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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

  5. 5 stars
    This soup was amazing!! I really liked the halloumi, it is just such a great ingredient hahaha Next time maybe I’ll replace it with some shredded chicken, just to mix it up 🙂

    1. Hey Diego,
      Thanks so much for trying out this recipe, I am thrilled that you liked it! I hope you have a great week:) xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    Really great recipe! I made it today and it was flavourful and filling – also it was a relatively easy recipe which I liked. The one issue I had is I didn’t have enough liquid in the pot so I added an extra half cup of water so that there was enough liquid to veggie ratio. I’ll definitely be making this again! Thanks xx

    1. Hey Maddie,
      Thanks so much for trying out this recipe, I am thrilled that you liked it! I hope you have a great week:) xTieghan

    1. Hey Kate,
      Almond butter or tahini would work well. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    Absolutely loved this and will make again! I did use an immersion blender to peruse some of the sweet potatoes.

  8. This was so delicious! I’ve been looking for halloumi at the store forever and finally found some. It’s the first time I’ve ever eaten it, and it was so good in this soup. It was the perfect salty bite with the sweetness of the soup.

  9. 5 stars
    Made this child friendly (no spice). Also didn’t have the cheese. Really great recipe! Will make again.

  10. 5 stars
    Made this last night for my family of 5 (doubled the recipe). It was amazing. Thank you for sharing!

  11. This is by far THE most delicious soup I have ever tasted!! Comes together easy and has a great depth of delicious flavor!!! Definitely a keeper!!!

  12. Hi!
    The flavors are AMAZING in this, but mine was suuuuper thin/runny. Did I do something wrong? Should it be like a chicken noodle soup consistency or more like a stew? Thank you for all the amazing recipes! I’m new here, but my coworker makes something from your blog almost daily so I had to jump on the bandwagon, b/c I’m always so envious of her lunch leftovers! 🙂

    1. Hi Kate,
      Thanks so much for your message and trying the soup! It is supposed to be creamy but also more like chicken noodle soup so its definitely not a thick consistency.
      Hope this helps!

  13. 5 stars
    This is my favorite soup recipe of all time! I have made it for several groups and most everyone asks for the recipe. It is easy to make, appropriate for the vegetarians in the group and oh so flavorful. Thanks for this wonderful site, the recipes are amazing!

  14. Told the husband what was on tonight’s menu, and he said, “do you mind if I go out and get something for us (meaning himself and the 2 teens)?” Whatever. He took his first bite and I noticed an almost-imperceptible smile on his face. “I stand corrected,” as he got up for another bowl-full. LOL The teen boy had 2 (3?) bowls, too.

    I went a little shy on the curry paste, but definitely could’ve added the full 3T and maybe a little more — FYI, for those afraid of too much heat. No tuscan kale in the grocery, so I opted for swiss chard instead of the curly kale – delicious. I did find halloumi at Whole Foods; it was pricey, but worth it! Paneer seems like it’d be a great substitute. And finally, don’t skip the squeeze of lime at the end … it really brightens up the bowl 🙂

    1. Ok LOVE this!! It is such a great feeling when they try it and actually love it! Thank you so much for giving this recipe a try! I am glad you all loved it!

  15. Excited to make this, but not a big fan of sweet potatoes. Any ideas for a substitute? Thanks so much! This looks delicious ?

    1. Hey Elizabeth! I would us an equal amount of butternut squash. That will be so good! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan

  16. 5 stars
    Coming back again to say that this is an epic recipe! I’ve made this a few times and it’s absolutely one of our favorites!

  17. 4 stars
    Really enjoyed making this recipe, and it was very quick and easy in the Instant Pot. Hardest part was tracking down halloumi cheese! The most time consuming part of the recipe is prepping and chopping everything but it still gets on the table quickly. I served it over rice, and it ended up being so filling that we’ll probably get closer to 6-8 servings out of it.

  18. 5 stars
    I had a few people over for dinner on Saturday and made this as the main course of a four-course meal. It was SUCH a hit! I added some extra spices, including chili, more curry powder, black pepper, and a little salt, and also added a tiny bit of brown sugar and a little more peanut butter and it turned out fabulous. I’ll definitely be making this again—maybe for my next match in our friends’ soup competition! 🙂 Thank you!

  19. 4 stars
    Made this recipe (with just a few changes) and loved the combination of curry with peanut butter! Couldn’t find halloumi or sesame seeds so just added in cubed firm tofu at the very end. Also substituted green curry paste for the red curry paste too, and added a bunch more veggies (broccoli, zucchini, parshnips). One more thing: used crunchy peanut butter! Altogether it was so yummy, would definitely make again!

  20. 5 stars
    Making this for the second week in a row b/c it was SO GOOD! Had never made halloumi and man, this is one of my favorite recipes ever.

  21. Hi Tieghan! I’m a HUGE fan of so many of your recipes and am looking forward to trying this one. Quick question about wanting to add chicken. Would you recommend having the chicken already cooked before adding it to the soup at the end? Or do you think if I put it in the instant pot with the sweet potatoes and rest of the liquid ingredients that it could cook (and then be shredded) at the end of the 8 minutes? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Grace!! I think if you add raw chicken to the instant pot with the sweet potatoes that it will cook up perfect and be cooked + ready to shred once the soup is finished cooking. Great idea!! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan

  22. 5 stars
    I made this soup In my IP the other night with a few modifications. (I’m so glad I doubled the recipe, and I used the red curry paste—–initially I was going to leave it out fearing I wouldn’t like it—-instead I used 1/3 of the amount and next time I’ll probably use a closer amount to what‘s in the recipe).

    I like proteins in my soup, so First, I cooked two chicken breasts in a few cups of water with chicken soup base (similar to “better than boullion” paste) and set the whole thing aside to cool in a new bowl.

    As that sat cooling, I sautéed the aromatics and tossed the sweet potato in the pot, added the liquids and the rest of the ingredients into the pot, then pulled the chicken apart (chunky shreds) before I ran the IP again for the 8 minutes.
    I deleted the cilantro (hate the stuff!).
    I use a bag of chopped kale from Aldi’s (I don’t know if that’s the same as Tuscan kale or not but I used what was available) and it was perfect!

    I tried in vain to find Halloumi. Everywhere I went or called and asked had no idea what I was talking about. So sadly, we weren’t able to have that on the soup. But I did rough chop some roasted peanuts and almonds and tossed them on top with some sesame seeds.

    My grown kids and I give this yummy peanut butter soup five stars! If anyone is on the fence about it, TRY IT!! It was awesome!!
    We absolutely LOVED it and it was so easy and quick to make that it’ll be one of my go-to soups from now on!

    Thanks for sharing it!

    1. Wow this is so amazing to read!! I am so glad you and your kids loved this recipe, Danielle! Also, I love the effort to find halloumi! One day! Thanks again! xTieghan

  23. 5 stars
    Another great recipe! I swapped spinach for kale and added bell peppers and broccoli (after sweet potatoes and before cilantro) because I wanted to use up some fridge veggies. Very easy to modify and super yummy! Thanks Tieghan-keep up the awesome work!

  24. I want to congratulate you on the quality of your photography. Either you are a professional photographer, or you know one who takes the pictures of your dishes. It is hard not to want to try the recipes! Furthermore, they are always delicious. Yours is one of my favorite websites.

  25. 5 stars
    This soup was INCREDIBLE. I’ve been making your recipes for a long time, and this has to be one of my favorites. Next time I might add more sweet potatoes for more heft and because I love the way they soak up the flavor, but wow, so good. This one will be going into the regular rotation for sure!

  26. Making this tonight! I only have natural peanut butter… Will that work alright or will the consistency be off? Is it worth to buy the more processed peanut butter instead?

    1. Hey Hannah! Natural peanut butter should work just fine. That is what I use! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan

  27. 5 stars
    This is so so so delicious! Made it tonight for a snow day dinner and it’s so simple yet full of unique flavors. The Halloumi is pricey but so worth it! Totally brings everything together so don’t skip it! Will make again for sure!

    1. Hi Lauren! I totally agree, its so worth it! Thank you for trying this soup! I am so glad it turned out so well for you! xTieghan

  28. Hello! I want to make this in the a.m. and keep it warm until lunch (topping with halloumi at the last minute). Is that doable with a warm setting on the crock pot?

    1. Hi Dianna! Yes, that should work well. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan

  29. 5 stars
    This soup was amazing!! I switched out butternut squash for the sweet potato and it worked great. Thanks for this incredible recipe!!

  30. 5 stars
    I made the stove top version. Easy and delicious! Will make twice as much cheese since we were all snacking on it before adding to the soup.

  31. Thank you SO much for your continually brilliant work! I cooked this last night, and it’s one of the best things I’ve made in recent memory! You. Are. So. Awesome. Time after time. Thank you, and my friend @Sandrala, who turned me on to your instagram. !

  32. 5 stars
    Absolutely amazing! Followed recipe as directed, will definitely make this again. and again. 🙂 I’m totally obsessed with Halloumi.

    1. Hi Erica! The flavor profiles are very similar. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan

  33. This looks delicious! Would it work to make in a slow cooker if you sauté the garlic and shallots on the stove first?

    1. Hi Michelle! I am sure that will be great!! Love the idea of slow cooking. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan

    1. Hi Linda, there is no need to puree or blend this soup. It’s men’t to be a little chunky. If you prefer a smooth soup, puree this before adding the kale. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan

  34. Yes!!! I just requested more Halloumi recipes on your Instagram….thanks for listening! Making this asap! Thanks so much, looks divine!

  35. This soup looks so warm and cozy. I love that you added kale, sweet potatoes and one of my favorite herbs, cilantro. It’s amazing to find a dish that you can make in 30 minutes or less. It is definitely something I would like to try. Thanks for sharing.

  36. They were delicious! I had to do a little improvising as I could not find Salted carmel sauce or Fleur de Sel at the regular Grocery store and couldn’t wait to find them

  37. I personally am vegan, so will have to nix the halloumi, but luckily I love tofu and think I’ll make it the same way you’d make the cheese! Can already tell I’m going to love it, thank you!!!

  38. I made you noodle version this past Monday night. So good, the sesame Halloumi was so delicious. I forgot to take a pic for Instagram…

    Definitely trying this spicy satay soup version, be a scant tablespoon of curry paste for us. ?

    I’ve only been following a few months now, so hadn’t seen your Korea pictures! Wow, what a country, what an experience too. Red looks like such a gentle laid back soul. So well done him winning Gold!!! Little Miss Asher looks so fab! Always keep your individuality little one ?

    Having your coconut milk braised chicken with sweet potatoes tonight. ? xx

    1. Thank you so much Kelly! I am glad you like all of the photos and I am sure Asher will always have her individuality! I hope you love the coconut milk braised chicken with sweet potatoes! xTieghan

  39. Due to picky eaters in my household this would never go over! However, I will be alone next weekend and plan on making it my staple meal for the weekend. Sounds fantastic and I can’t wait!!

  40. I love Kale, Hubby cannot not eat it or any really green veggies that are high in Vit K. He is on Blood thinner.
    any suggestions to what i could add??
    Is the HEAT from the Curry paste? How can I tone down the Heat ( for me sadly) but still maintain depth of flavor?
    Cooking is a challenge for us any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
    Happy Wednesday from snowy Oregon.

    1. Hi there! Why don’t you try using bok choy? I think that will be great! The, use about 2 tablespoons of curry for a mellow soup with great flavor. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan

  41. Hello, I never heard of halloumi. Can you recommend an alternative if I cannot find it in my local store? The soup does look delicious and I am a fanatic for peanut butter. Thank you.

    1. Hi Christoper! I would use feta cheese if you cant find Halloumi. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan