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This Thai healing, restorative and comforting soup is light, creamy and a little tangy. Made with broth, lemongrass, coconut milk, ginger, lime juice and lots of vegetables. The fragrant broth soothes your body. The vegetables are full of powerful antioxidants to help reduce inflammation. You will love the bright, fresh taste. Gluten free, paleo and dairy free.

Thai Chicken Soup For The Soul

There’s just something so soothing about soup, right? It’s food for the soul.  In Thailand they call this soup Tom Kha Gai. It’s a comforting Thai coconut chicken soup infused with the classic Thai flavors of lemongrass, ginger, lime and fish sauce. This soup is filling and at the same time light. It’s bursting with flavor but NOT SPICY at all. It’s my grandson Avery’s favorite soup.

This is a fantastic, gluten free, Whole30, paleo soup with incredible flavors. It can be made vegan, I’ll tell you the substitutions later in this post.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Even though there are quite a few ingredients in this soup, you can find them in most supermarkets or health food stores. This is what you need.

How To Make It Vegan

Even though chicken broth is incredibly flavorful and healing, there is a way to make a vegan version that is just as delicious and comforting. Here are the adjustments.

  • Use vegetable broth or mushroom broth instead of the chicken broth.
  • Use tofu instead of chicken. Cut it into cubes, add it with the broth.
  • Add additional mushroom varieties for more umami flavor; oyster and maitake have great taste and nutritional benefits.
  • Substitute gluten free tamari for the fish sauce.
  • Add fresh tomatoes cut into chunks or cherry tomatoes. They add extra umami and taste great.

How To Make

Bringing this soup together is actually quite easy. You’ll get the aromatics going first. Then add the rest to create this flavorful comforting soup. Here are the basic directions, the details are in the recipe card below.

  1. Sauté shallots, garlic, ginger until super fragrant and aromatic.
  2. Add mushrooms and saute briefly.
  3. Then add the broth, lemongrass and let it simmer for a 10 minutes to develop the flavors.
  4. Add the vegetables and cook for a few minutes to soften.
  5. Add the coconut milk, chicken, tamari, fish sauce and lime juice. Then simmer for a few minutes to deepen the flavors. But don’t add the miso until you turn off the soup.
  6. In a small bowl mix the miso with some broth and stir to dissolve. Turn off the soup and add the miso. Add cilantro. Let sit 10 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle.
  7. Taste and adjust salt and lime. Serve garnished with additional cilantro, lime wedges and sliced scallions. YUM!

Ingrid’s Tips

If you don’t have a roast chicken you can easily make shredded chicken breasts, recipe included below.

The broccoli will not stay bright green after the first day because of the lime juice. If this bothers you make the soup with cauliflower.

How To Serve Coconut Chicken Soup

My favorite way to serve this soup is just ladled right into the bowl topped with cilantro, lime wedges and scallions.

The soup is really good on its own, but you can also add cooked noodles or rice for more body. Put a serving of noodles or rice into your bowl, then ladle in the soup. My family loves it with noodles but I like by itself, nice and brothy in the bowl with lots of cilantro.

 It’s a great soup to make in advance to have on hand for a quick lunch or light dinner. I also love eating it for breakfast, it’s so satisfying and keeps me going all morning.


Coconut Chicken Soup keeps well and reheats well. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat on the stovetop.

It freezes beautifully in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

If you like this delicious, healing soup recipe you may enjoy these soups too. All gluten free and dairy free:

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Coconut Chicken Soup

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  • Author: Ingrid DeHart
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


This Asian healing, comforting soup is light, creamy and a little tangy with lots of vegetables. So delicious!


  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, chopped
  • 5 cups shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced (about 10 ounces)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and cut into half moons
  • 2 cups of broccoli florets
  • 3 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
  • 6 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, smashed (bottom 4 inches)*
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 11 1/3 cups shredded chicken from a roasted chicken or cooked chicken breast (recipe below)
  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons gluten free tamari
  • 3 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons white or yellow miso dissolved in 2 Tablespoons of broth
  • 1 Tablespoon gluten free tamari
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, more for serving
  • Scallions, thinly sliced and lime wedges for garnish (optional)

Shredded Chicken Breasts

  • 8 ounces boneless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper


  1. Heat oil in large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add shallots and saute 2 minutes to soften. Add garlic and ginger, saute 1 minute.
  2. Add mushrooms, sprinkle with salt and cook for 5 minutes stirring a few times until the mushrooms begin to soften.
  3. Add chicken stock, lemongrass and red pepper flakes.
  4. Turn up the heat to bring to a boil, turn down and simmer 10 minutes to let the flavors develop.
  5. Add carrots. Simmer 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add cabbage. Simmer 2 minutes.
  7. Add chicken, broccoli coconut milk, tamari, fish sauce and lime juice. Simmer 2  minutes or until the broccoli begins to turn bright green.
  8. In a small bowl, mix miso with a few tablespoons of stock from the pot.
  9. Turn off the heat, Add miso and mix.
  10. Let the soup sit for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle.
  11. Taste to adjust salt and lime. Add cilantro.
  12. Ladle into a bowl alone or with noodles or rice if desired.
  13. Garnish as desired with cilantro leaves, scallions and/or lime wedges.

Shredded Chicken Breasts

  1. Place the chicken breast in the bottom of a large pan and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  2. Cover the chicken with 1 inch of water.
  3. Place the pot on the stove and bring the water to a boil. Once the liquid is boiling, reduce the heat and let simmer for 8-10 minutes until chicken is just cooked through.
  4. Remove the chicken from water and let rest until cool enough to handle. Shred with 2 forks or your fingers.


If you can’t find lemongrass, use lemongrass paste or lemongrass powder. If none of those are available substitute ½ teaspoon lemon zest for each stalk of lemongrass.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: SImmer
  • Cuisine: Gluten Free, Diary Free, Paleo, Whole30

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