Coconut Bean Soup

This is a very popular soup found all over the island. It is a mixture of coconut milk, kidney beans and spices. It’s creamy and decadent and sure to be a family favorite.

This soup cooks very quickly, and is a great pantry meal when you find no time to go to the store. If you’re in a hurry, and need this soup fast, or if you just happen to be out of the spices listed, you can use a good curry powder instead, 1/2-1 tbsp should suffice. Start with 1 and go by taste, adding more if you like it stronger.

This soup is great to pack for lunch at the office, and freezes well too!

Coconut Bean Soup

Coconut Bean Soup

Course Lunch, Soup, World Recipes
Cuisine Zanzibar
Servings 6


  • 1 tbsp 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 cup Onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup ½ cup green peppers, chopped
  • 1 Minced jalapeno or serrano pepper
  • 2-3 cloves Minced garlic
  • 1" piece Minced ginger
  • 2 tsp Ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp Ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp Ground cardamom
  • 1 Pinch Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 1 cup Fresh tomato, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 2 cans Kidney beans with liquid (or black-eyed peas)
  • 1 can Coconut milk
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup Cooked rice optional
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut Garnish
  • Fresh cilantro, toasted almond slices Garnish


  • In a large saucepan, heat the oil and sauté the onions until softened.
  • Add peppers, spices, salt, pepper, and tomato, and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add the kidney beans with their liquid, the coconut milk, and water.
  • Simmer gently for 10 minutes, Stir in the cooked rice, if using, and heat for about 2 minutes til hot.
  • Ladle into bowls. Top each serving with 1 Tablespoon of shredded coconut, cilantro and almonds, serve.


Serve with cornbread to make it a meal, and give it an American twist! Alternately, instead of mixing in rice, if you like "rice and beans", add a big scoop of hot rice to the bowl, and ladle over the soup. Enjoy!
Keyword beans, coconut, comfort food, vegan, vegetarian

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