This Thai Coconut Shrimp Soup is one of those recipes that you can experiment with and create your own favorite versions. Keep the broth as your base and everything else is easy and wonderful to customize to your liking. You can swap out the shrimp for a different protein and change up the veggies depending on what’s in season or what’s readily available.
Sometimes I’ll just make a big batch of the broth and freeze it for multiple meals later on. The coconut milk gives the soup a smooth, silky texture and the curry paste is a cornucopia of intense flavors that lend themselves nicely to the delicately flavored rice and shrimp.
One bit of advice I’ll add is that you don’t want to skip the fresh basil leaves. They’re the final piece that brings everything together. In fact, this broth is reason enough to keep an indoor herb garden going in the winter. There’s nothing like the smell of basil leaves picked straight from the plant.
Another tip I’ll add is that some of these ingredients, like the lemongrass, may be a little hard to come by unless you have a good south Asian shop around. Don’t let that stop you, though. You can substitute lemon zest in place of lemongrass or you can make this without the lemongrass, although it really does add a nice little burst of sunshine.
Before we jump into the Thai Coconut Shrimp soup recipe, here are a few different options:
- Substitute the shrimp with baked or fried tofu and use vegetable broth for a vegetarian version of this soup.
- Give the soup a tropical twist by adding in pineapple chunks, either with the shrimp or in a vegetarian version.
- Use brown rice if you prefer a more fiber-rich option.
Serve the soup with lime wedges and a glass of ice cold tea for a delightful lunch or dinner.Print
Thai Coconut Shrimp Soup
Make this Thai Coconut Shrimp soup as a healthy and tasty side or main course.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: Serves 6
- Category: Soups
- 1 cup uncooked basmati rice
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 lemongrass stalk, halved lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 2 (12-ounce) cans unsweetened coconut milk
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons torn fresh basil leaves
1. In a medium pot, combine 1 1/2 cups water and the rice and cook according to the package instructions. Set aside.
2. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, salt, and black pepper. Heat until the shrimp are cooked, about 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp and set aside.
3. Put the garlic, onion, and bell pepper in the pot and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
4. Stir in the ginger and lemongrass and cook for 1 minute.
5. Whisk in the curry paste, then stir in the coconut milk, broth, brown sugar, and soy sauce.
6. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the lemongrass.
7. Stir in the rice, shrimp, lime juice, and basil. Ladle into bowls and serve.