Thai Sweet Potato and Chicken Curry Soup

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By Gabrielle. Photos by Liz Berget for Design Mom

Oh my goodness. There’s been so much snow across the U.S. in the last week! Is everybody staying warm out there? The photos of buried cars, and a snowy, car-free Times Square are filling my social media feeds, and watching from sunny California makes it all seem pretty magical.

But of course, if we were going on day 3 of cancelled school, and my back was sore from clearly a path to my door, I know I wouldn’t feel so cheerful about things. I’ve experienced plenty of snow days in my parenting life and know full well that sometimes they are awesome, and other times they are exhausting.

So for any of us stuck at home, or just feeling chilly today, I thought it would be fun to share a stick-to-your-ribs recipe. Something that is warm and hearty and delicious, but doesn’t feel like the same old, same old.

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I asked Liz for some ideas and she had just the thing. A soup that spoons up like a thick casserole! And it’s packed with tons of interesting flavors.

And speaking of flavors, you may remember my aversion to cilantro (it tastes like soap!). My girls seem to have inherited my taste buds and they aren’t fans either, but my boys, and Ben Blair, all love cilantro. Whatever your take on cilantro is, it’s used here as an optional garnish, so you can pile it high and deep, or avoid it altogether. No worries!

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Alrighty. Let’s see how to make this warm and cozy feast!

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Here’s what Liz says:

If you follow anyone on any sort of social media who lives in my part of Minnesota, you’ve probably seen a lot of big puffy parkas, dogs with snow booties, and sunlit windows with frost lines creeping up them, thanks to the highs around -6 degrees we’ve been having here. And I’m sure you’ve heard mention of the -30 degree windchills. That’s thirty. Negative thirty.

It has been absolutely brutal here these past few weeks, and while this is not shocking, because it happens every year, it still never ceases to be jarring when you walk outside and your eyeballs begin to feel like ice cubes within seconds.

If there was ever a time of year to be called “soup weather,” this is it. In these dark winter months of January and February, I tend to make up a big batch of soup on the weekend that we can eat leftover for lunch for the rest of the week. Soup is exactly what you need to to thaw your eyeballs after coming inside. Soup is exactly what you need to nurse you through that sore throat that this time of year inevitably brings. Soup is for winter, and this one is no exception.

This soup has all the flavor of a mild Thai curry. It has just the tiniest kick of heat that is perfectly tempered with the sweetness from the sweet potatoes and coconut milk. With the chicken and the additional veggies — broccoli, peas, and bell peppers — this soup has tons of flavor and texture. The rice is conveniently cooked in the soup, making this a fairly low-maintenance meal that yields a large batch of soup that can be enjoyed by many…or hoarded by you to enjoy for days afterwards because it is still that cold outside.

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Thai Sweet Potato and Chicken Curry Soup
serves 4-6 as a main course

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons oil (coconut or vegetable)
1 small onion, diced
2 tablespoons red curry paste*
1 teaspoon fish sauce
5 cups chicken broth**
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup uncooked jasmine rice
1-2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into ½-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 ½ cups broccoli florets, chopped into ½-inch pieces
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 bell pepper (yellow, red, or orange), cored and cut into ½-inch pieces
salt and pepper to taste
garnishes: fresh chopped cilantro and lime wedges/juice

*Use 3 tablespoons of curry paste if you like more spiciness.
**I made this to be a thicker soup, but if you like your soups brothier, you could add 1-2 cups of extra chicken broth.


Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease a small baking pan, and place chicken breasts inside.

Salt and pepper the chicken, then drizzle the olive oil over.

Bake the chicken for 35 minutes.

Shred when slightly cooled and set aside.

While chicken is baking, heat 2 tablespoons of coconut or vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 3 minutes until slightly softened.

Stir in the curry paste and fish sauce and cook for an additional minute.

Pour in the chicken broth, coconut milk, rice, and sweet potatoes. Stir and bring mixture to a boil.

Reduce heat, and stir in the sugar and lime juice.

Place cover on pot and simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir in the broccoli, peas, bell pepper, and the cooked chicken.

Simmer, covered, an additional 5-10 minutes until rice is done and vegetables are soft.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve, garnished with the cilantro and additional lime wedges/juice.

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Thank you, Liz! That looks amazing. My mouth is watering from seeing the photos. I can’t WAIT to try this!

How about you, Dear Readers? Do you ever use curry in your cooking? And how to you feel about cilantro? I’d love to hear!

Credits: Images, styling & recipe by Liz Berget. Assistance by Amy Christie.

11 thoughts on “Thai Sweet Potato and Chicken Curry Soup”

  1. Looks delicious. I would need to skip the fish sauce due to allergies, but I bet some extra seasonings would make up for it.

    Kristine, I find red curry paste in the ethnic aisle near the cans of coconut milk. I love the stuff! My husband has learned to find it bc I send him for it so often. ;)

  2. So yummy! This saved my dinnertime today and it’s a hit for the whole fam, kids included. I doubled the lime, and used TJ’s red curry sauce (approx 1/2 c.) and 1 can coconut milk to cut the heat. Garnished w cilantro and whole cashews. Perfection!!!

  3. We are without a kitchen during a major renovation but I would love to try this. Do you think that this could be made (maybe without the roast chicken) in a slow cooker??!??

  4. This sounds great! Have you ever done it with brown rice? We’re trying to use whole grains as often as possible. I’m tempted to do the rice separately and serve the soup over it, but if you have an alternative approach, I’d love to hear it. Thanks!

    1. Update – I parboiled a cup of brown rice then left all liquid measures the same, added the parboiled rice at the same point, and increased the final cooking time to 15 minutes. It was perfect! Plus the 14-year-0ld liked it, which is a big win. :)

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