Monday, February 9, 2015

Thai Chicken Coconut Soup With Sweet Potatoes

There's five feet of snow on my balcony here in New England and it just keeps on coming. This spicy, restorative soup is a necessary escape from the Arctic-like weather. A big bowl of hot soup makes my heart happy. There are many simple soup recipes here. If you're interested, check the Recipe Index to view all of them.

My Thai chicken coconut soup is brimming with colorful veggies. The right amount of heat makes it warm and inviting. Sweet potato counters the spice and gives it substance. It's filling, but not at all heavy. The delicious broth is spiked with creamy coconut milk, red curry paste and a squeeze of fresh lime. Steamed Jasmine or sushi rice is the perfect add-on. Think fluffy rice and luscious soup and you'll get the picture. This soup is better and much more nutritious than my favorite Thai restaurant version. The taste is authentic and pure. It's is ready in under 30 minutes. Best of all, it's easy to cook. Even if you've never made Thai food before, you can do this. You'll be happy and proud that you did.

Thai Chicken Coconut Soup Recipe

Serves 4-6 with Steamed Rice

Some Notes

I like to serve this dish with freshly steamed Jasmine or sushi rice. Add the rice to the soup as you serve it so it doesn't soak up all the broth and become mushy.

The broth for this soup is vegan. You can leave the chicken out or swap it for tofu if you're in a veggie mood.

I use a half a tablespoon of red curry paste in this recipe. I  think the soup has just the right amount of heat: not too spicy but spicy enough to notice.

The trick to making this dish taste authentic is finding a good curry paste.  I've tried several kinds. Maesri is my favorite. It's well rounded and flavorful. Find one you like. Some seem to have a bitter aftertaste. Made in Thailand, Maesri comes in small cans for convenience. Green or yellow curry paste will work too.

Rapunzel bouillon is my go-to veggie bouillon for its clean taste. Oh how I love it! I find it at Whole Foods or buy it online at Amazon. It's a lifesaver for quick soups like this one. It is easy to store and tastes like homemade stock. But you can swap it and the water for 5 cups of your favorite broth or stock.


  • One bunch of scallions (4-6), chopped, reserve the dark green parts for garnish
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped into small pieces  
  • 2 cups of baby spinach or snow peas
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated (optional)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1-2 limes
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of Thai red curry paste. I use Maesri Brand.
  • 1/2 of a 13.5 ounce can of full fat coconut milk
  • 1 pound package of boneless white meat chicken, chopped into bite size pieces. I use chopped boneless chicken tenders. 
  • 4 vegetable bouillon cubes. I use  Rapunzel No Salt Vegetable Bouillon Cubes
  • 5 cups of water
  • Coconut oil or vegetable oil for cooking
  • Salt to taste
  • To Serve: lime wedges, finely grated lime zest, bean sprouts, steamed sushi or Jasmine rice, rice crackers, Thai basil or regular basil


Cook two cups of rice (I prefer Jasmine or Sushi rice) according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, heat some coconut oil and saute the red curry paste on medium heat for about 30 seconds to release its flavor, stirring the entire time. Add the 5 cups of water, the vegetable bouillon cubes, the light green parts of the scallions, carrots, sweet potato, ginger and garlic. I grate the garlic and ginger directly into the pot with a microplane zester. Salt to taste. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for about 5-8 minutes or until the carrots and sweet potatoes are fork tender. Stir in the chopped chicken and bring the heat up to a gentle boil. Simmer covered until the chicken is cooked (about another 5-8 minutes). Add 1/2 of a can of full fat coconut milk. Make sure you take the coconut cream that sometimes floats to the top of the can. Cook for another 60 seconds or so. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the spinach or snow peas and the reserved green parts of the scallions. Give it a good stir. The spinach will wilt and stay bright green. Squeeze in some fresh lime juice and serve in individual bowls with a scoop of fluffy rice on top and any of the above serving suggestions.    

Bon Appetit!


  1. This is exactly what I need at this time of year - it looks so flavourful and warming.

    1. Hello Trisha! It's good cold weather food. Hope you try it. Thanks for popping by. Happy Cooking!