Coconut Curry Soup
This coconut curry soup is unique and delicious. It is the perfect coconut curry fix for the winter weather and it comes together in a flash!
Coconut and curry are flavors meant to be together. So why not marry them into a soup? Hm?
After seeing several variations of coconut chicken curry soup around, I decided to create my own based on the specific flavors we like in our family. The verdict?
Well, this just may be my favorite coconut and curry combination to date!
A healthy and hearty meal, thanks to layering a ladle of soup over hot, steamed rice, this soup has wonderful flavor.
The light coconut milk and touch of brown sugar lend a slight sweetness that offsets the subtle salty fish sauce and slight hint of cayenne.
Lime juice and fresh cilantro brighten up the entire concoction.
Mild enough (heat-wise) for my kids to devour and flavorful enough for my husband and I to ooh and aah over, this soup is unique and delicious. Perfect coconut curry fix for the winter weather.
Oh, wait…and did I mention this comes together in a flash? Dreamy.
What To Serve With This:
Whole Wheat Bread
Creamy 5-Cup Fruit Salad
One Year Ago: BLT Pasta
Two Years Ago: Naan
Three Years Ago: My Mom’s Fabulous Lasagna
Coconut Curry Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ pounds chicken breasts, (about 3), cut into 1-inch pieces
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- ½ cup chopped yellow onion
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened light coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper or more to taste
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ tablespoon curry powder
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, about 1 medium lime
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro
- 3-4 cups hot cooked rice for serving
- In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat until it is hot and shimmering. Pat the chicken pieces dry with a paper towel and season them lightly with salt and pepper. Add them to the hot oil. Let the chicken cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onions and red pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the onions and peppers are slightly softened. The chicken and vegetables don’t have to be fully cooked as they will simmer and cook further in the next step.
- Add the chicken broth, coconut milk, fish sauce, cayenne pepper, brown sugar and curry powder. Stir to combine. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook, gently, for 10-15 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve a ladle or two of the soup over a scoop of rice and garnish with more cilantro, if desired.
Recipe Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
111 Comments on “Coconut Curry Soup”
Made this last night for dinner…Coconut Curry Soup! It was just FABULOUS…I left out the fish sauce as we don’t eat seafood. Wasn’t sure how “fishy” it would be.
This soup is so delicious! On a whim I topped my soup with a handful of shredded green cabbage and it was fantastic.
I ended up making this in the instant pot. I softened the vegetables in the instant pot and then dumped the rest of the ingredients in it. I did reduce the chicken broth to 1 cup. I set it to pressure for 12 minutes. And then let it naturally release for 10 minutes. I shredded the chicken ( we used boneless skinless chicken thighs ) in the instant pot itself .
Loved this recipe, and I normally don’t like curry! Can this be frozen? Maybe not with the coconut milk?
Yes, it can be frozen!
I had high hopes for this, but it was just OK. I followed the recipe perfectly, and it turned out watery. I reduced the liquid by almost half and still had to add cornstarch to thicken it up. It was also sort of bland despite being very liberal with the spices. I will not be making this recipe again.
Very good. I added peas and water chestnuts. The soup was a little thin but it may thicken up overnight. If not, I might add some kind of thickening agent. But the flavor was excellent.
Mel- my family continues to love your food! On a whim, I threw this all in the instant pot with frozen chicken breasts for 13 min and it was perfect!! I skipped the veggies because we were out, but even without them, this recipe wins!
Totally agree with Kristy and Kamber. Delicious. I found this recipe only because it was listed as “similar to” one of your recent posts. I appreciate your providing all of these different ways to mine your website:) During cooking, I misread the recipe and added about 6 times the amount of cayenne, and was worried. Result: Just a little hotter than I would have ordered it, but still outstanding, and just right for my husband. We don’t keep cilantro around, so I didn’t use it, and didn’t miss it. I may add peas next time (and watch my cayenne measurement a little better). Oh — and it was easy, too.
Love this recipe. I making it again for dinner tonight, I was just stopping by to say I think this needs to go in a post of the recipes the world forgot! And it’s a gluten free one!!
Mel- I have loved your food for years but this recipe makes me fall more in love. My family (including a toddler) loves this recipe and I get so excited to enjoy it!
Mel! I think this may be one you need to shine a fresh spotlight on, sometime soon. It is sooo, so perfect!! I’ve made it several times over the years, for family and friends. When I crave the perfect curry, I sometimes try a different recipe first… But then, I usually find what I really wanted was this, right here. Thank you!!!
Glad you love this one, Kamber – and I agree, I think I DO need to bring this one back to the spotlight!
I can’t put into words how delicious this recipe is. I’ve passed it on to about 20 friends since making it last night! It was so perfect for the cold weather and really hit the spot.
The great thing is you can really adjust this recipe to your personal style without messing anything up. At the bell pepper, onion and chicken sautee stage, I actually also added chopped broccoli and chopped carrots.
I added 19 oz of coconut milk as opposed to 14 oz, and it turned out halfway between a soup and curry. Not overly heavy or filling. Also added more cilantro because….cilantro!
Going to try a vegetarian one nex time and sub chicken with diced popatoes and chicken broth with vegetable broth!
Put mine over the tiniest bit of basmati rice…the whole thing was absolutely beautiful and made the house smell fantastic.
*clapping for Mel*
Thanks, Demi! So happy you love this recipe. Good reminder I need to make it again soon.
I made this today for about 100 people. It turned out great! We halved the chicken broth, and used green peppers, but left everything else the same. People were begging for the recipe! Definitely making this again soon—probably with leftover turkey from Thanksksgiving! One quick note. We used slow cookers and the lengthy cooking time made the creaminess from the coconut less pronounced. Next time I think I’d stir the coconut milk in towards the end. Even so, it was still great!
Thanks for the notes on this recipe, Patti! And wow, 100 people! That’s awesome.
Have you ever tried making this ahead and freezing it either before or after cooking it?
My soup turned out very bland, almost no flavor. ☹️ I’m not sure what I did wrong. Are some curry brands just not good? That is the only thing I can think of. I really want to like it, so maybe I’ll buy some different curry powder and try again.
Yes, different brands of curry can definitely vary in flavor. Sorry this didn’t work out for you!
We’ve been making this for years! It’s one of the recipes I get asked to pass along most often!
Excellent soup. It has made a big difference since I got the curry powder you recommended. After tasting it I added an extra tablespoon of lime juice and about an extra half tablespoon of brown sugar. It is more strongly flavored- kind of like a Thai soup I have eaten- Tom Kha. Delicious.
SO yummy! Been making this one for a couple years as a favorite! 🙂
I’m not sure what just happened. Every night, at least 1 of the 3 small children has a meltdown at suppertime. Tonight, I fully expected all 3 to throw massive tantrums and go to bed hungry when I presented this meal. But I didn’t care, because mama wanted coconut curry soup, and mama is 39 weeks pregnant. HOWEVER, all 3 kids not only ate with smiles on their face, they all 3 wanted seconds, and they all 3 told me how delicious it was. *shock* It was a supper made in heaven. I omitted the red pepper and put in peas instead, and we also topped our bowls with a sprinkle of chopped cashews and raisins. I never expected this to go over so well, so THANK YOU MEL! I even doubled it and have enough for a freezer meal later.
What fish sauce do you use?
I just grab the fish sauce in the Asian foods section at my grocery store.
A+ to Mel!
I doubled it and put in 1 can regular coconut milk and 1 can light.
I cooked the chicken, onion, broth and curry in the pressure cooker then followed the recipe omitting the fish sauce.
I put in some cooked potato cubes because I had potatoes in the refrigerator and there are potatoes in the version of this served at out favorite Thai restaurant.
I plan on adding some shredded cabbage, water chestnuts, mushrooms and edamame to round two.
My friend, Liz, finds some humor in the fact that I add cabbage to so many soups.
Sent some off to my adult daughter’s house for their dinner.
I absolutely LOVE this soup and tend to hoard it so no one else gets the leftovers. I was wondering though, do you think this could be done in the Instant Pot? Along with half the country, I got one on the Black Friday deal and now I’m wanting to try everything in it! I’ve heard mixed reviews on coconut milk in the IP. Thanks!
I haven’t tried this yet in the IP, but I think it has the potential to work really well. I’ve used coconut milk in the IP with no issues…but I’ve always used light coconut milk (I’ve heard from others that full fat coconut milk can often be too thick to allow the IP to come to pressure).
I sauted my chicken and onion in the IP. Then I added the curry and the broth. Pressured for 20 minutes.
Removed the large breasts, added everything else but the coconut milk and brought it to a boil with saute function until my small carrot pieces were done (I didn’t want mushy carrots, so I didn’t pressure cook them.) When the carrots were done, I added back in the chicken which was now cut up and the coconut milk. Heated that through.
I think if you wanted to pressure cook your carrots, you should just cut them in half instead of dicing. Then cut them up when you’re cutting up your chicken.
And by fish oil I mean fish sauce. Haha.
I made this tonight and I wish I would have doubled it! It is amazing!!!! I have been a little nervous about using fish oil, but not anymore! I will make this over and over again! Thank you for yet another delicious recipe!
I just have to say this was so quick and easy to make. My husband devoured it and told me at least a dozen times how much he liked it and then this morning said “is it sad that I’m so excited about lunchtime leftovers?” Haha. Anyways, wanted to comment that this was delish. We stuck the recipe and turned out great!
So good! Thank you!
Yummy soup! Took the advice of some others by adding more veggies (carrots and peas) and serving it with steamed broccoli. Very delicious flavor!
Made this twice so far and it is DELICIOUS!!
Even better with avacado!
Oh, my gosh! I made this today just hoping it would be okay. Such a huge hit!! The only change I made was to poach the chicken breasts to get a chicken broth (can’t get it in Japan except as cubes). Then I shredded the chicken and added it in the end to just heat. The rest was the same. It was great! DH had seconds ( a rare occurrence). I’m definitely putting this in my recipe file. Thanks so much!!
Oh and I like to add peas and potatoes to it!
The first time I made this it was so flavorful and delicious! The second time it was runnier and the flavors a little more mellow. I realized that the first time I must have left out the broth so it came out as a more stew-like mixture and the flavors were much less diluted. I love how quick and easy it is and in the crock pot the chicken cooked amazingly tender! I did like how it came out with less liquid though it doesn’t go as far. Next time I might try it with just 2 cans of coconut milk or 1 can and 1 c broth…great receipe!
Just stopping by to let you know I LOVE this dinner. One of my favorites and a big hit in my family, too. Tastes like comfort food and I can even serve it with Brown Rice and nobody bats an eye! 🙂
I did it with brown rice too! It was perfect
I’ve been wanting to learn a coconut curry soup recipe, and made this for the family last night. It was delicious! Thanks so much.
If I substitute honey for the brown sugar (which I admittedly often do), this is an excellent Paleo soup! Which I know wasn’t your intent, but I hope that works bc I’m so excited for these flavors and cold day soups!!! Thanks Mel! 🙂
Made this tonight and it got an A+!! We love all of your recipes!
I made this and it is very good. I did not use as much chicken and instead added more vegetables. You could use whatever meat and vegetables and it would still taste good.
I made this tonight for dinner and both my husband and I agree that it hit the spot. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
This recipe sounds so super duper yummy! I am planning my menu and this will be on it. I hate to admit I haven’t been on your site in a while, but I LOVE how you redesigned it! Every single recipe I have tried from here is delish! Thanks for spending the time to share your talent and recipes!!
Made this last night, Mel! It was delicious. We are spicy people so I double the curry powder, the cayenne, and only did 1 1/4 cups chicken broth. Can’t wait to eat it for lunch today. Thanks!
I made this soup with red Thai curry paste instead of curry powder and I loved it. I served it with a yummy Asian salad and some crusty whole grain bread.
Hello….I just had a quick question: I ‘m thinking of serving this soup for company…what do you suggest to serve with it? The only thing I could come up with was salad?? Any other ideas? Thank you so much!
Hi Tanyia – I usually serve this with a variety of fresh fruit and sometimes some flat bread or naan.
I tried this soup tonight and it was absolutely delicious! I used the full fat coconut milk, so it definitely had more fat, but I didn’t care. It was so yummy! My whole family enjoyed it! Thank you so much for the recipe 🙂
Megan – I haven’t tried it with paste but I think it’s a great idea. You’ll have to judge the amount by taste but I think it would work fine.
Hi. Have you tried making this with Thai curry paste instead of curry powder? I tend to prefer the paste, so just wondering if the flavor would be dramatically different? Thanks.
I love this soup! Just had to post to let you know I make it frequently and it has become a comfort food for me. Thanks for the great recipe!
This was delicious!!
Made this tonight. So good! Added snap peas, shrimp, & about a tablespoon of Thai green curry paste just to give it some depth.
One of the best recipes I’ve found through Pinterest yet! Wonderful!! I’m sending everyone to your recipe. Thanks for sharing.
I made this in the fall and am just now getting around to commenting. I’m terrible! This soup was delicious. Fish sauce always makes me queasy so I always use less than it calls for, but the overall flavor is so good. Thanks for another great recipe!
WOW! WOW! WOW!
I made this tonight for dinner, and even my kindergartener wants to take leftovers for lunch tomorrow. The only modification I made was to use jalapeno garlic marinated chicken breasts (on a super sale at our local “fancy” supermarket), so I omitted the cayenne, and I used “full fat” coconut milk.
I can’t wait to try more of your recipes.
Hi there! I made a version of your soup the other day and posted it to my blog. I gave you complete credit of course! Terrific recipe. 🙂
Another winner! Excellent soup. Nothing else to say…it’s just awesome!
Hi Mel, I made this soup last night and it was delish! I didn’t have the fish sauce but I will look for it at the market and try it next time I make this – I will definitely be making this again!
Found this recipe through Pinterest and I just made it tonight! I replaced chicken with tofu and put vegetable broth instead:) Thanks for sharing it was very yummy
Excellent. Next time I would do a little less lime, more cayenne/curry.
I made this last night. It was great. We love curry so I changed it to 1 tbsp.
Seriously loved this!! Thank you so much! I love your recipes!!
I made this over the weekend. AWESOME! I added 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, 1 tsp cumin and 1/2 c mushrooms and it looked so good I skipped the broth and made it a curry instead. Love it. We licked the plates clean! Thanks for the recipe!
I made this the other night for my family. I love this sort of thing and I thought it was fantastic and so easy. My husband and I ate it as soup, so good! And I used more rice and less broth for my boys who don’t do well with soups that aren’t really thick. We all loved it and had zero leftovers. Thanks for another great recipe!
Thai Coconut Chicken Curry is one of my most favorite foods ever, but this was awful. I’ve tried lots of your recipes and loved them all, and tried several of your curry/Thai dishes and they were great (Red Coconut noodles were amazing) but the chicken broth ruins the flavor of the curry. There is no coconut flavor at all, and I added an extra can of coconut milk trying to salvage it. Next time I make it I won’t use any chicken broth at all, just the coconut milk.
Kim – I think the difference with this recipe is that it is a soup not a straight up curry-over-rice recipe. Because of that, the chicken broth is needed to make it, well, a soup. I understand where you are coming from about the coconut milk not being strong enough but I think if all coconut milk was used in place of the chicken broth it might make the soup lose some of the complexities of the flavor since too much coconut milk can hide the subtleties of the unique flavors. However if you ever try it again that way, you’ll have to let me know if it still works as a soup with the equivalent of coconut milk instead of broth. I’m sorry you didn’t love it but am glad you have found some other curry/Thai dishes to enjoy!
Mel – we had this tonight and LOVED it! I couldn’t find fish sauce at Winco though – we’ll have to try it with that when I find some! Thanks for the yummy recipe.
Yum, yum, yum. This was so delish. I found myself debating on drinking the leftover yummy juice off the plate…and I did! My 16 month old gobbled this up as well. I always tey to add more veggies so I think next time I will add in some carrots, broccoli, and zuchini…but this was amazing. Love this blog Mel 🙂
Just finished my bowl- it was perfect! When my 4 year old asked what was for dinner he said, “but I like chicken curry”…I had to show him there was chicken in the coconut curry soup. He and my 2 year old gobbled their whole bowl of it, btw.We have a favorite Thai place just down the street, but we may not even have to go there anymore thanks to you. We always keep coconut milk on hand for such times as this. Thanks for such a delicious and easy curry recipe! **One note- I didn’t have red pepper so I used green and I threw in a peeled and chopped sweet potato pre-simmering just for kicks – yum!
This is the first of your recipes that I have made although they all look delicious. It was really good! I added mushrooms as others had suggested and also added some chopped spinach to get more veggies in our dinner. I also used brown rice instead of basmati. Will definitely make again.
This looks unbelievably delicious! Can’t wait to try it in my own kitchen!
I made this tonight – wonderful! Anything with basmati rice and coconut milk is pretty much a MAJOR win in my book – and this one didn’t disappoint! Thanks again for another wonderful recipe.
Delicious! Thanks for the inspiration for dinner. 🙂
I may be wrong, but this recipe may not have the “soup” tag. I tried searching for it that way and it didn’t show up. Just a little fyi… Oh, and I’ve made this twice this week. So yummy!
This looks delish – we love curry and thai food around here. I am always leery of buying fish sauce and hoisin sauce because I bought some hoisin sauce once that was nasty. Do you have any brand suggestions? Thanks for the great recipes – especially the easy ones!
I made this soup tonight and while only 1 of my kids really liked it both my husband and I loved it! The heat from the cayenne and curry were perfect while the lime and cilantro really brightened the soup. My husband has requested that I put this in my permanent recipe collection!
Made this last night. The flavor was very yummy. My broth was also more clear… not sure why I was expecting more of a creamy broth. I think next time I’ll use full fat coconut milk to give it a richer flavor. Thanks for the tasty recipe!
So so so good!! We never eat curry stuff and this was amazing. 🙂 And so easy! Thank you.
Second time making this soup in a week! Its that good! (well your recipes are always that good!) Thanks again for this wonderful recipe!
This was really good, we made it for supper tonight. Our son asked for leftovers for dessert!
just made this tonight for dinner – DEEEElicious with 2xs the cayenne! Next time I’ll add mushrooms also
Making mine right now and it looks nothing like yours. Mine looks more like a clear broth than a creamy broth. What did I do wrong??
Made this with Red curry powder since thats what i had on hand. I also added mushrooms, and little red dried chilies. This soup turned out soooooo good! I’m making it again this week!
I’m reporting back. This was delicious!!! My son has requested that I make it again next weekend. Two thumbs up!
I am definitely making this tomorrow night, but I’m going to throw it in the slow cooker (because I am slightly obsessed with my slow cooker).
sad news–even catching a whiff of curry powder turns my stomach–i just have a violent reaction to it. don’t think any less of me for it, mmmkay? 🙂
I made this today and it’s simmering, waiting for all of my snowboarders to get home. I always like to greet them with a soup to warm them up. I’ll tell you what though, they better hurry because I keep “tasting” it every time I walk by. So delicious, but I’m in love with all of your curry recipes.
Hey Chris I thought this sounded pretty good sans the chicken. connie
Made this one last night, and it was delicious. We doubled the cayenne for an extra kick. I think we’ll make it with shrimp next time!
I just started to follow your blog so this is our first recipe I’ve made. I adore curry but my husband does not care for. But after making this tonight for dinner and after his second helping I think we have a favorite! Yay!
This looks fantastic and coconut milk is really good fat, so I always use full fat! I make a stir fry very similar.
These pictures are gorgeous!
I love curry & I never made this soup before. I need to try new recipes & this one looks delicious. Thanks
Oh Yum yum Yum yum Yum yum Yum. This is going on the menu this coming week for sure!
Sounds delish! I love curry! This I will try! Thanks!
I want to eat this. My husband does not eat curry anything. I’ll have to tell him to eat a PB&J or something.
This looks so good! I think i will add some lemongrass, mushrooms and some thai chilies! (i like mine really spicy!) Does Red curry powder taste different than yellow?
I love how you stand behind your spice combinations. Also, thanks for sharing the links, I always love to know which blogs peak your interest. Assuming its the well-rounded, high quality ones…or its the pictures.
You must have been reading my mind! I was craving a soup like this a couple of days ago at 5 a.m. while I pondered what to have for breakfast before I went to work. (Reyna will attest to the fact that our family was never big on traditional breakfast foods.) I had a carton of pre-made coconut curry broth, bok choy, rice noodles and grilled chicken on hand and put that together with a splash of Siracha. It quelled the craving, but reading your recipe has got my tummy grumbling for more. I can’t wait to try yours!
Sounds delicious! I love the combo of coconut and curry. Can’t wait to try it.
I will make this fit into my diet. It looks so good. This low carb diet has left me with a dangerous curry deficiency.
Wait… tell me what curry powder you used… there’s lots of kinds out there!
Linda – you are right! There are so many different brands/types of curry. I’m glad you asked me what kind I used because I meant to mention it. I currently have the Spice Islands brand of Curry Powder. It is a golden orange/yellow color. It is mild and flavorful!
Now THIS….I cannot wait to make… I am in love with curry and Thai food, especially if it has cilantro and lime. MMMMMMMMMMM… Thank you Mel!
I love coconut and curry mixed together….putting it all in a soup is an idea made of win! Nom!