Elevate Your Standard Chicken Noodle Soup With This Spicy Coconut-Cashew Version

Award-winning chef, author, & food historian By Monisha Bharadwaj
Award-winning chef, author, & food historian
Monisha Bharadwaj is an award winning chef, author, and food historian. She was awarded "Cookery Writer of the year" by the Guild of food writers and her books have been shortlisted for many awards.

Image by Gareth Morgans / Contributor

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I sometimes add a bit of pasta to make this soup heartier, or serve it with a crusty baguette, liberally buttered. You could use other nuts, such as almonds, or if you don't want to use nuts at all, substitute the cashews with 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds, or add a finely diced raw potato to add body to the soup.

Spiced Chicken Soup With Cashews & Coconut

Serves 4

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  • 10½ ounces skinless chicken breasts, left whole
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons cashews
  • scant cup of coconut milk


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil in a saucepan and fry 1 tablespoon of ginger-garlic paste on high heat for 30 seconds, until it sizzles and the raw garlic smell disappears. 
  2. Add the chicken breasts, bay leaves, carrots, and cashews, along with 1¾ cups of cold water, and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is white and hot all the way through when a breast is cut through the center with a knife.
  4. Lift the chicken breasts and bay leaves out with a slotted spoon. Discard the bay leaves and chop the chicken into bite-size pieces.
  5. Cool the mixture slightly, then transfer it to a blender and blend until smooth.
  6. Pour the sauce from the blender into the same pan and add the coconut milk. Season with salt and black pepper and heat through until hot.
  7. Put the cooked chicken pieces into the bottom of four soup bowls and then pour in the soup. Serve very hot.

Recipe excerpted from Indian In 7: Delicious Indian Recipes in 7 Ingredients or Fewer by Monisha Bharadwaj. Reprinted with permission from Kyle Books, an imprint of Octopus Books, 2019.

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