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Thai Red Curry Soup

Red curry Thai noodle soup is big on flavor yet incredibly simple to make. Ready in just 25 minutes, this recipe beats getting takeout and is easily customizable to what you have on hand.

Thai red curry soup in a pot with a wooden spoon.

Thai noodle soups are one of my favorite winter meals. They’re packed with flavor and nothing beats the spice of curry, ginger and lime on a cold day when you’re craving something comforting.

They’re also my go-to (along with this spicy chicken lime soup) when feeling under the weather. The ginger will open any clogged sinuses right up!

If you like red curry dishes, chances are you’ll love this soup then too. It’s basically red curry with added broth and rice noodles.

We used chickpeas for the protein to keep it a vegetarian recipe but that can easily be swapped out for a meat if preferred. In fact, this red curry Thai soup is great made with shredded leftover chicken or some frozen shrimp thrown in too.

Whichever way you go with the protein, this is an easy, quick and healthy meal you can put together quicker than calling for takeout.

Red curry noodle soup with lime wedges and cilantro in a pot with a wooden serving spoon.

INGREDIENTS TO MAKE THAI RED CURRY SOUP

  • olive oil
  • carrots
  • onions
  • red bell pepper
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • red curry paste
  • chickpeas
  • broth
  • coconut milk
  • rice noodles
  • lime & cilantro for garnish

DELICIOUS ADD-INS

Think of this recipe as a base. While it’s delicious as is, adding in some extra vegetables is a great idea too.

Broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach or any cubed winter squash are all great complements that can not only bulk up the soup but add in some nutritious vitamins, minerals and fiber to the dish.

Vegetarian red curry soup with chickpeas in a black pot with a serving spoon.

HOW TO MAKE THAI RED CURRY NOODLE SOUP

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat and add the carrots. Cook for a couple of minutes to soften them a bit.

Add the peppers, onion, garlic and ginger and cook another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

Mix the red curry paste into the pot to coat all the ingredients then add the broth and chickpeas. Stir until combined and bring the mixture to a simmer.

Pour the coconut milk into the pot, stir and cook for an additional 3 minutes until vegetables are soft but not mushy.

Add the rice noodles and stir to combine with the rest of the soup. Once noodles are softened, about 2-3 minutes, season to taste with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

Squeeze half a lime into the soup then garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve with additional lime wedges.

Gluten-free red curry Thai noodle soup with chickpeas in a soup pot.

THE BEST NOODLES TO USE

Thai soups most often use rice noodles and that’s what we’ve chosen here for a variety of reasons including taste, authenticity and the simple fact that they’re gluten-free.

Rice noodles are available in a variety of lengths and widths. They take on flavor really well and cook incredibly quickly making them our noodle of choice for this red curry soup. You’re likely used to them in dishes like pad Thai or pho.

Ramen is another good hearty noodle option if you’re ok with wheat based noodles. Ramen is more frequently used in Japanese or Chinese dishes whereas rice noodles are more often Thai based.

If you do choose ramen noodles, beware of the spice pack they’re often sold with. I always discard that when cooking ramen as it’s filled with all sorts of chemical additives and preservatives. Just use the noodles.

Soba noodles are a less talked about Asian soup noodle. I often use it when making pasta dishes (like these soba noodles with leeks, onions and eggs). Made from buckwheat, it’s another gluten-free option and works well in soups too.

Udon noodles are probably least known for soups and more so for skillet udon noodle dishes but they can also be used here if preferred. Typically, udon is a wheat based noodle but there are gluten-free varieties made with rice now available as well.

Red curry Thai soup in a white bowl garnished with lime and cilantro on a woven placemat.

WAYS TO INCREASE THE PROTEIN IN THIS RED CURY THAI SOUP

For a vegan protein hack, swap out the rice noodles for quinoa. You can also add cubed tofu to the soup.

If you eat animal protein, as suggested above, this soup is also great with an array of meats.

Shredded chicken, frozen shrimp, ground beef or pork are all easy ways to amp up the protein content and bulk up the soup a bit.

Frozen shrimp and tofu are the two sources I use most as they’re the simplest. Frozen shrimp can be thrown into the soup with the broth and chickpeas as they need just minutes to cook.

Tofu, since it’s already cooked just needs to be warmed through and can be added with the coconut milk.

If adding protein to the soup, I still like to keep the noodles in the recipe but I usually scale them back to about 4 ounces. Otherwise, you’ll need to add more broth.

Red curry Thai soup recipe with chickpeas served in a pot with a large wooden spoon.

TIPS FOR THE BEST TASTING RED CURRY SOUP

  • Make sure to use full fat coconut milk for its creaminess and decadence
  • Don’t skip the fresh lime juice at the end. Its brightness and acidity helps cut through the spicy savory flavors of the soup.
  • If you’re hesitant on spice, cut the red curry paste back to 2-3 tablespoons.

STORAGE

Leftover soup will keep in an air-tight container for up to a week in the refrigerator. The noodles will absorb more liquid as it sits though so if left too long, the soup will definitely thicken.

It’s not suggested to freeze this recipe.

MORE THAI INSPIRED RECIPES TO TRY:

Thai Buttercup Squash Soup
Sticky Thai Chicken
Thai Kohlrabi Noodle Salad
Thai Pineapple Fried Rice
Pad Thai Salad

Thai red curry soup.

Thai Red Curry Soup

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

A quick and easy healthy Thai inspired red curry soup with rice noodles. Better than takeout and ready in the same amount of time!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 4 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 7 oz rice noodles
  • sea salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • juice of 1/2 a lime

For Garnish

  • 1/2 cup cilantro, loosely packed
  • lime quarters

Instructions

    1. In a large heavy pot, heat oil on medium heat. Add carrots and cook for about 2 minutes.
    2. Add bell pepper, onion, garlic and ginger. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
    3. Add curry paste, chickpeas and broth. Stir and bring to a simmer.
    4. Pour coconut milk into the pot and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes on a medium simmer until vegetables are softened but not mushy.
    5. Add rice noodles and cook until softened, stirring so they break up in the liquid. Squeeze half a lime into the soup then season with salt and pepper to taste.
    6. Remove from heat, garnish with cilantro and lime wedges and serve immediately.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 442Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1215mgCarbohydrates: 66gFiber: 3gSugar: 43gProtein: 4g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

Please leave a comment & rating below or share a photo on Instagram and tag @runningtothekitchen

Mahy

Monday 12th of December 2022

This makes my mouth water so much. Can't wait to make it over the weekend!

kushigalu

Monday 12th of December 2022

Love thai flavors, and this soup looks amazingly delicious and thanks for sharing.

Dannii

Monday 12th of December 2022

What a delicious and vibrant looking dish. I can't wait to try it.

Justine

Monday 5th of December 2022

I love curry! This soup was absolutely PACKED with flavor and SO EASY AND QUICK to make! I almost ate the whole thing, but forced myself to put the rest away for later. Definitely a new fave!

Lisa

Friday 2nd of December 2022

We loved the seasoning in this easy curry soup. It made a perfect dinner for a cold fall day!

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