I like to use leftover ham hock in this soup, but you could use shop-bought or even bacon would work well. This soup keeps well for 2-3 days in the fridge. It can also be frozen for up to 1 month, but it may need to be blitzed with a hand blender when reheating, as it may split.


  • 900g (2lb) sweet potatoes, diced
  • 2 tblsp sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1.25 litres (2¼ pints) vegetable or chicken stock
  • 4 tsp tomato purée
  • 400g (14oz) can coconut milk
  • 225g (8oz) cooked, shredded ham hock
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Handful of fresh coriander leaves, to garnish
  • Crusty bread, to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6).
  2. Place the sweet potatoes in a baking tin, drizzle over 1 tablespoon of the sunflower oil and roast for 15 minutes, or until tender. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, celery and chilli and sweat for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the roasted sweet potatoes with the stock and tomato purée, then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until all of the vegetables are completely tender.
  5. Reserve 3-4 tablespoons of the coconut milk as a garnish and pour the remainder into the pan with most of the shredded ham hock, again holding a little back to garnish.
  6. Cook for another few minutes, stirring constantly. Season to taste and ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Add a drizzle of the reserved coconut milk and scatter over the rest of the shredded ham hock and the coriander leaves to garnish. Serve hot with crusty bread on the side.