!!

    • Brenda replied on February 15th, 2014 at 6:04 pm

      Yay! Thank you so much for coming back to let me know. I’m adding it to our menu for this upcoming week, thanks!

  27. #
    Lisa Murphey — February 15, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    What fish sauce do to use? Would it be ok to omit it?

    • Brenda replied on February 19th, 2014 at 8:57 pm

      The brand currently in my pantry is Thai Kitchen. I do think it would be ok to omit it, but really encourage you to try it!

  28. #
    Cal — June 9, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Thank you so much for this recipe. It was an unseasonably cold/windy summer day in the Northeast. I’d had this soup once before at Noodles & Co. and wanted to make it on my own. Absolutely delicious. Everyone loved it, and I’ll be making it again soon for sure.


  29. #
    Peggy — October 11, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    What kind of curry powder do you use or recommend? Is it the curry normally in the spice section of the grocery store?

  30. #
    Ash D. — November 20, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    I will be making this tonight! Hope the kids dig it as much as I know I will! Thanks.


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