Coconut Chicken Curry Soup

We should already be well into soup season, but you wouldn’t know it by the weather we’ve had around here lately.  We had one early snowfall that dumped six inches on every flat surface in the neighborhood, including the two lounge chairs on either side of a big umbrella still sitting on our back deck.  I wish I had taken a photo of that.  Since then, we’ve had warm and sunny afternoons with only somewhat chilly evenings.  However, that’s about to change because we’re experiencing the “warm before the storm.”

Still, in my brain it is soup season.  Several days a week I pop open a can of soup to heat up for lunch and that’s just great with me.  There are a lot of tasty canned soups out there.  Have you tried Campbell’s Gouda Bisque with Chicken or Progresso Chicken Tortilla   No?  Click  here for a coupon.  So good for lunch.

But there’s something about combining a bunch ingredients together in a big pot and letting them simmer into a comforting soup, even if a lot of those ingredients come from a can.  It’s all in the simmer.  While the magic happens, I have plenty of time to do something productive like fold a load of clean laundry.  Yeah, right.  Not really.

This soup from Mel is a keeper.  I love the flavor combination of chicken, curry, and coconut milk.  And when it’s ladled over this fragrant jasmine rice, it reminds me of my favorite local curry takeout dish.  It’s perfect for the colder weather that’s about to come.

What’s your favorite soup?

Coconut Chicken Curry Soup
Serves 4-6

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and pepper for seasoning
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 can (14-ounces) unsweetened light coconut milk
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or more to taste
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons curry powder, more or less to taste
1 tablespoon lime juice, bottled is fine
¼ cup fresh cilantro
Coarsely chopped cashews, for garnish

3-4 cups hot, cooked rice

1.  Heat a large pot over medium-high heat unit it feels hot to the touch.  Add the olive oil and tilt the pan around to coat the pan.  Quickly add the chicken pieces and lightly season them with salt and pepper.  Cook the chicken for a couple minutes while stirring occasionally.  Add the onions and bell pepper and continue to cook for a few more minutes until the vegetables are slightly softened.

2.  Add the chicken broth, coconut milk, fish sauce, cayenne pepper, brown sugar, and curry powder.  Stir it all together.  Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer and cook for about 30 minutes.

3.   While the soup is simmering, prepare the rice.

4.  After the soup has simmered, stir in the lime and cilantro.  Add salt and pepper to taste.   Ladle the soup over a scoop of rice and garnish with more cilantro and cashews, if desired.

Recipe slightly adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe



  1. I sure wish Taylor liked curry and coconut.

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