Knox and Leo’s Purple Yam Soup

Team Vanuatu


2 purple yam
3 coconuts
1 lemongrass stalk
3 star anise
¼ cinnamon stick
½ onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 inch piece ginger, sliced
4 chicken thighs (on the bone)
3 bele leaves (island spinach)
½ cup virgin coconut oil
Handful moringa leaves


  1. Sear chicken thighs in a pan with a teaspoon of the virgin coconut oil
  2. Simmer the chicken thigh in a litre of water with the lemongrass, ginger, star anise, chopped onion, sliced ginger, garlic and cinnamon to make stock
  3. Simmer for about 30- 45 minutes, then strain, reserving the chicken thighs.
  4. Remove the meat from the chicken thighs and keep cool
  5. Grate 3 coconuts (keep the water)
  6. Squeeze the coconut gratings to make coconut cream
  7. Peel and wash yam
  8. Cut into pieces and add to boiling stock
  9. Remove about 1/3 of the yam cubes from the stock
  10. Heat oil in pan then fry yam cubes until golden brown
  11. Set fried yam aside for garnish
  12. Add coconut cream to the soup and season
  13. Then blend soup to achieve a smooth texture
  14. Wash bele leaves and blanch quickly in hot water
  15. Add remaining coconut oil (1/4 cup) to bele and moringa
  16. Blend until smooth
  17. Season well
  18. Pour soup into bowl
  19. Add cubed yams
  20. Topped with shredded chicken meat
  21. Add drops of bele oil for colour and contrast

Team Vanuatu Recipes Knox and Leo

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