Sweet potato and coconut soup with ham

900g (2lb) sweet potatoes, diced

2 tbsp sunflower oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 celery stick, finely chopped

1 red chilli, halved, seeded and thinly sliced

1.25 litres (2 ¼ pints) vegetable or chicken stock

4 tsp tomato purée

400g (14oz) can coconut milk

225g (8oz) cooked, shredded ham hock

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Handful of fresh coriander leaves, to garnish

Crusty bread, to serve

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Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup with Ham

I like to use leftover ham hock in this soup, but you could use shop-bought soup or even bacon would work well. This soup keeps well for 2-3 days in the fridge. It can also be frozen for up to 1 month, but it may need to be blitzed with a hand blender when reheating, as it may be split.

To Cook

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6). Place the sweet potatoes in a baking tin, drizzle over 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil and roast for 15 minutes, or until tender. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, celery and chilli and sweat for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the roasted sweet potatoes with the stock and tomato purée, then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until all of the vegetables are completely tender.

Reserve 3-4 tablespoons of the coconut milk as a garnish and pour the remainder into the pan with most of the shredded ham hock, again holding back to garnish. Cook for another few minutes, stirring constantly. Season to taste and ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Add a drizzle of the reserved coconut milk and scatter over the rest of the shredded ham hock and the coriander leaves to garnish. Serve hot with crusty bread on the side.

Here's how to cook...
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