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5 from 2 votes

Creamy Coconut Chicken Soup with Spinach and Lentils

Don't let the long list of ingredients scare you off - this is a simple soup with lots of spices and amazing flavor!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6
Author: Tricia


  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 5 cups chicken broth homemade or store-bought, unsalted or low sodium preferred, divided
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ 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 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 ½ tablespoons garam masala
  • 1 ½ 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 ½ 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.