Egusi Soup: A Delicious and Easy Nigerian Dish Egusi soup is a traditional Nigerian dish that is made with ground melon seeds, meat, fish, vegetables, and spices.
It has a rich and nutty flavor that is sure to satisfy your taste buds. Whether you are a beginner or an expert cook, you can easily whip up this soup in no time. In this article, we will show you how to make egusi soup in simple steps. We will also share some tips and variations to make it your own. So, get ready to impress your family and friends with this delicious dish!
Ingredients for Egusi soup
What You Need to Make Egusi Soup Before we start cooking, let’s gather the ingredients we need for this soup. Here is the list:
- Ground Melon (Egusi): This is the main ingredient of the soup. It is made from dried and ground melon seeds, which are also called egusi. They give the soup its distinctive flavor and texture.
- Turkey: We will use turkey as the meat for this soup. It adds a tasty and tender bite to the soup. You can also use other types of meat, such as beef, chicken, or fish.
- Smoked Mackerel: We will also add smoked mackerel to the soup. It adds a smoky and savory flavor to the soup. You can also use stockfish, which is dried and smoked fish. Just make sure to wash it well before adding it to the soup.
- Salt: We will season the soup with salt to bring out the flavors of the ingredients.
- Beef Stock Cubes: We will use beef stock cubes to enhance the flavor of the soup. You can also use chicken or vegetable stock cubes, or make your own stock from scratch.
- Nigerian Pepper Mix: We will spice up the soup with a blend of red bell peppers, scotch bonnet peppers, and onions. This mix adds a nice heat and color to the soup. You can adjust the amount of peppers according to your preference.
- Dried Prawns: We will add some dried prawns to the soup. They add a crunchy and salty flavor to the soup. You can also use fresh or frozen prawns, or omit them if you don’t like them.
- Iru Woro or Pete (Locust Beans): We will add some locust beans to the soup. They add a unique aroma and flavor to the soup. They are also known as iru woro or pete in Nigeria. If you can’t find them, you can substitute them with ogiri, which is another type of fermented bean, or skip them altogether.
- Palm Oil: We will use palm oil to cook the soup. It is a common oil in Nigerian cuisine and it gives the soup its bright color. You can also use vegetable oil if you prefer a lighter version of the soup.
- Spinach: We will use spinach as the vegetable for this soup. It adds a fresh and green touch to the soup. You can use any type of spinach, but we recommend baby spinach for this recipe. You can also use other vegetables, such as pumpkin leaves, efo igbo, bitter leaves, or waterleaf.
Spices for Egusi
- 1 teaspoon of iru (locust beans, optional)
- Seasoning cube
- 2 tablespoons of ground crayfish
- 2 teaspoons of Cameroon pepper
How to Cook Egusi Soup There are different ways to cook egusi soup, depending on the texture and consistency you want. Some people like to fry the egusi paste in oil before adding it to the soup, which makes it thicker and more nutty. Others like to boil the egusi paste in the soup, which makes it lighter and less lumpy. In this article, we will use the boiling method. Here are the steps:
- In a bowl, add the ground melon and some water. Mix well to form a smooth paste. Set aside.
- Wash and chop the spinach. Squeeze out the excess water and set aside.
- In a large pot, heat some palm oil over medium heat. Don’t let it get too hot or it will bleach.
- Add the chopped onions and fry until soft and translucent.
- Add the pepper mix and the locust beans and bring to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Slowly add the egusi paste to the pepper mixture, stirring as you go. Don’t add too much at once or it will clump together.
- Lower the heat and cover the pot with a lid. Let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes, without stirring.
- Remove the lid and gently stir the soup. The egusi will have formed some lumps by now. You can use a ladle to break them into smaller pieces, or leave them as they are, depending on how you like them.
- Add the turkey, the dried prawns, the ground crayfish, the beef stock cubes, and some salt. Mix well and taste the soup. Adjust the seasoning if needed.
- Cook the soup for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
- Add the smoked mackerel and the spinach. Mix well and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, until the spinach is wilted.
- Turn off the heat and let the soup rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
Tips and Variations for Egusi Soup Here are some tips and variations to make your egusi soup even better:
- If you don’t have turkey, you can use any other meat you like, such as beef, chicken, or fish. You can also use a combination of different meats for more variety.
- If you don’t have smoked mackerel, you can use stockfish, which is dried and smoked fish. Make sure to wash it well in hot water with salt before adding it to the soup. You can also use fresh or frozen fish, such as catfish, tilapia, or salmon.
- If you want to add more vegetables to the soup, you can use pumpkin leaves, efo igbo, bitter leaves, or waterleaf. Each vegetable will give the soup a different flavor and texture. You can also use a combination of different vegetables for more nutrition and color.
- If you want to make a lighter version of the soup, you can omit the palm oil and use vegetable oil instead. You can also reduce the amount of oil you use, or skip it altogether. The soup will still be tasty, but it will have a different color and texture.
- You can serve egusi soup with any type of swallow, such as pounded yam, eba, amala, fufu, or semolina. You can also serve it with rice, bread, or plantain. Enjoy your egusi soup with a cold drink and some fresh fruits for dessert. Bon appetit!
Egusi soup is a delicious and easy Nigerian dish that you can make at home with simple ingredients. It is a versatile and nutritious soup that can be enjoyed with various types of swallow, rice, bread, or plantain. By following the steps in this guide, you can learn how to make egusi soup using the boiling method, which results in a lighter and less lumpy soup. You can also customize your egusi soup by using different meats, fish, vegetables, and spices, according to your preference and availability. Egusi soup is a great way to experience the rich and diverse flavors of Nigerian cuisine. Try it today and share your feedback with us! ?