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Overhead view Thai coconut cabbage soup in stone bowl.

Thai Coconut Milk Soup (Paleo)

  • Author: Lindsay Cotter
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This nourishing Thai soup is quick to make with simple ingredients. Low Carb, Paleo, Whole30, and Vegan friendly.


Units Scale
  • 1 Tablespoon oil, divided. (Avocado oil or sesame oil work great)
  • 2 to 3 cups shredded cabbage (red or green) – see notes.
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoon lime juice (divided)
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon red chili paste (the more, the spicier. Adjust to preference)
  • 2 stalks fresh lemongrass, cut in 1-in. pieces or 1.5 Tablespoons lemongrass paste. (see notes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground curry
  • 1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger or 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 3/4 cups regular or light coconut milk (15-ounce can)
  • 5 cups organic broth or vegetable stock
  • fine sea salt to taste
  • Fresh torn cilantro to garnish
  • Sliced lime
  • 2 Thai birds eyes red peppers, seeds in or removed, sliced for garnishing
  • Optional add ins: Cooked shrimp, chicken, tofu, sriracha, mushrooms, etc.
  • optional chopped scallions (green portion)


  1. In a large pot, sauté your shredded cabbage in oil, 1 tbsp lime juice, 1 tsp minced garlic, and dash of pepper. Cook about 2 minutes on medium to medium high. Be sure not to cook all the way. Remove cabbage from pot and set aside.
  2. In the same pot, bring to boil your broth, lemon grass, and the rest of your spices/chili paste. Let is simmer about 10 minutes on medium low, stirring occasionally.
  3. After 10 minutes, add in your sautéed cabbage, splash of fish sauce (optional), 1/2 tbsp or so lime juice, and coconut milk. Mix together simmer another 5 to 10 minutes. (See notes for protein options)
  4. When soup is done simmering, you can either add your sliced Thai Red peppers into the pot before serving, or use them to garnish.
  5. Spoon into bowls. Garnish with fresh lime slices, spicy pepper slices (i.e jalapeños or additional Thai red peppers), drizzle of chili sauce, and pinch of pepper. Optional chopped scallions to top.


Substitutions –  Thai basil may be substituted for cilantro. 2 fresh lemongrass stalk, cut in 1-in. pieces will equal around 1- 2 tbsp lemon grass paste.

Add -ons – Protein is optional, but you can add in a cooked protein of choice (i.e shrimp, tofu, chicken, etc.) at step 6. When you mix in and simmer the coconut milk and cabbage.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: side dish, soup
  • Method: stove
  • Cuisine: Thai


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 244
  • Sugar: 7.5g
  • Fat: 16g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.3g
  • Carbohydrates: 13g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: coconut soup, paleo, low carb, Whole30, vegetarian