Caribbean chicken soup with coconut, lime, hot sauce, and sweet corn will have you dreaming of an island vacation in the middle of winter. This easy-prep chicken soup comes together in just minutes on a busy night.
As much as I love classic chicken soup, winter can be long and dreary and sometimes you just need to mix things up a little bit!
When I'm longing for sunnier days and dreaming of our annual beach trips, I often start to crave more tropical-inspired dishes.
I prepped all the veggies and chicken for this dish but just my youngest daughter came into the kitchen and wanted to help.
She tied on her apron and ended up cooking the entire soup. I simply handed her the ingredients and she sautéed the veggies and measured and mixed everything else.
She was skeptical pouring in the coconut milk and shredded coconut but took a big sniff and pronounced the recipe smelled "tasty."
Because she took full responsibility for cooking the soup, she was more than eager to taste it at the dinner table. (One of the BIGGEST benefits of cooking with your kids!)
This delicious Caribbean spin on chicken soup has plenty of bright fresh flavors to cheer you on the darkest of winter days.
What is Caribbean Chicken Soup?
Unlike traditional chicken soup, this recipe features sweet corn, chicken, carrots, celery, diced red pepper, and limes.
At first glance it sounds a lot like a tropical island version of our favorite chicken soup for flu season.
However, the addition of coconut milk and shredded coconut along with hot sauce brings a new depth of flavor to the soup.
This unique chicken soup recipe has a longer list of ingredients than my usual recipes but they are what gives the flavor so much impact.
Many of the items you will likely already have on hand, but there are some particular items you may need to get from the store:
- Rotisserie Chicken: You could use leftover roasted chicken meat if you have it.
- Red Bell Pepper
- Frozen Sweet Corn
- Green Onions
- Canned Coconut Milk
- Shredded Coconut
- Fresh Limes
- Hot Sauce
- Fresh Cilantro
- Dried Ginger
- Minced Garlic
- Chicken Broth or Stock
The recipe has a wonderful sweet corn flavor at the base. It is made extra-delicious if you have fresh baked cornbread to go as a side next to your bowl but we loved crumbling the cornbread right into the soup when we served it.
You could use a regular box of Jiffy cornbread to make easy muffins if you want.
However, my homemade buttermilk cornbread recipe only takes a few minutes to whisk together and is absolutely delicious with this soup:
How to Make the Caribbean Chicken Soup
In a large soup pot, add the oil and bring to temperature over medium-high heat.
Add the garlic, ginger, onion, celery, carrots, and bell pepper and saute until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the coriander and allspice and stir into the veggies for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
Add the chicken, corn, shredded coconut, and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes.
Add the lime juice, coconut milk, hot sauce, cilantro, salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes.
My daughter and I tried to dip our cornbread into the soup broth and it fell apart completely.
Wouldn't you know, a crumbled up cornbread muffin makes the PERFECT soup thickener??
We strongly encourage you to try crumbling one cornbread muffin or square of homemade buttermilk cornbread into each soup bowl.
Ladle the hot soup over the top and garnish with fresh green onions.
Alternatively, you could serve the cornbread as a side for the soup, just don't expect to dunk it. Ha!
Make Ahead and Freezing Tips
To freeze the chicken soup, I'd store it without the cornbread mixed in.
When you thaw and reheat it, you will find that the coconut milk likely separated from the broth a bit.
If you stir in a crumbled cornbread muffin when serving, it will help blend the broth and milk back together.
Jut plan to bake a fresh batch of cornbread when you reheat the soup.
A box mix only requires 3 ingredients and 10 minutes in the oven, so it's not hard to do but I promise Grandma's buttermilk cornbread isn't that much more difficult.
You could freeze the cornbread separately if you want a truly no-prep dinner for later.
More Chicken Soup Recipes
You can never have too many chicken soup recipes for winter. As the cold months drag on, make sure to work each of these into your meal rotation!
Caribbean Chicken Soup
- 3 tablespoon canola oil
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon dried in a pinch
- 1 onion diced
- 2 ribs celery diced
- 4 carrots diced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 2 teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- 2 cups diced chicken meat great for leftovers or use a rotisserie chicken
- 1 (10 oz) bag of frozen sweet corn
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 12 cups (3 qts) chicken stock
- Juice from 3 fresh limes
- 1 (14.5 oz) can coconut milk
- 8 dashes hot sauce we prefer the Mexican-style Valentina
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro chopped
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 box Jiffy cornbread prepared according to package directions uses ⅓ cup milk + 1 egg OR Homemade buttermilk cornbread
- 3 green onions chopped (both white and green parts)
- In a large soup pot, add the oil and bring to temperature over medium-high heat.
- Add the garlic, ginger, onion, celery, carrots, and bell pepper and saute until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the coriander and allspice and stir into the veggies for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- Add the chicken, corn, shredded coconut, and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes.
- Add the lime juice, coconut milk, hot sauce, cilantro, salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes.
- To serve: Crumble one cornbread muffin into each soup bowl. Ladle the hot soup over the top and garnish with fresh green onions. Alternatively, serve the cornbread as a side for the soup.
Easy Homemade CornbreadYou could use a box of Jiffy cornbread to serve as a side for this soup but I'd actually strongly recommend trying Grandma's buttermilk cornbread recipe instead. It is fast and easy and you could even double batch it for plenty of extras.
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