Thai Coconut Lime Soup

Thai coconut lime soups are some of the easiest to make, this one comes together almost instantly in the time it takes for the shrimp to saute. The broth isn’t dependent on long simmering or tons of ingredients. The coconut milk and lime combine to make a really bright flavor.

Thai Coconut and Lime Soup

Limes are the odd man out when it comes to citrus.

They’re smaller and dryer than most of the other fruits in the family, and they’re usually relegated to a small heap hidden somewhere behind a huge stack of navel oranges. You sometimes really have to hunt for them. Limes are featured in far fewer recipes than their yellow cousins—they shine in cocktails, a few desserts, and then in Persian, Indian, and Mexican recipes. 

But there are lots of lesser known varieties that we, at least in the US, rarely see, like the Australian finger lime, the blood lime (with red flesh) the warty kaffir lime, the tiny key lime, and the mandarin lime (a cross between a mandarin orange and a lime), just to name a few. I hope they catch on in the next few years.

I love the flavor of lime, I think it’s more complex than lemon, and more interesting. 

The sour is less sour, and the essence of the peel is more floral. When you come across really juicy ones, they are a joy to cook with.

This soup has a very strong flavor profile, starting with the twang of lime and finishing with the heat from the hot peppers.

The juices from the shrimp, and a few widely available Thai flavorings like fish sauce and green curry paste round out the soup. I don’t even bother to chop the cilantro, I like the leaves as they are.

More Thai recipe to love on the blog ~


3.2 from 26 votes

Thai Coconut Lime Soup

Thai coconut lime soups are some of the easiest to make, this one comes together almost instantly in the time it takes for the shrimp to saute. The broth isn't dependent on long simmering or tons of ingredients. The coconut milk and lime combine to make a really bright flavor.
Course Soup
Cuisine Thai
Cook Time 20 minutes
Yield 2 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • 1/2 lb raw shrimp
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh ginger minced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 Serrano or other hot green pepper, thinly sliced, seeds and all
  • 1/2 onion sliced into thin wedges
  • 3 Tbsp Thai green curry paste
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 oz mushroom sliced
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves reserve a few for garnish
  • zest of 1 lime


  • Heat the oil in a pot and saute the shrimp just until pink on both sides. Set aside.
  • In the same pan saute the ginger, garlic, hot pepper and onion for a few minutes on low to medium heat, until the onion starts to soften.
  • Add in the curry paste, brown sugar, and mushrooms. Saute for a few more minutes.
  • Add the coconut milk, lime juice, and water to the pan. Bring up to a simmer and cook gently for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the cooked shrimp and cilantro to the pot. Heat through. Taste for seasoning adjustments.
  • Serve hot with cilantro and lime zest as garnish.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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  • Reply
    Rebecca Fuller
    February 2, 2020 at 11:36 am

    Can’t wait to try this – please add me to your email list – I want to see more of your yummy looking recipes!

    • Reply
      February 2, 2020 at 11:54 am

      Sure thing Rebecca, thanks!

  • Reply
    March 6, 2018 at 8:22 am

    HOLY SHIZ. this is amazing. hands down. just made vegetarian style, without shrimp and added some carrots. soooo delicious. Thank you for this recipe <3 <3

    • Reply
      March 6, 2018 at 8:41 am

      So happy you liked it Kaleigh, I’ve been thinking of re-posting and updating this ‘oldie but goodie’ 🙂

  • Reply
    January 31, 2018 at 9:49 am

    What can I use instead of shrimp? Or instead of shellfish?
    Thanks !

    • Reply
      January 31, 2018 at 9:55 am

      You can definitely use chicken, and as far as fish, I’d go with a firm mild fish like halibut, mahi mahi, or something like that.

  • Reply
    February 8, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Are you still sending out recipes? I love your Thai Coconut Lime Soup, and think your recipes are great, would love to be on your mailing list!

  • Reply
    January 22, 2014 at 9:57 am

    I am not a fan of cilantro. (That’s putting it mildly.)
    What do you think would be the best substitution… parsley or dill?
    The soup looks incredible!

    • Reply
      January 23, 2014 at 5:20 am

      Hi Maija—I think parsley Thai Basil, or regular basil would all be great substitutions.

  • Reply
    sherry fisher
    November 17, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    I want more of your recieps sent to me in email thx

    • Reply
      November 18, 2013 at 7:15 am

      OK Sherry, I’ll add you to the list!

  • Reply
    thyme (sarah)
    August 29, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    This looks really delicious. I’m getting pressure over here to cook more Asian dishes!

  • Reply
    Barb | Creative Culinary
    August 3, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    What a stunning dish…but what I love most is your ode to limes…I LOVE them. Making lime bars as I write!

  • Reply
    Chessney Sevier
    March 9, 2013 at 2:07 am

    This is a great recipe! I had no idea I could make this soup at home. I love it.

  • Reply
    Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes
    February 23, 2013 at 1:07 am

    I see this soup in my future! I love shrimp!

  • Reply
    shannon weber
    February 22, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    happy! I’ve been dreaming a little bit about asian/thai/chinese flavors right now; maybe because it’s that weird “not quite end of winter/not quite beginning of spring” gap in the action. This sounds absolutely delightful for lunch, and if it’s not terribly snowy, i may try and head out for the ingredients. 🙂

  • Reply
    Daniyal Memon
    February 21, 2013 at 6:14 pm

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    • Reply
      August 19, 2019 at 10:37 pm

      Do you think mint would be a good addition ?

      • Reply
        August 20, 2019 at 6:46 am

        I think fresh mint would be nice, and it’s traditional, so go for it!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ saving room for dessert
    February 21, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    I think I’ve looked at this post six times on my phone – so I apologize for being so late in commenting. It is a beautiful soup and I love it. I want to come and eat at your house, everyday. I won’t complain and I’ll clean my plate or bowl!

  • Reply
    From Beyond My Kitchen Window
    February 21, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    What a good looking soup. I love limes too and always give a squirt in all my chili’s and Mexican soups.

  • Reply
    Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
    February 21, 2013 at 11:16 am

    I am a fan of limes – but yes, I’ve only ever seen the commonly available types (“regular” and “key”). I didn’t know there was a “blood” variety – I’m going to look it up, I want to see that! This soup looks beautiful – delicate and assertive all at the same time. It’s a great cross-over soup (summer or winter), I’d think. And yes, I am definitely enjoying citrus week.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2013 at 5:30 am

    That looks subLIME!

  • Reply
    The Café Sucré Farine
    February 20, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    I can see you’re having so much fun and really outdoing yourself each day with these fabulous citrus posts. I love this soup, I think I might have a bit of Thai blood, I love this cuisine. Someone just asked me if I could travel anywhere, where would be my most favorite place to go, cuisine-wise. My answer was Thailand ……. but maybe I’ll just come to your house 🙂

  • Reply
    Joy Bee
    February 20, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Great addition to citrus week. I love Thai flavors and Thai food.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2013 at 3:07 am

    I love the flavors in this soup!! It looks so tasty!!

  • Reply
    hostess of the humble bungalow
    February 21, 2013 at 1:40 am

    Yummy I would love to have this for my dinner tonight!

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    February 20, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Thai flavors, coconut, lime…yes! Have a wicked shrimp allergy but I love these flavors and could make it with tofu!

  • Reply
    February 20, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Sue, that looks divine. I love those flavors and the lime would zest things up perfectly. Super photo!

  • Reply
    February 20, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    A dish like this would awaken our senses and give us the promise of Spring.

  • Reply
    Nicole Pearce
    February 20, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Ok, I’m just going to hang out over here all week! More citrus please…
    This looks so good and as much as I’d like to make it, I have to run to town today. You have just encouraged me to support one of my local Thai Restaurants.

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