Sweet Potato Red Pepper and Coconut Milk Soup

It’s fall and it’s soup season. Right? Well, sort of.

It’s usually hotter in San Diego in September than it is all summer long and this September has been no exception. It’s been in the mid to high 80s in San Diego. Almost as hot here as it was in Aruba but I’m not complaining.

Perfect time to make soup then. I may as well sweat while I slurp.

Sweet Potato Red Pepper and Coconut Milk Soup (vegan, GF) - Only 3 ingredients in this healthy, hearty & comforting soup! Ready in 15 minutes for those of us who don't have all day to make soup!

This is the easiest soup you’ll ever make.


Three ingredients: 1 huge sweet potato, 1 red pepper, 1 can of coconut milk.

And they go from microwave to blender to bowl to mouth in 15 minutes flat.

I used to be intimidated by soup-making and for good reason. If you read some recipes, I’d need to use at least 17 vegetables, some of which are roasted, others that must be sauteed.

Long lists of herbs, spices, and pinches and dashes of this and that. I’d have to be rich to afford all the spices I’m supposed to incorporate into one recipe.

Then, it all must be placed in a stockpot so large that I’ll never own a pot that humongous because where does one store something like that when not in use the other 364 days a year?

Then I’d have to simmer the soup for a mere six hours, stirring frequently of course, virtually chaining me to the house for the day. But I bet that soup is worth it.

Sweet Potato Red Pepper and Coconut Milk Soup (vegan, GF) - Only 3 ingredients in this healthy, hearty & comforting soup! Ready in 15 minutes for those of us who don't have all day to make soup!

This soup is so worth it, but the opposite of complicated. Peel, dice, and steam the sweet potato in the microwave, which took 14 minutes in my microwave. You could boil the potatoes, or use previously baked sweet potatoes with flesh scooped out but I go for the quickest method, which is quickly steaming them in the micro.

Place the cooked sweet potato cubes, chunks of red pepper, and can of coconut milk in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy, which takes about one minute.

Thick, bisque-like, rich, creamy soup in 15 minutes with 3 ingredients and no hassle.

Sweet Potato Red Pepper and Coconut Milk Soup (vegan, GF) - Only 3 ingredients in this healthy, hearty & comforting soup! Ready in 15 minutes for those of us who don't have all day to make soup!

I didn’t even season it, which was a happy accident. I was midway through blending the mixture and I stopped the blender to taste it and I immediately thought, Oh, this needs salt.

If you buy commercially-prepared soup or read most soup recipes, they add or call for so much salt that I can feel myself blowing up with water retention just by reading the recipe. My body does not do well with excess sodium and I’m wary to salt food and think carefully before I do, but even I thought the soup would benefit from some salt.

But I got sidetracked while blending and tasting because Scott asked me a question and when I returned to the blender about five minutes later, I tasted the soup again and I loved it, as is.

My palate had adjusted and had keyed into the pure and simple flavors present: Sweet and candy-like steamed sweet potato, the slight heat from the red pepper, and the rich and creamy coconut milk.

Why would I want to mask that with a bunch of salt? So I didn’t.

Sweet Potato Red Pepper and Coconut Milk Soup (vegan, GF) - Only 3 ingredients in this healthy, hearty & comforting soup! Ready in 15 minutes for those of us who don't have all day to make soup!

For Scott’s portion, I sprinkled his bowl with a pinch of Kosher salt and a couple twists of freshly cracked black pepper and stirred them in before garnishing with a dollop of sour cream, and a tablespoon of finely diced red pepper.

He said it tastes like lobster bisque without the lobster. He also said Zucchini Banana Bread tasted like chocolate bread so I don’t always put a lot of stock in what he says, but in the case of this stock, err soup, he’s right. It’s thick, creamy, dense, and very bisque-like. If you like thick soups that have fullness and body, this is your soup. If you like thinner, brothy, or more watery soups, this is the opposite.

I especially love the coconut milk flavor that peeks through. It’s present but not in your face. If you’re not into coconut, that’s a shame. However, the coconut milk can be replaced with cream, cashew milk, or another milk. You can even use a one-half to one-cup Greek yogurt and a splash of water rather than using coconut milk. Use something thicker and with some density and fullness and save the thin and watery skim milk for something else.

Not only do I appreciate the ease of this recipe, but I appreciate the batch size. I like leftovers; I think most busy moms do, but I don’t want to eat the same soup for days and days, sort of like the never-ending Thanksgiving leftovers, and most soup recipes make so much that you’re eating it forever.

This recipe makes about one quart, four cups. When you’re ready to reheat it, pour it into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and heat for about one minute in the microwave before serving. Easy.

You can get creative and adapt the recipe by steaming some carrots or squash with the sweet potato or add some soaked cashews to the mixture for extra protein, richness, and creaminess.

Season it in a savory direction with anything from curry to garlic and onion powder, or go spicy by adding chili powder or cayenne pepper. Go sweeter or more fall-like with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, or pumpkin pie spice. There’s really no way to mess up a sweet potato.

I hope the weather stays in the 80s because I get the best of both worlds. Summertime temps and fall soup.

Sweet Potato Red Pepper and Coconut Milk Soup (vegan, GF) - Only 3 ingredients in this healthy, hearty & comforting soup! Ready in 15 minutes for those of us who don't have all day to make soup!

Sweet Potato Red Pepper and Coconut Milk Soup (vegan, GF) - Only 3 ingredients in this healthy, hearty & comforting soup! Ready in 15 minutes for those of us who don't have all day to make soup!

Sweet Potato Red Pepper and Coconut Milk Soup (vegan, GF) - Only 3 ingredients in this healthy, hearty & comforting soup! Ready in 15 minutes for those of us who don't have all day to make soup!

Sweet Potato Red Pepper and Coconut Milk Soup (vegan, gluten-free, soy-free)

This easy soup that comes together so quickly by steaming a sweet potato in the micro and then pureeing it with red pepper and coconut milk. The flavors are rich and complex for such a fast and easy soup. The candy-like steamed sweet potato, the slight heat from the red pepper, and the rich and creamy coconut milk are a winning combo. It’s hearty enough to make a meal out of or makes a great appetizer or side. It’s healthy, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, comforting, and filling.


1 extra-large sweet potato (or 2 to 3 smaller sweet potatoes), peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes

about 3/4 cup water

1 large red bell pepper, de-seeded and chopped into large pieces

one 14-ounce can coconut milk (I used Trader Joe’s Light Coconut Milk)

optional seasonings – any included should be seasoned to taste : salt and pepper; red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, chili powder; cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg; garlic powder, onion powder, curry powder

optional additional vegetables – while steaming the sweet potato, steam carrots, squash, zucchini, or other vegetables on hand


Place sweet potato cubes in a large microwave-safe bowl or baking dish, add 3/4 cup water or until the water comes up about 1-inch high in the base bowl (the cubes do not need to be fully submerged in water; water simply needs to be present to create steam), cover bowl with plastic wrap, and heat on high-power for 13 to 15 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are very fork-tender (microwave temperatures and strengths vary and so will cooking times). Transfer cooked potatoes to a high-speed blender or food processor, add the red pepper, coconut milk, and blend on high power until very smooth and creamy.

Taste the soup and wait five minutes before seasoning it, and if desired season to taste (Note: I tasted the soup and thought it was bland and that it needed salt and pepper but did nothing and got sidetracked.  After going back to it five minutes later, my palate had adjusted and I realized I preferred the pure flavors of potatoes, peppers, and coconut milk and added nothing; however, season to your taste preferences. Adding a pinch of salt and pepper to each individual’s bowl before serving works fine).

Optionally, garnish with finely diced red peppers, a drizzle of coconut milk, coconut oil, coconut butter, or olive oil; fresh herbs, nuts or seeds, dollop of sour cream or yogurt; a dash of salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger. Store soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. Soup will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Only Eats

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Do you like sweet potatoes? Do you make soup?

Feel free to link up your favorite recipes.

120 comments on “Sweet Potato Red Pepper and Coconut Milk Soup”

  1. I love the simplicity of this recipe but its ability to impress guests nonetheless. What a cozy, comforting fall soup! I love to incorporate sweet potatoes into our recipe cycle once fall arrives and I think this will be just perfect. I am going to share this with my sister, too, because her youngest boy loves sweet potatoes and coconut more than anything on earth! She has 4 kids under the age of 8 so this is RIGHT up her alley!! Have a beautiful day, Averie! :-)

  2. This soup sounds super tasty! Love this flavour combination :)

  3. I’ve written love songs to sweet potatoes before – so it’s safe to say I’m a fan :)

    This soup is gorgeous, and I can’t believe how simple!! Love this one, Averie.

  4. What a great recipe to kick off Fall! I canot wait to make this.

  5. Holly Molly my mouth is watering! This looks like the perfect fall soup! I need to give this a try this weekend being as it is the unofficial start of fall

  6. This is so very much a recipe right up my alley. I love using sweet potatoes, pumpkin and butternut squash in soups. And like you mentioned, you can control all the flavors and the salt content. Why do soups have to be so darn salty to begin with?

  7. I love creamy, veggie-based soups. I was obsessed with butternut squash soup last year. Maybe this fall it will be sweet potato!

  8. I make soup all winter long, and I NEVER do all the steps that recipes call for. I’m more of a cut and dump soup cooker. No sauteeing, no measuring, no roasting. I can’t handle all that. I also really love soups like this – simple, unseasened – that you can store in individual servings and then, when you do get around to eating them, add in whatever seasoning you feel like at that time. It’s like getting four soups for the price of one! I’m bad at eating leftovers, so I need that in my life. Variety, you know. ;)

    • The whole time I was making this I was thinking of you! Thinking this is a Katie special. I know you don’t really like coconut things but are coming around w/ coconut oil. I think you’d love this soup. Or of course, cream always works :)

  9. My mouth is watering! I’ve never had a soup quite like this but with such easy preparation and so little ingredients, there’s no excuse not to whip up a little batch for a (hopefully chilly soon?) afternoon or evening. My mouth is watering! And I LOVE your vintage ladle and spoons.

  10. This is absolutely gorgeous, so thick and creamy. I love how you let the simple, clean flavors shine. And I’m a huge fan of leftovers too! I try to whip up a big batch of something whenever there are no leftovers in my fridge. :)

  11. That soup looks wonderful. The sweet potatoes are so nice right now; I just had oven fries last night that were fabulous. I also have problems with large amounts of salt. Every time I go out to eat at a restaurant I feel like a different person the next day from all the salt. I’ve begun saying no salt on all my food, but I’m still suspicious some is still lurking.

    • They don’t know how to cook without salt in a restaurant plus most things are made in bulk and then just fired off or heated up when a person’s order comes in so there’s really no way to just not salt one person’s food and let’s face it, most people love butter, salt, etc. and restaurants know this!

  12. I’m digging the simplicity of this soup! Perfect for the baby, too. Yum!

  13. I love sweet potatoes – can’t wait to try this (and I’m a cayenne girl, so I’ll be adding a few shakes of that!).

  14. yum! it looks so thick and delicious! i love the simplicity and the COLOR! gorgeous!

  15. Shut your face! I need this to funnel into my head right this second.

  16. wow, Averie, that looks amazing!!

  17. Is this real life? 3 ingredients and it’s paleo?! Loving you for this right now :)
    Also, those bowls are tormenting me. I spent 30 minutes in Anthro this past weekend coveting them and somehow (stupidly) walked out without them. Grrrr.

  18. I’ve sadly never had lobster bisque before–shellfish allergies be darned–but I do love a creamy sweet potato soup! As for variations, I love the idea of adding cashews and cinnamon. Have you tried this with chopped apples and lentils? If not, you definitely should! I make it that way and serve it with a huge dollop of Greek yogurt, and it’s a one-way ticket to food heaven. Thanks so much for sharing this!

    • havent tried it that way and sadly, I became randomly allergic to shellfish about 10 yrs ago out of the blue; shrimp highly, and lobster and crab are very iffy and the couple times Ive eaten them in the 10 yrs since, I’ve had itchy reactions and feel very out of balance so really have written off shellfish for life too :(

  19. Absolutely GORGEOUS photos!!!! I wish it was fall weather here, its’ WAY too hot. I’ll still eat soup though haha!

  20. This looks SO filling and tasty! It’s so thick it’s almost like a puree….yummy.

  21. I want to try it and see if it tastes like lobster bisque–that would be awesome!

  22. Averie… beautiful recipe, beautiful breautiful photos, and beautiful plateware! I am jealous. I want those bowls! Even though the recipe is simple, I can tell you spent time on the elegant pictures and well-crafted (and detailed!) post. Sometimes I truly feel like I am eating a spoonfull of salt when I slurp up some soups… even soups I eat out at restaurants. I try to buy the low sodium kinds – TJs has a great b-nut squash low sodium soup. I’ve never thought to use sweet potatoes instead of the butternut squash though! Simply LOVELY. And I like you description of it as “candy” b/c sweet taters are truly one of nature’s sweet candies!! I love them.

    Oh, and I’ve NEVER had or baked/cooked with coconut milk before! eeeek! Must get on that bandwagon. :)

    • You’ve never baked with coconut milk??!! And you love all things coconut! Change that, Missy :)

      And thanks for all the compliments. The recipe took two seconds, the photography…a little longer :) And the edits. Bright, intense, vibrant food, NATURAL food can almost be TOO bright for the camera. Had to really work to not shock the eye but still convey that yes, it really was that bright! The bowls are Anthro, the spoons and ladle are a vintage find locally.

      Soup at restaurants is a nightmare for me. I won’t even order it anymore b/c I’m so sensitive to sodium that it literally takes me 5-7 days to regulate and process all that salt! I have that TJs b-nut soup in my pantry…for like…a year+ I am scared to try it for fear of the salt situation, even tho it’s lo-salt. Lol

  23. This is gorgeous Averie! Clean, simple, and full of flavor! I can’t wait to try it :)

  24. Pingback: sweet potato, red pepper, and coconut milk soup. | Cooking Pics

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