Egusi Soup; With a burst of flavours.

A picture they say, says a thousands words, unfortunately it does not express the fragrance or taste. If it did, you’d know how I feel about this plate of Egusi Soup. It tastes and smells good to the last drop!

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I wish we explored our local spices and flavours a little more then we would give up the excessive salt and MSG  we put in our food. I made this Egusi without palm oil, however,  I replaced palm oil with Palm nut cream, I used a generous about of Ehu ( Calabash Nutmeg), Ogiri and Uziza leaves.

Recipe

Ingredients

•    2 cups blended Egusi (Melon Seeds)

•    Assorted Meats (Snail, Cowleg, Goat meat)

•    Assorted Fish (Stock fish, Smoked fish)

•   1 tbsp Ground crayfish

•    3 cups shredded Ugu  (flute pumpkin leaves)

•    1 Cup Shredded Uziza leaves

•    2 1/2 Cups Blended Pepper Mix (Tomatoes + Scotch Bonnet + Jalapeño/Bawa/Sombo/ long tatashe)

•    1 Large Onion

•   3 Umilo/Ulima Seed (blended with a dry mill or coffee blender,  in the absence of those pound it in a mortar

• 1 Ehu Seed (blend with the Ulima)

•    Meat Stock

•    2 Bouillon cubes

•    Salt to taste

•    1 wrap Ogiri

•    1  cup of concentrated Palm nut cream. If you’d be making yours use about 500g of  Palm nuts (Banga/Akwu). That should yield about 3 cups of palm nut extract.

Procedure

–   Wash, season with salt and bouillon cubes your assorted meats, cook with onion till tender, add assorted fish if using any and add blended pepper, cook till the pepper doesn’t taste raw.

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–    Add blended Ehu and Ulima seeds, crayfish and Ogiri. Cook for an additional 10 minutes.

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–   Add your blended Egusi into the soup, it would soak up all the water.  Dilute the palm nut concentrate if you are using the tinned type and add to the egusi in the pot.  Stir till all is incorporated. At this point taste if it requires additional seasoning with salt or bouillon cubes. Adjust to your taste buds, do not over power.

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–      Allow the egusi to cook for 10 mins, then  stir in the two washed and shredded vegetables. Once the vegetables have gone in cook only for an additional 5 minutes, with the lid off, so as not to over cook and to let excess water escape. The heat of the soup is enough to finish it off after that. Serve with your choice of side dish.

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