Take a trip to Southeast Asia with this nutty, smoky, hot and sweet red coconut curry soup, which packs a pleasant medium heat. If you’re a fan of spicy food, this is the best curry recipe for you!
What is Red Coconut Curry Soup?
Red coconut curry soup is a complex Thai dish that combines the boldness of red chilies to the sweet and wholesome flavors of peanut butter and coconut. The result is a beautiful red soup with sweet and smoky notes of flavor.
I first fell in love with this dish at a little Cambodian restaurant in my hometown while I was a waitress in high school. After I got off work at my restaurant, I would walk to get la soupe Bangkok for myself and my mom, and it was our family favorite!
How to Cook Curry Soup:
The base of this rich (and filling) coconut curry soup is made by briefly frying Thai red curry paste, garlic, ginger, onion, a little sugar, fish sauce, cumin, peanut butter, and chopped coriander stems. Chicken broth and full-fat coconut milk are then added to create the most delicious, creamy, and fragrant broth you’ll ever create in your own kitchen.
The mixture is left to simmer until the broth reduces by about a third, so you are left with a thick, creamy soup that is served with rice vermicelli noodles, shredded iceberg lettuce, coriander leaves and a generous squeeze of lemon juice.
If you’re not sure where to find all of these ingredients, you can visit your local Asian market. They will have the full fat coconut milk, Thai red curry paste, and any other ingredients you may be missing to create this easy soup.
What is the History of Thai Red Coconut Curry Soup?
Curry first began as an Indian dish, as early as 2500 B.C. Over time, curry spread all over Asia, and many countries created their own versions. As Thai curry paste became distinct, curry became absolutely integral to the cuisine in Thailand, and Thai red curry soup is one of the ways it evolved over time.
What is the Difference Between Thai Curry and Indian Curry?
If you love Indian curry and have never tried Thai curry, you might wonder what the differences are. While these foods are both delicious and rich in flavor, they are two extremely different dishes.
First of all, Indian curry is usually cream-based, whereas this Thai curry uses coconut milk. Thai curry, which is more like a hot soup, starts off with green, yellow, or red curry paste, which is then mixed with fresh ingredients and coconut milk to create more of a soup. Indian curry is created with dry spices and is a much thicker consistency due to the cream or ghee and longer cook times.
This is my favorite soup, I don’t even know how many times I’ve enjoyed it over the past year with my family. It’s also a really easy recipe to double, so you can have this meal multiple times a week! You can make the broth ahead of time and refrigerate it in an airtight container until it’s time to eat.
If you’re reusing the broth, however, the rice noodles take about 7-9 minutes to soak in hot water (just follow the package instructions), so it’s better to make them right before adding to the soup for a fresher and firmer texture.
Is Red Curry Soup Healthy?
Yes! Thai coconut curry soup is made out of fresh vegetables and coconut milk, and it can be prepared to match any diet, like Whole30, keto, or a low carb diet. As long as the curry base, chicken broth, and coconut milk you choose are compliant with your diet, this red curry soup will make an excellent addition to your schedule. The best part is, this soup in and of itself is a complete meal!
If you like this coconut curry soup, here are other recipes you might enjoy:
Did you like this Red Coconut Curry Soup Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!Print
Red Coconut Curry Soup
Take a trip to Southeast Asia with this hot, smoky, sour and sweet red coconut curry soup. This is one amazing noodle soup you won’t be able to put down!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 4 people 1x
- Category: Soups
- Method: Stove top
- Cuisine: Thai
- 1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 thumb size ginger (peeled and minced)
- 3 tablespoons coriander stems (finely chopped)
- 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
- 3 tablespoons red curry paste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons reduced fat peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 3 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup lite coconut milk
- 100 grams dry rice noodles
- 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
- lemon wedges for serving
- handful fresh coriander leaves
- In a medium size pot over high heat, add oil, garlic, ginger, coriander stems and onion, and fry for 4-5 minutes, until onions are translucent.
- Add curry paste, cumin, sugar and peanut butter and stir well until well blended.
- Add fish sauce, chicken stock and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook uncovered for 20 minutes – or until the soup has reduced by about a third (you can cook it for an additional 10 minutes if you like a stronger broth).
- Meanwhile soak the rice noodles in hot water for 10 minutes, or according to directions on the package. Drain and set aside.
- Divide the broth among two bowls and add a slice of lemon. Add rice noodles and shredded lettuce. Top with fresh coriander leaves and serve.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 340
- Sugar: 7.8 g
- Sodium: 1454.8 mg
- Fat: 14.3 g
- Saturated Fat: 3.4 g
- Carbohydrates: 38.1 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 11 g
- Cholesterol: 6.3 mg
Keywords: recipe, appetizer, main, noodles
I read the recipe and had to make it. Off the hook delicious. My whole family loved it. Very easy and the flavor punch was spot on. My 9 year old granddaughter asked for some too. Wasn’t spicy. I might have had a mild red curry paste this was fine. This is a wow recipe.
Thank you so much, Debra! It’s one of my favorite noodle soups so this makes me very happy! 🙂
Best damn thai soup EVER! Ihave been looking for this recipe everywhere. Trying to copy the little thai restaurant from val-belair in Québec city for years. Now I’m soo very close. Want to try this with a mix of panang and red curry from maseri. Thank you soo much for sharing. Peanut butter and cilantro stems are soo many of the secret ingredients.
Hi Jane! I wonder if it’s the same chain restaurant I worked in growing up in Quebec! So happy you enjoyed it 🙂
This is so tasty! I feel great about this meal because 1) I made it from scratch (not package) and 2) it’s SO yummy. I added lots of vegetables and some TVP for protein. I enjoy your recipes because they are easy to make, no need for fancy ingredients bought only for the recipe, and the outcome is always so delicious!
Thank you so much Nancy! 🙂
I’ve made this twice already! Each time we doubled the recipe to make room for adding russet potatoes and meat or seafood. First time I made it with normal coconut milk and second with light. I definitely like the normal better personally. We also boil the soup with bay leaves.
I was searching for a Thai soup recipe using keywords like “lettuce” and “peanut” lol and I found yours. I now live in Montréal but I’m from St-Étienne-des-grès and for us too this soup was a delight. Thanks for the memories!!!
Did you lived in St Bruno?
Hi Alice! No, I’m from the Trois-Rivieres area, total boonies but we lived in a beautiful house by the Riviere Saint-Maurice 🙂 I miss it sometimes, the peace and quiet and yummy poutine from the roulotte a patates hehe!
Loved it. But how do I make it less spicy so that my kids can also enjoy it?
They loved the taste, but they couldn’t eat a lot of it because it was too spicy
Hi Elisabetta, you could swap the red curry paste for green curry paste. The heat comes from red and yellow chili peppers, so with green curry paste you only get mild and sweet. I think your kids would love it 🙂
Made this tonight and it turned out really well. I’m hoping it does make for good lunch left overs. The only thing I added to this was a bit of fried shallot, which I liked quite well with it. Something nice about the texture with this soup. But it’s obviously good on it’s own and I would never feel pressed to fry up a batch to go with this.
Thanks for sharing the recipe! I’m looking forward to making more of yours in the future!
Hi K, I concur that fried shallots are one of the best toppings ever!
This soup is AMAZING! I am getting ready to make it again. This time for company.
Thank you Tami!
This was incredible! I have to admit I was a little hesitant about the shredded lettuce on top but it’s essential. My husband and I gobbled it up. I can’t wait to make it again! Thank you for sharing such a spectacular recipe!
Thank you Amanda! 🙂
This was amazing! I felt guilty not having any veggies so I added some shredded carrots and sliced snow peas when I was sautéing the onions, garlic and ginger. That was the only change I made to this recipe. This was so satisfying and almost better the next day for lunch! A definite keeper! Am curious as to why reduced fat peanut butter and lite coconut milk? Is it just a caloric consideration?
Hi Katy, that’s exactly why I’m using reduced fat peanut butter and lite coconut milk. I’m sure it tastes even better when using the full fat ingredients but I prefer to go easy on that so I can enjoy a bigger bowl of it minus the guilt 😉