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30 Minute Spicy Peanut Soup with Sesame Halloumi…for those nights when you need a cozy, healthy dinner, but you need it fast. Simply made on the stove (or in the instant pot), using healthy, pantry staple, ingredients. It’s creamy, just a touch spicy, and layered with sweet potatoes and kale for a bright and healthy soup. Then finish each bowl off with pan-fried Halloumi cheese. This dish is layered with flavor and texture, completely delicious, and perfect for a cold night.

overhead photo of Spicy Peanut Soup with Sesame Halloumi | #peanutsoup #healthy #thai

Some of you might find this soup totally odd and way too different, but I beg you all to give it a try. It’s one of my favorite creamy soups.

SO MUCH flavor and color. And geez, it’s pretty healthy too.

Here’s the story. Do any of you remember my better than takeout 20 minute peanut noodles? I made them two years ago just before my family and I left for South Korea for the Olympics…remember these pics? Crazy it’s been almost two years! I remember making those noodles and being so excited to share the recipe. It was a mix up of Asian flavors, but yet I topped the noodles with a salty Greek cheese…halloumi. Why? Because I don’t like tofu but really wanted something crispy to top my noodles with other than chicken or chickpeas. I had halloumi cheese in the fridge. When fried, it looks just like tofu. So I thought why not just add that to my noodles…salty cheese, creamy peanutty noodles? It sounded a little different, but different in a good way.

The outcome? One of the most delicious recipes I’ve created. To this day, I still fall back on those noodles when life gets crazy busy. That recipe is what I call a “back pocket” recipe. But the secret to those noodles being so extra special?

The fried sesame halloumi. Again, kind of odd, but it works.

Which leads me right into today’s recipe. This is the soup version of those noodles and it’s equally delicious (and just as easy).

Spicy Peanut Soup in soup pot with ladle in pot

The details…

You can quickly make this soup on the stove or in the instant pot. Both versions are equally fast and easy. It’s really just a matter of which method you personally prefer.

I’m going to walk you through the stove-top method. It starts out by cooking up some shallots and garlic. Add Thai curry paste, then cook a minute or two to help the paste “activate” and release its flavor. Stir in all the remaining ingredients except the halloumi, and simmer until the sweet potato is soft. I used creamy peanut butter and coconut milk…not only for flavor, but also for creaminess. I wanted this soup to have a really creamy base, but then have layers of texture as well.

The sweet potatoes and kale are what add heartiness to this soup and make it a dish that can truly be enjoyed as a meal. I also find the hint of sweetness to pair really nicely with the spicy from the curry paste.

Sesame Halloumi in skillet

Let me tell you about it this sesame halloumi…

Yes, you NEED the halloumi and here is why.

Halloumi is a salty grilling cheese commonly used in Mediterranean cooking. It’s so good when pan-fried. I love incorporating it into dishes like vegetarian tacos, my peanut noodles, and now this peanut soup. It adds such great flavor and gives the perfect crispy, salty bite. It’s what makes this soup really stand out and become just a touch better than others.

I know it’s a little weird, please trust me, I promise you’ll enjoy this!

overhead close up photo of Spicy Peanut Soup with Sesame Halloumi

Not into spicy food?

Don’t worry you can still enjoy this soup! Lately I’ve been getting a lot of comments about how to tame down spicy recipes. Fortunately, reducing the heat-level in recipes is easy, just decrease the amount of chilies or whatever the spicy ingredient is. For this soup, it’s the Thai red curry paste. The recipe calls for three tablespoons, but if you don’t enjoy spicy food, start by using only one tablespoon and then add more to your taste level.

This will ensure you come out loving this recipe. Just taste as you go!

Lastly, a few spoonfuls of rice would be very delicious atop this soup.

And that is pretty much all you need to know. Hoping you all end up loving this soup just as much as we all do over here. It’s the perfect, hearty but healthy, bowl to enjoy any night of the week.

PS. if you need to make this vegan, just omit the cheese, which yes does make me sad, but I get it. Do what you need to do for you!

overhead photo of Spicy Peanut Soup with Sesame Halloumi with spoon in bowl

If you make this Spicy Peanut Soup with Sesame Halloumi, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Spicy Peanut Soup with Sesame Halloumi

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 317 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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  • 1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the shallots, and garlic. Cook 1-2 minutes, until the garlic is golden. Stir in the curry paste, cook another 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant. Add the broth, peanut butter, coconut milk, and soy sauce, stirring to combine. Add the sweet potatoes and bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 10-15 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender.
    2. Stir in the kale and cilantro, cook another 5 minutes. Taste, add salt if needed.
    3. Meanwhile, make the halloumi. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the halloumi and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sesame seeds. Remove from the heat.
    4. Ladle the soup into bowls. Top with halloumi and peanuts. Zest, then juice the lime over each bowl. Enjoy!

Instant Pot

  • 1. Set the instant pot to sauté. Cook 1 tablespoon oil, the shallots, and garlic. Cook until the garlic is golden, 1-2 minutes. Stir in the curry paste, cook another 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the broth, peanut butter, coconut milk, and soy sauce, stirring to combine. Add the sweet potatoes. Seal and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.
    2. Once done cooking, use the natural or quick release to release the steam. Set the Instant pot to sauté. Stir in the kale and cilantro, cook another 5 minutes. Taste, add salt if needed.
    3. Finish as directed above.

horizontal photo of Spicy Peanut Soup with Sesame Halloumi

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  1. 5 stars
    This was awesome! I used bok Choy instead of kale which was great. Next time I’d add more broth just as a personal preference. I didn’t realize that halloumi was a summer seasonal item at Trader Joe’s, but I was able to find it at Whole Foods. Quick and easy to make, and so delicious. Can’t wait for leftovers!

  2. 5 stars
    A winter staple in our house! (Even summer once in awhile)! Our curry paste is pretty spicy which we LOVE. We stock up on halloumi cheese while Trader Joe’s has it during the summertime so that we don’t have to pay $8 for it in the winter at Sprouts.

    Also, if you’re worried about the veggie combos, don’t be. My husband isn’t a fan of sweet potatoes usually but he LOVES this soup. Try it and you won’t be disappointed!

    1. Hey Cassie,
      Wonderful! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed and I appreciate you giving it a try! xTieghan

  3. I love this soup and have made it a number of times. I must say that it takes longer than 10 minutes to prep the soup.with all the chopping and cooking the sweet potatoes enough to be able to cube them. I don’t know why a lot of recipes do this with prep time? It would be better to know the true time! Thank you for recipe! It’s delicious and really pretty.

    1. Hey Nancy,
      Thank you so much for giving the recipe a go! I am thrilled it was enjoyed. Sorry this takes you longer than expected. xTieghan

      1. This soup was SO delicious! Anything peanut-ty and I’m sold but I was so eager to try it with the halloumi twist. I added fresh ginger, chilli and some vermicelli noodles. This will 100% be a frequent winter warming dish in my household🤗☺️ thanks for sharing!

        1. Hey Dani,
          Awesome! I am thrilled this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for making it! xTieghan

    2. 5 stars
      I’ve made this soup numerous times, even making large batches and freezing…always perfect! I’ve also substituted spinach for the kale since I can’t always find it in my small local store. The halloumi is so amazing…don’t skip it…in fact double it for taste testing purposes, quality control after all 😉

  4. 5 stars
    Had this last night. Perfect for Calgary cold winters. Can we say -27. Plus our family is doing vegetarian for the next couple of weeks.

    1. Hey Stephanie,
      Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try, I am so glad it was enjoyed! Have a great week:) xTieghan

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