This Thai Coconut Chicken Soup is a great one-pot meal that's super comforting and healthy, but also special diet friendly. It's paleo, gluten-free, and dairy-free too.
Many families have a go-to soup recipe. The go-to recipe in our home is Tom Kha Gai or Thai Coconut Chicken Soup.
Not only is this thai chicken soup absolutely delicious, but it can be made very quickly and there is really no special skill required to make it. There are no fancy kitchen tools needed, nor any whisking or pureeing of any sort. It’s just a dump-it-in-and-cook-it type of recipe.
When I am short on time, this is precisely my kind of cooking. If you are a fan of Thai food (like this Chicken Thigh Curry) or are just in the mood to try something tangy and delicious, this is a soup that does not disappoint.
This soup is also a nutritional powerhouse. My version varies from the traditional because I use a nourishing homemade bone broth for the base.
It is also infused with galangal and lemongrass. Galangal is a wonderfully pungent rhizome related to ginger family. Lemongrass is fragrant and lends a tangy flavor. They both have amazing benefits!
In fact, I want to say that this soup has contributed to our family being cold-free for some time now.
Here are some of the reasons why:
Health Benefits of Ingredients in this Thai Coconut Chicken Soup
Benefits of Galangal
Helps relieve stomach discomfort due to inflammation (Source)
Promotes Blood Circulation (Source)
Helps relieve diarrhea (Source)
- Helps reduce free radicals (Source)
Increases sperm motility (Source)
Benefits of Lemongrass
- Promotes blood circulation (Source)
Good source of antioxidants and flavonoids
Gentle detoxifier (Source)
- Help support body to heal respiratory disorders (Source)
- Might lower cholesterol (Source)
My husband and I are currently doing a candida cleanse and this soup is one that we can have with little modification.
Let’s get cooking!
Recipe Notes for Thai Coconut Chicken Soup
- If you would like a great homemade option for coconut milk, see Easiest Homemade Coconut Milk.
- From Adrienne: Kaffir lime leaves have a very distinct taste, so I recommend using them if you can, but if you want a cheaper substitute, try 1/2 bay leaf, 1/4 tsp lime zest, and organic lemon thyme (use either 3/32 tsp fresh of 1/32 tsp dried).
- A possible substitute for the galangal is fresh young ginger.
- If you would rather purchase your bone broth instead of making it, here's a great place to buy it. In a pinch use Vegetable Broth Powder. You can use chicken stock instead of bone broth.
- Use green beans or another non-starchy vegetable instead of the peas for a low-carb option.
- You can use the juice of one fresh lemon instead of store-bought lemon juice.
Before we get to the recipe, for more exotic dishes, you might also be interested in:
Low-Carb Thai Coconut Chicken Soup
- 2 chicken breasts (use pre-cooked chicken to save time)
- 1000 ml coconut milk (or 4 cups)
- 2-3 kaffir lime leaves (these can be dried or fresh. See Recipes Notes for substitution)
- 2 Tbsp lemongrass (or 5 grams) (freshly cut)
- 1-2 in. fresh galangal (or to taste) (cut into thin slices)
- 2-3 cups homemade bone broth
- 1 Tbsp quality fish sauce (or 15 ml)
- 1 large red pepper
- 1 cup frozen peas
- fresh cilantro (for garnish)
- 1 cup mushrooms (fresh sliced)
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- red chili pepper paste (or fresh chili pepper - optional)
- salt (to taste)
- Bring the bone broth in the pot to medium heat.
- Add the fresh galangal, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves.
- While the broth is cooking, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and then add to the broth.
- Add the fish sauce and mushrooms. Add the coconut milk. Cut the large red pepper into strips and add to the soup.
- Stir all of the ingredients together.
- Cook medium to medium-low for 15-20 minutes checking periodically that the soup doesn’t boil over.
- Check the soup for taste. Add salt if needed.
- After the soup has cooked 15-20 minutes, add the frozen peas. Stir together.
- Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with fresh cilantro and chili paste to taste. This soup is traditionally paired with white rice, but you can opt for something grain-free like cauliflower rice.
This recipe is so easy to modify. There are times that I simply dump in our leftover vegetables and add them to the soup with great success! I’ve found eggplant is particularly yummy.