clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
overhead photo: chopsticks in white bowl of Asian chicken soup on wooden serving board

Thai Soup (with or without chicken)

  • Author: Lindsay Cotter
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


This Thai soup has a nourishing, anti-inflammatory broth with ginger, lemongrass, and fresh herbs. Make this Asian soup recipe to warm you up!


Units Scale

For the broth

  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 lemongrass stick, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fish sauce + 1 Tablespoon tamari (vegan option in notes)
  • 1 Tablespoon chili sauce and/or 1 Thai pepper (sliced thinly) – For less heat, omit one or the other
  • 1-inch (6 cm) piece ginger root, sliced
  • 2 Thai lime leaves (substitute1 teaspoon lime zest plus 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest)
  • 1 teaspoon raw sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cilantro stems (diced) for making the broth. Keep the cilantro leaves for garnishing.

For the soup

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 scallions, sliced in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 ounces rice noodles, cooked and rinsed (optional) or zucchini noodles for low carb option.


  • Chili oil, for drizzling (optional)
  • Cilantro leaves
  • Sliced Thai pepper


  1. Place stock ingredients in a large pot or stock pot. Bring to a boil them simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and remove the herbs, ginger, pepper, and zest.
  2. Transfer strained herbs/ginger, zest to another large pot to poach the chicken. Meanwhile, keep the broth on low heat while you cook the chicken.
  3. To poach the chicken, pour in enough water or broth to cover chicken about half way. I like to add a splash of oil too.
  4. Bring to a quick boil, then reduce to medium low simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
  5. Turn off heat, cover and allow to rest for 15 minutes. While the chicken is resting, prepare your rice noodles according to the package instructions. Rice noodles or rice vermicelli noodles should only take 5-10 minutes to cook. Noodles are optional.
  6. Slice or shred cooked chicken. Add the chicken into the broth pot with lime juice and onion. Simmer uncovered for 5-10 minutes, or until ready to serve. If you are using rice noodles, stir them into pot here.
  7. Serve with fresh cilantro, a drizzle of chili oil, and thin slices of Thai chili pepper.


  • Chicken- You don’t have to use poached chicken, but it does add a lot of flavor. To speed up the process, you can use any leftover chicken or meat you have on hand.
  • Thai/Kaffir lime leaves can be very difficult to find in the U.S., and the flavor is very complex, so it’s not easy to replicate with just one simple swap. A combination of bay leaf, lemon thyme, and lime zest will give you the closest flavor. Here are some other kaffir lime substitutes.

For vegan option

  • omit the chicken and just add in cooked rice noodles 
  • replace fish sauce with rice vinegar and tamari

For low carb option

  • Skip the noodles and use zucchini noodles instead.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: soup
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: Asian


  • Serving Size: with chicken, no noodles
  • Calories: 162
  • Sugar: 2.3 g
  • Sodium: 1232.6 mg
  • Fat: 3.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4.1 g
  • Fiber: 0.4 g
  • Protein: 27.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 82.7 mg

Keywords: Thai soup, chicken soup, Thai vegetable soup, Asian soup recipe