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Creamy Coconut Chicken Soup with Spinach, Lentils and rich Indian spices – healthy, hearty, filling and delicious!
I’ve had a bit of wander-lust lately. We’re dreaming of our next big adventure but until we decide where in the world we’re going, I took a quick trip right from our Virginia kitchen. I love experimenting with the rich, aromatic spices of India and find it a welcome change from our regular fare. And, soup is my preferred meal these days with all the rain and cool fall temperatures, it’s a warm, comforting meal. This Creamy Coconut Chicken Soup with Spinach and Lentils is loaded with amazing flavor and it’s very filling and satisfying, and healthy too!
Use poached chicken or pre-cooked rotisserie chicken for this coconut chicken soup.
The chicken is poached until tender then shredded and added to sautéed onions, garlic, ginger and a long list of spices including cumin, garam masala, coriander and turmeric. For a simple shortcut, use rotisserie chicken instead! Coconut milk, chicken broth and passata are poured into the pot to create a flavorful broth. Passata is a bottled raw tomato sauce found in most grocery stores. I purchased Centro San Marzano Tomato Pure Passata from our local Wegman’s for this soup. I love this product and they didn’t even ask me to say that!
Add spinach to this coconut chicken soup at the end to wilt.
There’s no need to cook the spinach, it wilts beautifully in just a few minutes in the hot broth. Garnish individual bowls of this coconut chicken soup with fresh parsley or cilantro and a few cashews. This delicious soup is a totally satisfying, complete meal!
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Creamy Coconut Chicken Soup with Spinach and Lentils
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 5 cups chicken stock, unsalted or low sodium preferred, divided
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large white onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- a 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tablespoons garam masala
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
- 1 cup passata (Italian sieved tomatoes)
- 1 cup red lentils, sorted and rinsed
- juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
- 6 ounces baby spinach leaves
- sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
- fresh chopped parsley for garnish
- a handful of chopped cashews, peanuts or almonds if desired
To make the chicken:
- Combine 2 cups of chicken stock, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper and the thyme sprig in a large skillet or sauté pan. Bring to a boil then add the chicken breasts making sure they fit in a single layer. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 30 minutes, turning at least once. Turn off the heat and cover the pan. Allow the chicken to rest in the hot broth and finish cooking for about 15 more minutes. Remove the chicken and cut into bite sized pieces or shred, set aside. Remove the thyme sprigs but keep the chicken stock handy.
- While the chicken is cooking combine all the dry spices in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Once the chicken is shredded, heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high. Add the onion and sauté until it starts to soften. Add the garlic, ginger, and chicken. Sauté for 1 minute to combine. Add all the spices to the chicken mixture and stir until the chicken has taken up all the spices.
- Pour the reserved and remaining 3 cups of chicken stock, coconut milk and passata into the soup pot. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pot. Gently simmer the soup for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add the lentils, cover the pot and continue to cook gently on low for another 15 minutes or until the lentils are cooked.
- Remove from the heat and check the seasoning. And add salt and pepper to taste. Add the fresh lemon juice and the spinach leaves. Stir until the spinach is just wilted.
- Serve immediately garnished with parsley and chopped cashews.
Finally, here are a few more delicious soup recipes you might like:
- Potato Leek Soup with Homemade Croutons
- Minestrone Soup
- Creamy Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup ~ from Seasons & Suppers
- Thai Curry Butternut Squash Soup ~ from Simply Fresh Dinners
- Lemon Soup with Chicken and Israeli Couscous ~ from The View form Great Island
Are you ready for the holidays? It’s almost shocking how fast the days are flying by. I’m way behind on my Thanksgiving preparations this year but I do have a great homemade roll recipe to post later this week so please come back again soon! Thanks so much for stopping by!