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picture of vegan panang curry soup with kale, beans and sweet potatoes

Vegan Panang Curry Soup with Kale, Sweet Potato and Beans

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 people
Not only delicious but also ridiculously satisfying and easy to make. This curry soup makes fantastic leftovers too! This Panang curry soup has all the warm, bright, citrus, and spice notes of your traditional Panang curry but in rich and creamy soup form.


  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, You can also use another healthy cooking fat such as avocado oil or grapeseed oil.
  • 3 lemongrass stalks, (If you can't find any fresh lemongrass, don't worry about it, most curry pastes include lemongrass. This added bit enhances the fresh lemongrass flavor). Cut off the bottom and top 1/4, so you're left with the lower light green tender part. Peel the outermost layers until you have just the tender center part, then finely mince it.
  • 4 inch fresh piece of ginger, Peeled and finely minced or grated
  • 1 white or yellow onion, Cut in half and then thinly sliced into half circles.
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, (If you can't find any, don't worry about it, most curry pastes include lime leaves. These fresh lime leaves enhance the bright and citrusy lime flavor). Remove the center stem of the leaves and chiffon (slice) into super thin ribbons.
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed or finely minced
  • 1-2 small red thai peppers (if you want it spicy), Finely Chopped (feel free to omit these if you have spice sensitive eaters enjoying this dish)
  • 3 tbsp panang curry paste, Curry paste varies in spiciness and saltiness, so if you're worried about spice or salt content, use a bit less until you know your curry paste better.
  • 4 cups red kidney beans (already cooked or canned), I have also used (and loved) chickpeas, Adzuki Beans, White Beans.
  • 2 Cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 13.5 oz cans coconut milk
  • 3 big handfuls kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 1-2 sweet potatoes, cut into thin fries
  • 1/4 cup lime juice , Freshly Squeezed (plus more for topping if desired)
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, I love to top mine with a lot of freshly chopped basil leaves.

Optional toppings

  • oven-roasted (crispy) chickpeas, Another favorite, I oven roast some cooked chickpeas (so they get crispy) and add them on top. They add a crunchy texture and light earthy taste.
  • rice noodles, I've done this for guests to make the soup more fun to eat and fancy. Follow packaging instructions and add when you ladle your soup into your bowls.
  • jasmine rice, If you have someone in your home that wants to add some rice or carbs to this, jasmine rice goes very well with it.


  • Heat oil in a big pot or dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Add the onions and saute for about 3-5 minutes or until soft and slightly translucent. Stir occasionally to make sure they don't burn or stick to the pan.
  • Add lemongrass, ginger, curry paste, garlic, peppers, and kaffir lime leaves; saute for another 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add broth and coconut milk. Give a good stir to make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of your pot and to incorporate everything well. 
  • Add the sweet potatoes and stir to incorporate them fully.
  • Turn up the heat and bring to a full boil, then turn the heat down to low and simmer covered for 15-20 minutes, or until your sweet potatoes are cooked through and soft.
  • Add the kale and cook for another 3-5 minutes, so all the kale is cooked and soft.
  • Take off the heat, and add lime juice. Give it a good stir and adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Serve with suggested toppings. Once dished, top with another squirt of lime and chopped fresh basil (if using).


Too Spicy? Try this:
  • Add some coconut butter (also known as coconut mana) to the soup bowls when 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; add about a teaspoon of water to a tablespoon of 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.