Recipe: Tanzanian Coconut Potato Soup

updated Feb 3, 2020
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Around the World in 30 Soups: This month we’re collaborating with chefs, cookbook authors, and our own Kitchn crew to share a globetrotting adventure in soups from countries and cuisines around the world. Today’s stop: Tanzania.

For a window into Tanzania and its soups we turned to Evi Aki of Ev’s Eats and author of Flavors of Africa. Like so many soups from this part of the African continent, it leans on the richness and flavor of coconut.

Supu Viazi, or coconut potato soup, is a simple dish that screams the flavors of Tanzania. It’s packed with some of my favorite ingredients (like coconut milk and potatoes) and it’s why I love it so much. It has an underlying taste of coconut that doesn’t leave the soup tasting sweet, just deliciously velvety.

Soups in Tanzania are often thickened with coconut milk — since there’s an abundance of coconut trees on the coastline. You’ll find that coconuts, whether it be the flesh or the milk, are used a lot in Tanzanian cuisine. One bite of this soup instantly transports me to a tropical state of mind.

The base of the soup starts with peppers, onions, and tomatoes — a trio that is quite common in African cooking. The potatoes and green banana add some starch and are quite filling since this soup lacks any meat. Finished off with some sliced avocado on top, this soup is delicious and brings me so much comfort. You can serve this as a meal on its own or as a starter before any other meal. While the ingredients may be simple, there is nothing simple about the taste.

Evi Aki, author of Flavors of Africa

Coconut Potato Soup (Supu Viazi)

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


  • 2 tablespoons

    vegetable oil

  • 1

    large onion, diced

  • 4

    cloves garlic, minced

  • 1

    large green bell pepper, diced

  • 2

    large carrots, diced

  • 2

    large tomatoes, diced

  • 6

    medium Yukon gold potatoes, cubed

  • 1

    large green (unripe) banana, cubed

  • 1 (14-ounce) can

    coconut milk

  • 4 cups


  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

  • 1

    large avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced, for serving


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the bell pepper and carrots and sauté for 5 to 10 minutes.

  2. Add the tomatoes and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Most of the liquid should evaporate.

  3. Add the potatoes, banana, coconut milk and water. Stir the ingredients together and season with salt and black pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve the soup with the slices of avocado on top.

Recipe Notes

Reprinted with permission from Flavors of Africa by Evi Aki, Page Street Publishing Co. 2018.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Page Street Publishing)

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