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Coconut Curry Soup with Chicken, Chickpeas and Hearty Greens

This coconut curry soup with chicken and chickpeas is so filling and satisfying, it’s hard to believe that it qualifies as health food—but we promise, it really, really does.

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bowl of coconut curry soup with chickpeas, chicken and kale in a bowl topped with fresh cilantro and fresh lime wedges

Virtuous Doesn’t Have to Mean Boring.

Take a gorgeous medley of vegetables, slowly simmer in a rich, creamy red curry coconut broth, add chicken, chickpeas, and dark leafy greens and voila! You’ve got yourself a healthy coconut curry soup that’s so filling and satisfying you might be fooled into thinking you aren’t eating as healthy as you actually are. And that's how it should be. That's real food done right. Healthy doesn’t have to be boring and delicious comfort food doesn’t have to be bad for you. To be successful in your healthy eating goals, it’s important to not feel like you’re suffering, and we promise, no one will be suffering when you offer them a steaming bowl of this hearty concoction.

ingredients for coconut curry soup in small bowls including red peppers, raw chicken, coconut milk, kale, chicken broth

Everything You’ll Need to Make Our Curry Soup Recipe

Comforting, spicy and oh-so-warming, coconut curry soup sings with the Thai flavors we love—but comes together faster than you’d think. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Bell peppers
  • Garlic
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Limes
  • Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Coconut milk—we recommend full fat coconut milk! Full fat makes for a luscious, creamy broth for the curry soup. Light coconut milk just won’t yield the same result.
  • Red curry paste. OK, we have strong feelings about red curry paste—mainly that all brands are NOT created equal. You should taste a few and see which one suits your tastes. We are huge fans of the Mae Ploy brand, which is quite widely available (but do note—it is not vegetarian or vegan, as it contains shrimp paste). We also like the Thai and True brand, which is a vegan brand of red curry paste.
  • Your favorite dark, leafy greens—kale, spinach or chard.
  • Fish sauce
  • Chicken stock
  • Chicken breasts, sliced thin
coconut curry soup in a white bowl with peppers, kale, chicken, fresh cilantro and chickpeas

Thai Red Curry Soup—Make It Meaty, Or Make It Vegan!

We’ve made this red curry soup recipe for groups of people large and small, that included people with all kinds of dietary preferences. It’s incredibly adaptable! While we often add chicken to give it extra heft, it’s easy to adapt this recipe into a vegan coconut curry. With the chickpeas, it still has protein to spare and thanks to all of the aromatics, fresh lime juice and curry paste, it’s deeply flavorful with or without meat. If you’re looking to vegan-ize this coconut curry recipe, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • You’ll have to leave out the fish sauce, which brings a lot of salty, umami flavors to the soup. You may want to make up for it with a splash of soy sauce.
  • Some brands of red curry paste contain fish-y ingredients, like shrimp paste. Just be sure to use a vegan brand.
  • Use veggie stock instead of chicken stock.
red peppers and onions in a large pot
red peppers and onions along with crushed tomatoes and chick stock in a large pot
coconut curry soup broth with coconut cream added to the pot
coconut curry soup with chicken, peppers and chickpea
large pot of coconut curry soup topped with raw kale
large pot of coconut curry soup with chicken, chickpeas, and kale

How To Make Coconut Curry Soup

Here’s the thing with cooking healthy food—easy recipes will help you stick to your goals. If it’s even easier to make something healthy than it is to cook something unhealthy, you’ll be way more inclined to make the healthy recipe, right? Luckily, it really doesn’t get much easier than this Thai coconut soup recipe. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Sauté! Onions, peppers, garlic.
  2. Add tomatoes, red curry paste, stock and chickpeas. Give it a quick simmer!
  3. Add coconut milk, fish sauce and lime juice. Time for another quick simmer!
  4. Add the chicken and simmer until it’s cooked through.
  5. Finish with the kale, spinach or Swiss chard. Simmer just until the greens are wilted—spinach will wilt almost immediately, whereas kale and chard need a bit longer.
  6. Serve! We love to serve this red curry soup with rice, or cauliflower rice, but it’s also a great one-bowl meal as-is.
white bowl of red curry chicken soup topped with fresh cilantro and lime sliced

Tools You’ll Need:

More Cozy, Healthy Curry Soup Recipes to Keep You On Track.

What can we say? We’re really into curry. We’re really into coconut. And we’re REALLY into soup recipes. So guess what? We’ve got FIVE more curry soup recipes for you, just in case you discover that you, too, are obsessed:

Soup Rocks.

It’s a fact. Budget-friendly, one-pot, easy to freeze—we make a big pot of soup just about EVERY Sunday, and we’re always so glad we did. We hope you try this easy coconut curry soup with chicken, and if you do, hit us up! Snap a photo of your soup and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed it to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproperand #themodernproper. Happy eating!

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Coconut Curry Soup with Chicken, Chickpeas and Hearty Greens

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  35 min
  • Calories: 300

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon red curry paste, plus more to taste
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (14 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans coconut milk, shaken
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2½ teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1½ pounds chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups kale or chard leaves roughly chopped, or baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Minced fresh cilantro, for serving
  • Cooked rice or cauliflower rice, for serving, optional

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once the oil is glistening, add the onion and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 more minute. Stir in the curry paste until softened and combined with the vegetables. Stir in the tomatoes, chicken stock, chickpeas, coconut milk, fish sauce and salt. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer until the flavors begin to come together, about 15 minutes.

  2. Add the chicken and simmer until tender and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Stir in the kale and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in the lime juice, add additional salt to taste.

  3. Sprinkled with fresh cilantro with a scoop of rice if desired.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories300
  • Protein33 g
  • Carbohydrates16 g
  • Total Fat14 g
  • Dietary Fiber3 g
  • Cholesterol49 mg
  • sodium274 mg
  • Total Sugars6 g

Coconut Curry Soup with Chicken, Chickpeas and Hearty Greens

Questions & Reviews

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  • Dana

    How small should the chicken pieces be? I know thin, but I'm wondering how small around. Thank you!

    bit size, since it's in soup, cut them the size you'd want to eat in a spoonful. Hope you enjoy!

  • Debbie

    Is the coconut milk unsweetened or??

    yes, unsweetened.

  • Richard

    Do i precook the chicken? or add it to the recipe raw?

    Raw, it will cook in the soup. Hope you enjoy!

  • Lisa

    Can this be made in a slow cooker?

    We don't currently have slow cooker instructions for this soup.

  • Gwen

    Can this soup be made a day in advance. And can it be frozen.

    Yes, you can make it a day in advance. Might be best to reheat it then throw in the kale right before serving but either way will work. It should freeze fine. Hope you enjoy!

  • Christopher

    Love this recipe, I like to add ginger and turmeric to it. Today I’m experimenting with cassia bark and cardamom pods. Any other ideas to mix it up?

    Thanks Christopher, glad you love it! Sounds like yummy changes!

  • Shannon

    We love this recipe and make it regularly. It such a great alternative to traditional chicken vegetable soup. We add zucchini sometimes because we like lots of veggies.

    Thanks, so glad to hear you love it!

  • Brianna

    I loooooved this recipe! I’m not big on meat so I replaced the chicken with extra firm tofu that I pressed for only about an hour and it still stayed together in the soup and was insanely tasty. Because it wasn’t meat, I did the first simmer for like 20 min and the second simmer (after the protein was added) for about 10 min.

    This made SO MUCH soup, I’m glad I liked it. I’ll be eating it for another week at this rate.

    Thanks Brianna, so happy you loved it!

  • Angela

    So delicious. I love soul and this is now a regular rotation. I highly recommend the Mae Ploy curry paste. It truly is superior to anything else. I added an extra teaspoon at the end. I cooked some rice separately and added that as I served the soup. I used a rotisserie chicken to keep it super simple.

    Thanks Angela, we are so happy that you love it!

  • Darnell

    This was just ok- not a repeat for us. Not sure if it was the lack of curry flavor (only put one tbsp) or that the ingredients just don’t really seem to go well together.

    Sorry this was not a major hit.