Curry Chicken Soup (Stove or Instant Pot!)

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This Curry Chicken Soup is ultra-comforting and loaded with veggies. I love how quick and easy it is to prepare, all in one pot!

curry chicken soup in white bowls

How to Make Curry Chicken Soup

To make this flavorful soup, you’ll start by sauteing some onion, carrots, and celery, along with garlic and ginger.

vegetables with curry powder in skillet

I like to use curry powder to get the classic curry flavor in this soup, without relying on several individual spice jars. Stir the powder into the sauteed veggies to bring out the flavor, then you’ll add in the veggie broth, lentils, and chicken, and let it all simmer until the chicken is cooked-through, about 30 minutes.

Adding Raw Chicken to Soup

I don’t know about you, but I don’t love working with raw chicken on my cutting board– so I place the chicken thighs into this soup whole.

raw chicken going into soup

After the soup has finished cooking, it’s easy to grab the cooked chicken with tongs, shred it with two forks on a cutting board, and then return it to the soup.

If you would rather cut the raw chicken into bite-sized pieces before cooking, you are welcome to do that, too.

shredded chicken in soup

How to Thicken Soup (Without Flour)

This soup gets its thick texture from red lentils, which are one of the quickest-cooking variety of lentils. What I love about this addition, is how the lentils practically dissolve as they cook in this soup, creating a thick and creamy texture.

Eating a 1/3 cup of lentils each day may help to lower cholesterol (source) and they are an excellent source of iron (source) so I love adding them whenever I can. Plus, the fiber they contain should help keep you full for hours.

curry chicken soup in ladle

curry chicken soup in white bowls
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4.6 from 5 votes

Curry Chicken Soup (Stove or Instant Pot)

This Curried Chicken Soup is an easy one-pot meal, that is loaded with fiber-rich lentils and veggies. No dairy or flour required!
Course Soup
Cuisine gluten-free
Keyword curry chicken soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 290kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 carrots , chopped
  • 3 celery stalks , chopped
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly minced ginger
  • 4 teaspoons curry powder
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 pound boneless & skinless chicken thighs
  • Fine sea salt (I use Real Salt brand)
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, and saute the onion, carrot, and celery until they start to soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Add in the garlic, ginger, and curry powder, and stir unti fragrant, about one more minute.
  • Add in the broth and lentils, and give the pot a stir, then place the chicken thighs directly into the broth. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt, and bring the soup to a boil.
  • Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pot, letting the soup cook until the lentils are tender and the chicken is cooked-through, about 30 minutes. (You can use a thermometer to make sure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF, or you can slice into it to check.)
  • Use tongs to remove the chicken thighs, transfer them to a cutting board, and use two forks to shred them into bite-sized pieces. Return the chicken to the pot, and stir in the coconut milk. Adjust seasoning to taste, adding more salt, if needed. (I usually add an extra 1/2 teaspoon, but it will vary depending on the sodium in the broth that you use.)
  • Serve with freshly ground black pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, if desired. (The lemon helps brighten up the flavor!)
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Try serving the leftovers over rice, too!

Notes

Instant Pot Directions:
No oil is needed for this method. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, ginger, curry, broth, and lentils to the Instant Pot and give the mixture a stir. Place the chicken thighs on top and sprinkle them with 1 teaspoon of salt.
Secure the lid and move the steam release valve to Sealing. Select Manual/Pressure Cook to cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes.
When the screen reads L0:10, move the steam release valve to Venting to release any remaining pressure. Use tongs to transfer the chicken to a cutting board, then use two forks to shred it.
Add the chicken back to the pot and stir in the coconut milk. Taste and adjust any seasonings. I usually add another 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt, depending on how much sodium is in the broth I use, several grinds of black pepper, and squeeze of fresh lemon juice to brighten the flavors. Serve warm.

Nutrition

Calories: 290kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 737mg | Potassium: 710mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 5562IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 4mg
Curry Chicken Soup Nutrition above is for 1 of 6 bowls of soup. (Roughly 2 cups per serving)

Recipe Notes:

  • I haven’t tested this recipe using chicken breasts, because I originally developed it for the Instant Pot, and the Instant Pot doesn’t create the best texture for chicken breasts cooked directly in liquid. (Check out my Instant Pot Chicken Breasts post for tips.) I imagine you could cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces, and cook them that way, if you prefer to use that instead of chicken thighs in this soup recipe.
  • For a vegetarian recipe, feel free to leave out the chicken all together. You could add in a cut sweet potato for some added heartiness, and in that case the soup would only need to cook for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are as soft as you’d like them to be.
  • If you don’t have broth on hand, you can use water instead and season with extra salt to compensate for the flavor.

If you try this recipe, please leave a comment below letting me know how you like it. And if you make any modifications, I’d love to hear about those, too! We can all benefit from your experience

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite soup? My Chicken Vegetable Soup is another fan favorite, and Curried Butternut Soup is another easy option for your Instant Pot!

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Comments

Amanda

This is a very delicious lentil chicken soup with a slight curry flavor! I was really wanting a strong curry flavor but once I got over that, I realized it was still amazing!! I simmered a lot longer and added at least another 2 tsp of salt!

    Megan Gilmore

    Glad you thought it was delicious, still! You can always add more curry powder to your taste next time. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your feedback!

    Jackie

    Has anyone tried this in a crockpot? How long did you cook it?

Niomi Smith

Thank you so much, this was absolutely delicious! My two 12yr olds even ate it all up. I think I could live on it personally!!

I could only fine brown lentils at shop so I used cannellini instead, so will hunt some down next big shop.

And now about to make the cashew chocolate thingy, can’t wait to eat that too.

Its a keeper for sure, thanks again 🤗

Berneda Rivard

Can chicken breasts work instead of thighs?

    Megan Gilmore

    Check the notes below the recipe! I haven’t tested with chicken breast yet, because I was developing this one for the Instant Pot and chicken breast can be rubbery in there if you cook it directly in liquid, but I imagine it could be done.

Leslie

Absolutely delicious! I wouldn’t change a thing with this recipe.

Lori Hodgson

Made the stove top version with chicken breasts. Followed the rest of the recipe exactly. Absolutely delicious.

Jennifer

Delicious soup, and so easy to make! Thanks for another great recipe 🙂

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