Egusi Soup – Efo Elegusi is an extremely popular Nigerian vegetable soup. The most popular vegetable options for Efo Elegusi are Ugu (Pumpkin leaves), Spinach and Bitterleaf. I prefer a mix of Ugu and Efinrin leaves. I choose to add Efinrin because it’s an aromatic herb and it’s distinctively flavourful in soups. I’ll be using both leaves today; fresh Ugu leaves and dry Efinrin leaves. (Thanks to sisi Jemimah for the info)
Assorted Meats (Beef, Ponmo, Goat meat, Cow leg, Shaki and other offals are ideal)
1.5 Cups Whole Egusi/ 1 Cup Ground Egusi
1/2 Cup Palm Oil
1-2 Cups Chicken/ Meat Stock
3 Red Bell Pepper (Tatashe)
2 Medium Onions
2 Scotch Bonnet (Atarodo)
3 Heaped Tablespoons Ground Crayfish
1/4 Cup Smoked Prawns (optional)
1 Medium Size Smoked Fish / Stockfish
1 Maggi Crayfish or any Bouillon cube of your choice
Salt to Taste
(Adding different types of protein is always optional not mandatory).
Blend the bell peppers, scotch bonnet and 1 onion roughly, also grind your Egusi if you haven’t done so already and set aside…
Place a pot on a hob on medium heat, add the palm oil, when it’s hot, add half chopped onion
Sauté the onions till fragrant, then add the blended pepper mix and Maggi crayfish or your preferred bouillon cube. If you’ll be using meat stock later on, do not add salt so you don’t end up going overboard with salt. If your stock is well seasoned, you’ll find you won’t need to add any more salt.
Fry the pepper mix for 10 minutes, by this time the size would have reduced by almost half and the palm oil would have settled on the top
Now add 1 or 2 cups of meat stock (depending on how thick or watery you like your Egusi soup) and continue to cook for 5 minutes… If you haven’t got stock, just add water..
Add the Egusi paste into the stew and stir, let this cook for 5 minutes, then the meats, smoked/ stockfish, prawns and 1 tablespoon crayfish. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary…
Let this continue to cook for 5-7 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning..
Switch the heat off and let it simmer with the residual heat for 2-3 minutes…
AND WALLA!! Eat with your preferred swallow!