Thai Coconut Curry Soup

During my maternity leave I was super blessed by our church’s meals program for new moms. Basically, people sign up and bring you food. Heaven on earth. During those days when it seems like all you are doing is feeding an insatiable infant (lovely and wonderful, but dang do they eat a lot in those early days!), having a hot meal brought to your very doorstep is glorious.

It was especially glorious because of the number of incredible cooks in our congregation. We got fabulous lasagna from Traci. A savory and comforting brussel sprout and chicken sausage roast from Peter and Jamie. These awesome slow cooker pork chops from Jana that fell apart practically as soon as you looked at them. You can believe that I sent email after email asking for recipes during that time.

First up for recreation in my own kitchen was this fabulous Thai soup from Sarah. The soup has zip without being too spicy. It’s a burst of awesomeness on the palate that also sits lightly in the stomach–you won’t be going to bed with a rock in the gut after eating a bowl of this. And the lime juice–oh the lime juice. So bright! So zesty! In my mind, fresh lime juice is just another finger pointing to a loving Creator, and I’m not kidding either. (Any other lime juice fanatics out there?) And Sarah amped things up by adding shiitake mushrooms, which I happen to absolutely love. After emailing her and asking for the recipe, she said it came from America’s Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook. Irony of ironies, I had that very cookbook from the library sitting in my living room (also the source of the amazing Cajun Corn Chowder that I’ve already made three times in the past two months). So go Sarah! Go America’s Test Kitchen! And with some of Sarah’s modifications plus some of mine, here’s the recipe.

(Serves 6)


1 TBS vegetable oil
1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 large shallots, minced
4 cups chicken broth
2-14 oz cans coconut milk
2 TBS fish sauce
1 TBS soy sauce
1 TBS sugar
8 oz white or cremini mushrooms, sliced
8 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 carrots, sliced on the diagonal into thin ovals
8 oz snow peas, strings removed, cut in half
Juice of 2 limes
2 tsp Thai red curry paste
1 bunch green onions, minced
Salt, pepper, and more sugar to taste

1. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.

2. Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Just when it starts smoking, add the chicken breast and brown on both sides. Set the chicken aside.

3.  Add the minced shallots to the pot and cook over medium heat until softened.

4. Add the broth and coconut milk to the pot along with 1 TBS of fish sauce, the soy sauce and the sugar. Stir everything together, scraping up any browned bits.

5.  Add the chicken breast back in, cover the pot, and simmer the soup for about 10 minutes.

6. Remove the chicken breast to a cutting board and dice or shred into bite-sized pieces.

7. Add all the vegetables to the soup and simmer for 3-5 minutes, until just tender.

8. In a small bowl, whisk together the curry paste, lime juice and remaining fish sauce. Add it to the soup along with the chicken.

9. Taste, re-season if needed, stir in the green onions, and serve hot!

Thank you Sarah and thank you church friends for bringing such great food and being such a blessing to our little family!

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13 thoughts on “Thai Coconut Curry Soup

  1. Megan

    I agree about the lime juice. Sounds wonderful. It’s great that you had peoe bringing you meals. I’m thankful our church does the same thing.

    I was wondering how things worked out for you and the meals you froze ahead of time. I’m starting to prepare a stash for us, since the baby is due in only 2 1/2 months! Were there any thoughts you had? Any dishes that were awesome, or anything that didn’t work well? I read your post about that and it looked like you had egg rolls or something. How did those work out? I was thinking about making a bunch of empanadas, soups, and maybe curries.

    1. Jenna Post author

      I can’t believe baby #2 is about to arrive! Crazy! You’ll have to tell me all about the transition from one to two. For meals, we are still working through our frozen stash–it’s AWESOME to have that on hand, and it’s lasted my whole maternity leave (granted we were out of town a good bit for the holidays). Stuff that worked really well: chili, soups, curries and such were the best. The frozen egg rolls were delish, and we also did frozen burritos which went straight from frozen to the oven. I can’t think of anything that didn’t work well, in fact. Have fun cooking and preparing!

  2. Tobi

    That looks yummy. I am also a lime enthusiast! I squeeze it onto just about anything, food or drink! I love the last photo of you and Alice <3

  3. Veronica

    That is so wonderful that you got hot meals at your door, I can imagine it would be such a relief not to have to worry about food when all the baby stuff is so new. And wow, what an incredible soup to enjoy during that period. Sounds just incredible. More Alice pics please. 🙂 I love that little face.

  4. Twinky Satterthwaite

    I was inspired to make this soup, but did not have pea pods or green onion. I used some fresh green beans, regular onion, and threw in some fresh spinach before serving just for kicks…. It was GREAT! VERY yummy AND beautiful to behold! The only other thing I might do is add a little cornstarch to thicken it slightly like some chinese soups do. Next time!!


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