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Panang Curry Chicken Soup…did you say soup?

Let me introduce you to my Panang Curry Chicken Soup! Yeah, you heard me…Panang Curry Soup! (You can easily omit the chicken for a vegetarian version…see adjustments in my notes on the recipe). Not only is this soup super yummy but it’s also really easy, and fast to make. I absolutely love Panang Curry! That amazing blend of heat and sweet with the creaminess of the coconut milkmmh, it gets me every time. I like to use the Mae Ploy Panang Curry Paste, which I can find at my local store, but in case you can’t, there’s the Amazon Link to it. What I like about this paste is that it’s not too salty (which I have found most other curry pastes to be) but the flavor is spot on here. 

Spicy Soup

Oh, the depth of flavors in Panang it’s like a little journey for the taste buds! So, I thought I should take these flavors and up the comfort factor by making a Panang curry soup…(genius right?). This soup is the absolute comfort soup. Where the heat that tickles the back of your throat, meets this great citrusy brightness. Add in a little sweetness from those bright beautiful sweet potatoes and you’ve got a winner for any dinner. If you love curry and soups that have you feeling light and good afterward but also deeply satisfied…this is the soup for you!

Vegetarian Panang Curry Soup or Vegan Panang Curry Soup

Whenever I’m creating a recipe for Taste of Good Eats, I try to think of all the dietary needs of my peeps and where possible I try to adjust and create a version for each of you. You can easily change up this original recipe to create a vegetarian version. If you still eat seafood you can substitute the chicken for shrimp and change the chicken broth to vegetable broth. Want to take it an extra step further and go full Vegetarian or Vegan? I have some suggestion for that too in my recipe notes. If you have any questions or suggestions let me know in the comment section below.

Spicy Curry Soup…too spicy?

Too Spicy for ya? Don’t worry you don’t have to leave the kitchen! My hubby doesn’t do well with spicy food so I am always trying to find a way to satisfy both of our taste buds and tummies. If this soup is too spicy, (or you’re worried it might be) I’ve got fixes for you. If everyone wants it milder, omit the Thai peppers, then you’ll just have the warmth from the Panang Curry Paste. If that is still too spicy, (or you want to mellow it out for just one person); check out my special coconut butter /coconut mana fix in the notes of the recipe. It sweetens the curry, takes the edge off and thickens it a bit too. I love the organic Artisana Coconut Butter that I can get at my local store. It is pricey but a little goes a long way. If spicy soups are your thing and you want to add another soup to you recipe book be sure to check out my Bahamian Chicken Souse. It’s a clear, clean broth soup but this ain’t your mom’s chicken soup (no offense I’m sure it’s delicious) but this soup has a depth of flavor, freshness from lime and a level of spice that it just absolute bomb!

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Panang Curry Soup with Chicken, Kale + Sweet Potato

Print Recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
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Not only delicious but ridiculously fast and easy to make and it makes for wonderful left-overs! This Soup has all of the warm, bright, citrus and spice notes of your traditional Panang Curry but in Soup form. Meaning it's a bit more mellow (no rice needed) it's rich and creamy and will leave anyone feeling deeply satisfied. You can go with the original Chicken recipe, or go Vegetarian or Vegan with it.


  • 2 tbsp Coconut Oil, Or other healthy cooking fat (such as Ghee, avocado oil etc.)
  • 3 Lemon Grass stalks, Cut off very bottom and top 1/4 off so you're left with the middle "meaty" part. Make some cuts into it (but not all the way through) and hammer it a bit to release the flavor.
  • 4 inch Ginger piece, peeled and finely minced or grated
  • 1 whole Yellow Onion, Cut in half and then thinly sliced into half circles
  • 4 Kaffir Lime Leaves, sliced super thin
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Crushed, or finely minced
  • 1-2 Small Red Thai Peppers (if you want it spice), Finely Chopped
  • 2 tbsp Penang Curry Paste, Be sure to get a good quality paste like Mae Ploy or Aroy-D
  • 5 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut into thin strips
  • 2 Cups Chicken Broth, I like to use Chicken Bone Broth
  • 2 13.5 oz cans Coconut Milk
  • 1 tbsp Palm Sugar, Could also use coconut sugar, or brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 handfuls Kale, stems removed and rough chopped
  • 1-2 Sweet Potatoes, cut into thin fries
  • 2 tbsp Lime Juice , Freshly Squeezed (plus more for topping if desired)
  • Coconut Butter / Coconut Mana, Use to reduce spice if desired - see notes


  • If using Rice or Rice Noodles or other types noodles to add on at the end...Go ahead and prepare that separately so it can sit warmed and ready by the time the soup is done.
  • Heat oil in a big pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat, add lemongrass stalks, ginger, and onions, sear for about 3 minutes. Stirring frequently.
  • Add curry paste, garlic, peppers, kaffir lime leaves saute for another 1 minute. Stirring frequently.
  • Add broth, coconut milk, sugar, fish sauce, and chicken, give a good stir to make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of your pot and to incorporate everything well. 
  • Add chopped Kale and Sweet Potatoes.
  • Turn up the heat and bring to a full boil then turn the heat down to medium-low and let simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes.
  • Check potatoes and a chicken piece for doneness, then add lime juice, stir and taste.
  • Remove lemongrass stalks and serve either on its own or with rice. Once dished, top with another squirt of lime and chopped Basil (if you have some).


Too Spicy? Try this:
  • Add some coconut butter (also known as coconut mana) to the soup bowls at the time of serving. Be sure to do it while the soup is really hot (so the coconut butter melts) Also, give it a good stir to mix the melted coconut butter throughout.
  • Create a super rich and creamy coconut cream to add. Use a microwave safe bowl and add about a teaspoon of water to a tablespoon coconut butter (coconut mana) and put it in the microwave for a few seconds to create a sweet rich super thick cream. It sweetens the curry, takes the edge off and thickens it a bit too.
Vegetarian/ Vegan? Try this:
  • Substitute the chicken for Shrimp and only add the shrimp for the last 5 minutes of cooking so it does not overcook. 
  • Substitute chicken broth for vegetable broth 
  • omit the fish sauce
  • You can increase the kale and sweet potato amounts to account for the omitted chicken, you can even add broccoli for a delicious addition, just be sure to add it for the last 5-10 minutes of simmering so it does not overcook and become mushy.