Zanzibar Carrot and Coconut Soup

This soup reminds me a lot of a soup I had at the Archipelago restaurant, Zanzibar in September 2007. After a lovely day, going on a spice tour, snorkeling and other adventures we headed into Stone Town (we were staying at the wonderful Zanzibar Coffee House). I was just so amazed at how little I had known about spices before. I saw for the first time with my own eyes how cinnamon bark looks like on the tree, how vanilla grows, lemon grass, turmeric, cloves, ginger, cocoa....every spice I could think of grew in this forest and the aroma surrounding us in the heat was absolutely wonderful. I was thinking this when I ate my bowl of carrot soup. I was looking over the Indian Ocean, taking in the aroma of the ocean with the fishermens' catch of the day being cooked at the Forodhani Food Market.  The sounds, the smell, the sight....Amazing. Oh how life can be sweet sometimes! If I ever need to impress dinner guests and want to be sure they like what I have to serve, I prepare this soup, it never fails to impress. It is also the perfect soup for someone with a gluten or dairy intolerance as it contains neither. The vegetables are just so sweet without being too sweet and pair perfectly with the coconut milk. It is full of vitamins such as vitamins A, C and K as well as fibre.

Note that you will need a food processor or a blender/hand blender to make the soup.

Such a lovely soup and reminds me so much of Zanzibar

This recipe is:

  • Egg free
  • Gluten free
  • Lactose (dairy) free
  • Nut free
  • Vegan

Zanzibar Carrot and Coconut Soup

Serves 4


  • 1 large onion, chopped coarsely
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped very finely
  • 1 small piece fresh ginger (similar to a grape in size), chopped very finely
  • 300 grams (11 oz) carrots (the best available), peeled and chopped coarsely
  • 150 grams (5¼ oz) sweet potato, peeled and chopped coarsely
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 750 millilitres (25¾ fluid oz) water (start with 500 millilitres (17 fluid oz))
  • 2 yeast free vegetable stock cubes
  • 150 millilitres (5¼ fluid oz) coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt (Himalaya or sea salt)
  • Pepper (white) if needed
  • Pinch of saffron threads (optional)



  1. Peel the onion and chop coarsely.
  2. Peel 4 garlic cloves and chop very finely. Add to the saucepan.
  3. Peel the small piece ginger (you can do this with a spoon as the skin is thin) and grate or chop very finely. Add to saucepan.
  4. Wash and peel the 300 grams carrots and 150 grams sweet potato and chop coarsely.
  5. Heat 2 teaspoons coconut oil in the saucepan.
  6. Fry the onion for 5 minutes or until soft. Add a couple of tablespoons water if needed.
  7. Add 1 teaspoon curry powder and stir frequently for 5 minutes.
  8. Add 500 millilitres water to the saucepan and the 2 vegetable stock cubes.
  9. Turn the heat up and let the vegetables simmer for 15 minutes or until fairly soft.
  10. Add 150 millilitres coconut milk and the remaining 250 millilitres (8¾ fluid oz) water (or less if a thicker soup is preferred). Do not let the soup to boil.
  11. Add a pinch of saffron (optional) and salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Let the soup cool off for 15 minutes and blend it with a hand blender or turn it in batches into a food processor or blender. Blend for 1 minute for a smooth texture. Transfer soup back into the saucepan.
  13. Turn the heat up again and allow the soup to gently simmer for 5 minutes.




  • Serve with nice bread.
  • You can freeze leftover coconut milk. Freeze in an ice cube tray and use in soups, smoothies and more.
  • The soup is even better the next day once the flavours have really settled. Pour the soup into containers and re-heat the next day.
  • For a thinner soup add more water.  
  • If the coconut oil is cold (in which case it becomes solid), place the jar in a bowl filled with hot water for a couple of minutes.        
  • You can use regular stock cubes instead of yeast free ones.
  • You can use chicken stock instead of vegetable stock.    
  • The soup can be frozen and reheated later.