A Deliciously Tasty Coconut Soup Recipe

Delicious and creamy, there is one soup that can give you that tropical experience: a deliciously tasty coconut soup. With its roots in Thailand, this soup can be used as a stand-alone dish or served over rice to make it heartier.

You can enjoy this coconut soup recipe any time of the year, as it is a favorite at many Thai restaurants and may be one of your favorite go-to dishes. You can make it at home quickly in less than an hour. If you are like me and thoroughly enjoy Thai food, it is time to add this soup to your next rotation.

Origins of Tasty Coconut Soup Recipe

Because of the abundance of coconuts in Thailand, the natives of this area used this as a creamy base for soup, infusing all the different Thal flavors together in one bowl. These ingredients include spices like curry paste and ginger, but it also incorporates other local produce like mushrooms, cilantro, and the protein of your choice.

This delicacy can fit most diets, with your protein preference being your own. I enjoy this soup with shrimp as my protein when it is just my family. However, I have prepared it with tofu and dark meat chicken when I was cooking for others outside of my home.

Time to Gather Ingredients

Some of the ingredients in this soup are in my pantry all the time, but there are some I have to seek out when I head to the grocery store. Below are the items you need to make this delicious soup.

  • One diced yellow onion
  • Half a pound of sliced cremini mushrooms
  • Three carrots shredded
  • One tablespoon of soy sauce
  • One tablespoon of minced ginger
  • One chopped bunch of cilantro
  • One tablespoon of fish sauce
  • One tablespoon of brown sugar
  • Two ounces of lemongrass paste
  • Two ounces of red curry paste
  • Four cups of chicken or vegetable broth
  • Three cans of coconut milk
  • Optional: One pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined


One of the first substitutions you can make is using fresh milk from coconuts, but you will have to strain it to get out the pulp and add a lot of unnecessary work. When I want this soup, I grab the cans I need and a few extra for other Thai dishes that I may want to make in the next week or two.

You can use ground curry and lemongrass if you do not have any paste, but if you can locate the paste batches, that will thicken up your soup perfectly.

You could also save yourself some time and grab a bag of already shaved carrots, but you will pay a little more for them. You can grab a few fresh carrots from the garden if you have them and do this in just a couple of minutes.

The broth you choose is completely up to you, but I would not recommend beef broth. It does not blend well with the coconut milk and gives a weird aftertaste. One of my markets does have seafood broth sometimes, though, and I think it is a great substitution.

Finally, the protein is up to you. I love shrimp in my coconut soup recipe, but I need it to be peeled and deveined already. If you opt for chicken, I highly suggest the dark meat things because it is full of more flavor.

Build Your Soup

Now that you have gathered your ingredients lay them out and start building your soup base. You need to keep a few steps in mind as you go.

1. Prepare Herbs and Veggies

Go ahead and wash and shred your carrots if you decide to do this on your own. You also want to get your onion diced up, as well.

In this step, wash and clean your mushrooms and set them to the side so you can focus on the cilantro. Give that a fine chop, then put it back in the fridge until the end.

2. Get Your Soup Fragrant

Pull out your large soup pot, and turn your burner onto medium heat. You need add in some olive oil to warm up, and then toss in your diced onion, minced ginger and two pastes. Give that one minute to cook so that the flavor comes through.

3. Layer the Flavors

Add in the broth that you decided to go with first, and mix in the soy and fish sauces. Add in your brown sugar and then turn the burner to a simmer. Turn on your timer for 15 minutes and come back to the soup.

4. Coconut Milk

Now is the time to add in the cans of coconut milk and also your carrots and mushrooms. Turn your burner back to a medium heat and let it cook for about five or six minutes. You want your veggies to get a little soft before the last layer.

5. Protein Time

For me, this is tossing in some washed down shrimp and cooking for five minutes until they are pink and cooked through. Once the shrimp is ready, add in some that cilantro to the soup, give it a mix and then serve.

It is a good idea to have some sliced jalapenos and extra cilantro on the serving table in case your diners want extra flavor. For may family, that also includes adding a little hot sauce nearby

Storing Your Soup

If you should happen to have leftovers of this soup, you can keep them in the fridge up to four days. If you did a version without protein, it may be safe to squeeze one more day out of it. Either way, you want to toss out any leftovers at that time so that you don’t get sick.

I absolutely do not recommend freezing this soup. I did that the first time I made this soup and let me just say, never again. The coconut milk separated during the freezing process and when I attempted to heat up the soup, It became very thin and the shrimp was extremely rubbery. Even a vegetarian version of this coconut soup recipe should not be frozen.

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