Hearty, healthy, rich and creamy, Thai Red Curry Soup is perhaps one of my favorites meals to make when I’m in the mood for something sweet and spicy.
This delicious and nutritious soup is filled with protein, has tons of veggies and the creamy yum coconut milk gives it a smooth and velvety texture . A squeeze of lime towards the end, cuts through that richness and balances this soup really well.
I make quite a few variations of this soup. I switch the proteins and make it with chicken or shrimp, and a vegetarian version with Extra-Firm Tofu.
Thai Red Curry Soup is quick and easy to make, and it’s just perfect for weeknights:
Thai recipes come together in a flash, especially when I use a store-bought curry paste.
I’m all about making things from scratch, but when I found out that my local favorite Thai restaurant uses these pre-made curry pastes, I just had to try them.
There are many brands for Thai curry paste in the stores, and I’ve tried a fair share of them. I found Maesri brand to be the most authentic in terms of flavors and consistency. I always keep these curry pastes and a can of coconut milk in my pantry.
That makes weeknight dinners a breeze. I put together some fresh or frozen chicken, fresh peppers and broccoli, mix the curry paste with coconut milk, add it all to the Instant Pot (or any pressure cooker), pressure cook it for 5 minutes, and dinner is on the table in under 30 minutes!
Make it Vegetarian and Customize it
To make this soup vegetarian, simply add firm tofu or Paneer (Indian cottage cheese), instead of chicken! Since tofu/paneer is already cooked, add it after pressure cooking the soup, along with the assorted veggies. This way it doesn’t get overcooked and still absorbs the wonderful flavors of the soup.
I love the crunch and flavor of assorted vegetables in Thai Red Curry Soup. I like to add sliced bell-peppers, onions, baby corn and zucchini, but you can add pretty much any kind of vegetables you like.
In this recipe, I add the veggies after the pressure cooking process so they retain a nice crunch and stay fresh. Even frozen vegetables work great in this soup. Simply add them after the pressure cooking process and cook for a few minutes on sauté till they thaw and absorb the soup flavors.
You can garnish it with cilantro, Thai basil or even mint. I like to have this soup as-is, but if you love to pair Thai recipes with rice, you can serve this with some white or Brown jasmine rice.
‘Healthier’ Carb Option
There are many varieties of rice noodles out there, so you can add your favorite kind. My family has found a new favorite. I recently started using Annie Chun’s Gluten-Free Brown Rice Noodles.
I use one serving for the whole soup, which serves 4 of us. Each serving has 4 grams of fiber vs. the 1 gram in the white rice version.
So, with 40 grams of net carbs per serving (as per the box), that comes out to 10 grams of net carbs per bowl for us. That’s a pretty sweet number given how satisfying they are.
Low Carb Variation
For a lower carb Thai Red Curry Soup, you can skip the noodles altogether.
Another option that I have started using is Zucchini noodles. It just makes this Thai Red Curry Soup a very filling one-pot meal.
I have to admit that I did take sometime in getting used to the taste of ‘Zoodles‘, as they’re popularly called, but now, I enjoy them.
This easy soup can be made on the stove-top too. Simply follow this recipe in a heavy bottom soup pot or paste pot.
- Heat some oil on medium-high heat and sauté the chicken pieces with red curry paste and crushed ginger and garlic. Then add chicken or vegetable broth, fish sauce, lemongrass, cilantro bunch and stir.
- Bring everything to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan and simmer everything for 15-20 minutes, or till chicken is cooked and tender.
- Open the lid, add the rice noodles or zoodles (zucchini noodles), Thai basil, assorted veggies, coconut milk and stir everything. Cook for another 3-4 minutes till the noodles cook through. Add some honey and squeeze half a lime. Check for seasoning and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro leaves.
More Instant Pot Thai Recipes from my Kitchen:
Thai Panang Chicken Curry
Instant Pot Thai Green Curry with Tofu
Massaman Curry Recipe
Brown Jasmine Rice
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Thai Red Curry Soup recipe is a hearty, healthy, rich and creamy soup that can be made in less than 30 minutes in the instant pot. Filled with vegges and your favorite protein like chicken, its a perfect dinner dish.
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs cut in 1 inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon light olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Maesri Thai red curry paste adjust to taste, it's a bit on the spicier side
- 2 cloves garlic grated or ground, or 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/2 inch ginger grated or ground, or 1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger
- 3 cups chicken broth or Vegetable Broth
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce skip for vegetarian/vegan
- 1/2 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- 1 stalk of lemongrass cut into 3-4 pieces
- 1/2 a bunch of cilantro to be added as-is
- 2 oz. Pad Thai brown rice noodles about 1/4 of the box
- 1/2 cup fresh Thai basil leaves
- 1 small onion sliced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 small bell pepper sliced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 zucchini sliced in half-moons (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 carrot sliced in half-moons about 1/2 cup
- 1 can cut baby corn rinsed and drained
- 1/2 can Coconut Milk stir well before adding
- 1-2 tablespoons honey or sugar (adjust to taste)
- 1/2 lime juiced
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
- Prep all the vegetables and protein of your choice. Heat oil on SAUTE mode in Instant Pot. Add red curry paste, ground ginger and garlic and chicken pieces. Saute chicken in the aromatics for 30-45 seconds. Add broth and all the other ingredients listed under "For Pressure Cooking". Stir well. Close lid. Cancel SAUTE. Set pressure knob to 'sealing' position. Pressure cook on Manual/Pressure Cook for 5 minutes on high pressure.
Manually release pressure by turning the knob to venting position. If your pot is too full, to prevent soup splatter, turn the knob half way between sealing and venting. This causes the pressure to release slowly and soup doesn't splash through the knob. Open lid after the pin drops.
Using long tongs or a fork, remove the cilantro bunch. Add rice noodles, Thai basil, veggies, coconut milk and simmer on SAUTE mode for 3-4 minutes, or till noodles cook through. Add honey and squeeze in juice of half a lime. Using the tongs, remove the lemongrass stems. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and serve warm!
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates. If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.