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Fragrant Thai Chicken Soup with Cilantro

This soup features tender chicken, mushrooms and onions, and delicious, aromatic Thai seasonings like fish sauce, ginger and lime. A similar recipe appeared not so long ago on America’s Test Kitchen but we have tweaked the recipe a little and prefer this version because it is simpler yet still every bit as delicious.

First the onions, ginger and garlic are sautéed to bring out their flavors and then they go into the crockpot with the seasoned chicken and most of the other ingredients. Allow it to cook undisturbed for about 5 hours then check to see if the chicken is tender and cooked through. It is important not to lift the lid of the crockpot because a crockpot cooks by building up steam inside and if you lift the lid all the steam and heat whooshes out and has to build up again, so resist the urge to peek!

If you prefer, you can use chicken breast in this recipe. Just ensure it is the boneless, skinless kind. We prefer thighs because they seem to offer a richer flavor, but when you are making this you can use whichever you prefer. Some people like to add sliced carrot to the recipe which would go well and add extra color, so that is something to consider. This is an aromatic and beautifully flavored chicken soup in the traditional Thai style.

Aromatic Thai Chicken Coconut Soup
Summary: Based on chicken broth and coconut milk, this aromatic soup boasts chicken, mushrooms, lemon and so many more flavors, all of which blend seamlessly for a mouthwatering result.
Cuisine: Thai
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 6
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 minced onions
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 2 (14 oz) cans coconut milk
  • 6 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 10 cilantro stems, tied together with twine
  • 3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 8 oz sliced white mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  1. Sauté the onions, ginger and garlic in the oil in a pan for 5 minutes or until the onions are tender.
  2. Transfer to the crockpot.
  3. Add the broth, lime leaves, 1 tablespoon of the fish sauce, cilantro stems and 1 can of the coconut milk.
  4. Season the chicken with salt and black pepper and add to the crockpot.
  5. Cover and cook for 5 hours on low or until the chicken is cooked through.
  6. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and chop or shred into small pieces.
  7. Leave the soup to sit for 5 minutes then skin off the fat from the surface.
  8. Discard the skimmed fat and cilantro stems.
  9. Add the rest of the coconut milk and the mushrooms.
  10. Cover and cook for 30 minutes on high or until the mushrooms are tender.
  11. Stir in the shredded chicken, the lemon juice, hot sauce, white sugar and remaining 2 tablespoons fish sauce.
  12. Serve garnished with chopped cilantro leaves if liked (you can reserve those when you make the tied-together stem bundle).

Photo Description:

This stunning soup is incredibly well flavored. There might be more ingredients in the recipe than you would normally find in a chicken soup recipe but, believe me, the taste of this is well worth it. In the photo you can see this is a light-colored soup, and you can also spot the pieces of chicken, lime leaves and mushrooms floating in there. You might like to serve this with cilantro leaves scattered on top, or you can serve the soup without. It is up to you. It is also your choice whether you chop or shred the chicken. It just depends how chunky or smooth you want it. This is not a pureed soup but you can have small or large chunks as you wish.


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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hello there, I'm Christine. Welcome to my blog where you will find a comprehensive collection of soup recipes for every season, occasion and palate. There are hundreds of soup recipes for you to try out, those which warm you up during the cooler months, and even chilled soups and dessert soups if you want to try something new.

Try making your next soup in the pressure cooker or crockpot, or prepare it in the conventional way. Choose from classics such as potato and leek soup, beef broth, French onion soup, or chicken noodle soup, or investigate a more unusual dish, like our cabbage bean soup or one of the Chinese soup recipes.

In addition to soups, broths and chowders, I have collected stew recipes, along with low-calorie, low-carb and heart-healthy options, so you can make soups which are nutritious and good for you, as well as fresh-tasting and delicious. Here at Amazing Soup Recipes, there are recipes for every taste, many of which are really quick and easy to make.

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