Thai Curry Soup Two Ways

Green curry on the left, red on the right

This recipe is really very flexible for different vegetables and proteins (or no proteins)! We’ve started to get temperatures in the high nineties here in El Paso so I went for a lighter version here, but you could use more regular coconut milk and serve this over rice or noodles if you were looking for something more substantial for cooler weather. Both versions I made included zucchini and yellow squash because I bought a massive bag at Costco and put them in basically everything we ate for a week and a half, but you could use any quick-cooking vegetable or steam the veggies ahead and just drop them in to warm through before serving.

I used:

olive oil (any cooking oil is fine like avocado or veg)

2 shallots thinly sliced

1 zucchini

1 yellow squash

1 small jar Thai curry

box of chicken (or veg) stock/broth

1 red bell pepper

1 can coconut milk (I used light)

1 serrano or Fresno chile

fish filets (optional)

cilantro (optional)

basil (optional)

lime (optional)

  1. Drizzle some oil in a big pot and heat on medium while you slice the shallots. Throw them in to sweat, stirring often. You don’t want them getting brown, just soft. Meanwhile, quarter your squashes lengthwise and chop into similarly sized chunks. When the shallots are soft, throw in the squash and cook for about three minutes.
  2. Clear a space in the middle of the pot and scoop in the curry paste. Cook it on the bottom of the pan, smearing it so it all gets warmed through. Then pour in broth and stir until the paste incorporates with the broth. Add coconut milk and stir.
  3. Cut your bell pepper into matchsticks. I don’t like my peppers to be overcooked, so I throw them in at the last minute. Once you’ve tasted the soup and adjusted for seasoning (depending on the saltiness of your stock, you will need to adjust the salt in your soup), throw in the remaining veg and nestle your fish into the soup to cook gently.
  4. When your fish is cooked (poke with fork or knife and twist — if it flakes easily it’s cooked), serve the soup in wide bowls with the fish on top. I topped mine with thin slices of Fresno chile, a lime wedge, cilantro, and basil. Peanuts would also be a great topping!
  5. Consume after your child with the fish allergies has gone to bed.


*I find that red, green, and yellow curries are all delightful and pair best with vegetables in the same color family. Green beans and snap peas in green curry, tomatoes and red peppers in red curry, sweet potatoes and carrots in yellow curry. Just be mindful of the cooking times, as carrots take a lot more time than red peppers, etc.

*If you don’t love fish, you could throw in some rotisserie chicken or roast some chicken just for this dish, but I wouldn’t cook your chicken in the broth like the fish.

*The curry paste I used contained garlic and heat so I didn’t add any, but there are lots of different brands so check yours to see if you’re missing anything, like lemongrass. Curry paste has a lot of flavor but since you’ll be diluting it, you can add and rearrange the flavors by adding chiles or extra garlic or ginger, if that’s your jam.

*I was going for something light for this dish, so mine is heavy on broth and only uses light coconut milk, but you can customize it in any proportions you prefer. You could just add enough broth to loosen the curry and then go full tilt with regular coconut milk for something really rich and creamy.

*If you’re got big eaters at home (or are skipping the protein), I have served this over rice as well and it’s hearty and delicious.

Green curry soup with squash, red pepper, and barramundi. Topped with basil, cilantro, and Fresno chile

Red curry soup with green beans, bell peppers, squash, and salmon. Topped with cilantro, basil, serrano, and Fresno chiles

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