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Delectable Sweet Potato Soup with Coconut Milk and Brainy Banana Sauce

Updated: Feb 10, 2022

Turquoise water and bright beaches are the Caribbean of my mind's eye. This surprising soup brought memories galore of warm people and beautiful places.

Sweet potatoes, okra, black eyed peas, green chard, and tomatoes
Caribbean-inspired sweet potato soup with coconut milk

"Phenomenal. I cannot wait to eat it again." – ML

This quick and easy soup is rich, complex, savory, and sweet. The unexpected combination of vegetables came from TasteofHome and really came together with Brainy Banana sauce. Cooking the okra separately brought a slight crunch into play but if you prefer to make it a one-pot dish, simply add the defrosted okra with the tomato, coconut milk, etc. It is unexpectedly excellent.

Sweet Potato Soup with Coconut Milk

Total Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Optional Pre-Cooking Time: up to 1 hour^

Required Equipment: Soup pot

Optional Equipment: Sautee pan, Instant Pot^


  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 4 cups vegetable broth*

  • 2 average-sized sweet potatoes, peeled & chopped

  • 2 cups hearty or tender greens - e.g. kale, Swiss Chard, mustard greens, callaloo, amaranth, spinach. I used green chard.

  • 1 cup okra, sliced, fresh or frozen & defrosted**

  • ¼ cup chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned. If canned, use only the tomatoes***

  • 1 can black eyed peas, rinsed and drained^

  • 1 can coconut milk

  • 2-3 Tablespoons of Brainy Banana sauce

  • 1-2 Tablespoons lime juice

*I like my okra crunchy and less slimy. I used frozen okra so could not make them actually crunchy, but they had more structure this way than not and less sliminess. For frozen, defrost. Then, for fresh or frozen, heat a pan on high heat with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. Add okra and sauté, stirring occasionally for five minutes, until medium-brown on both sides. Set aside until step 3.

**I used Better than Bouillon paste as instructed on the label but have made many a fantastic dish with store-bought and/or homemade broth. The Better than Bouillon has a strong salty flavor so if you use other broth, you may need to add salt at the end.

***I used 2 plum tomatoes from of a can of San Marzano. I squeezed the tomatoes into pieces straight into the soup without rinsing off the sauce. If you are using fresh tomato, chop one half of one beefsteak tomato and add at the same time as the hearty greens in step 2 below. If you are using tender greens, still add the tomatoes at the 5 minute mark and cook for 5-7 minutes. Then add all the other vegetables in step 3.

^Optional Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas:

In Instant Pot, add 1.5 cups dried black eyed peas to 7 cups of water.

Set IP to "High" and cook for 25 minutes.

Let steam naturally release for 30 min.

Section 2: Add Numbered Directions

If you like your okra crunchy, first do the step described in the *note above.

For soup:

  1. Heat soup pot over medium, add oil, and turn heat to low. Add onions and sweat for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  2. Add vegetable broth and sweet potatoes, bring to boil, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add hearty greens and fresh tomatoes if using either/both. Simmer for another 5-10 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender.

  3. Except lime juice, add all the rest of the ingredients, including tender greens and/or canned tomatoes, okra, and coconut milk. Stir and heat thoroughly. Add lime juice to taste.

  4. Garnish with coriander if you like and eat immediately.

I served this dish with bammy on the side: bammy is a Jamaican flat bread made of cassava (a.k.a. yuca). I did neither grated the yuca nor used coconut milk so I will eventually post a recipe. If you'd like to try it right away, check out this recipe by That Girl Cooks Healthy.


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