Slow Cooker Coconut and Lemongrass Soup with Chicken and Sweet Potato

PREP TIME: 20 minutes

COOK TIME: 4 hours

TOTAL TIME: 4 hours 20 minutes


January 2020

Lemongrass and ginger aren’t everyday ingredients for many people, but they’re sold in most supermarkets and all Asian markets. You can make this soup spicy by adding sliced serrano pepper, or make a mild version without it. And don’t be scared off by the 4-hour cook time — you can let the soup cook during the day in the slow cooker and come home to a dinner that’s ready to go!


  • 1 5-inch piece fresh lemongrass
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil (or another neutral oil)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 15-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
  • ½ serrano pepper (optional, if you want it spicy)
  • 1 5-ounce bag fresh spinach
  • 1 lime


  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Skillet
  • Slow cooker
  • Rubber spatula


1. Mince and sauté the lemongrass, ginger and garlic.

Remove the green outer layer from the lemongrass stalk, and finely mince the softer, white layers. You should have about 3 tablespoons of minced lemongrass.

Peel and finely mince the ginger. You should have about 2 tablespoons of minced ginger. Mince the garlic cloves. You should have 1-2 tablespoons of minced garlic.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add lemongrass, ginger and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring sometimes, until everything is very fragrant and ever so slightly starting to brown, about 7 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a slow cooker using a rubber spatula to make sure nothing is left in the skillet.

2. Prepare the soup.

Cut the chicken into roughly 1-inch pieces. Peel the sweet potatoes and then cut them into roughly 1-inch pieces.

Add the chicken to the slow cooker, and season it with salt and pepper. Add the sweet potatoes to the slow cooker, and then pour in the chicken stock and coconut milk. Season with an additional ½ teaspoon of salt. If you’re using the serrano pepper, thinly slice it, and add it to the slow cooker. Stir everything together, and cook the soup, covered, for 4 hours on the low setting.

When the soup is finished, stir in the spinach, cover the slow cooker, and let it sit for 5 minutes so that the spinach wilts.

3. Serve.

Just before serving, cut lime into 4 wedges. Divide into four bowls, and serve each with a lime wedge.

Kids Can!

  • Peel the ginger.
  • Peel the sweet potatoes.
  • Measure the chicken stock.
  • Stir everything in the slow cooker.
  • Add the spinach to the slow cooker.
  • Juice the lime.

More Recipes