Inlaw series part 2 (spinach and melon soup with hot cassava rolls popularly know as eba and egusi soup)

Clearly I need to up my soup making skills especially after serving H2’s father salty banga soup, this coupled with the fact that H2 is tired of rice means that the next couple of posts will either be about my quest to perfect my African soup making skills or non-rice based dishes….
This was actually my first time of making Egusi soup, for some reason we only really eat swallow when my mum is around and she literally has to feed us because most of the time we just lick the soup and eat all the meat in her soup (doesn’t apply to V1, she the soup making queen).
Did you notice my tradition soup pot – I remembered that my mum always served my father’s pepper soup in these traditional soup pots, so I requested one from my aunty in Sapele when I visited home in May…..
…… when the customs officers were searching my bags at the airport in Lagos, they saw the pot and a mini mortar and pestle in my suitcase. They exclaimed: “sister where you dey carry this one go now”. I said: Oga no vex I just marry and I want to dey cook nice nice traditional soup for my husband. My pigeon English was appalling but they actually seemed impressed with my intentionsJ
I didn’t really have a recipe and my mother was in church so I made this soup with a ‘I know the ingredients that go into egusi soup, I can do this, lets make this happen’ attitude. And this time, everyone loved it! J
DVs Recipe: spinach and melon soup with hot cassava rolls popularly know as eba and egusi soup

Ingredients

  • 500g of raw chicken
  • 1/2 cup palm oil
  • 2 * 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 scotch bonnet peppers
  • 300g of ground melon seeds
  • 750g of spinach, washed and chopped
  • 200g of dry ground crayfish
  • ½ tsp of dry red pepper
  • 1 garlic clove – sliced thinly (optional)
  • Ginger – size of  one garlic clove, sliced thinly (optional)
  • ½ a cup of water
  • Salt to taste
  • Knorr  stock cubes
  • Maggi crayfish stock cubes
  • Juice of ½ a lemon

Directions

  1. Wash chicken with the lemon juice and water
  2. Place washed chicken in a pot and season with 2 knorr cubes, 1 tsp of dry pepper, ½ tsp of salt, ginger, garlic, ½ a cup of water and sweat chicken over a low heat for 10 minutes.
  3. Put tomatoes, onions and scotch bonnet peppers in a blender and blend until smooth
  4. In a separate pot, heat the palm oil on low medium heat for 2 minutes, add tomato mixture and chicken, cook on low medium heat for 20mintues
  5. Add ground crayfish, 2 maggi crayfish stock cubes, ½ a tsp of salt and cover pot, continue to cook on low medium heat for 30mintues
  6. Add ground melon seed and simmer for 15 minutes
  7. Stir chopped spinach into the soup, simmer 10 minutes.
  8. Turn off heat
Serve with rice or swallow of choice (eba, amala, pounded yam, fufu, ground rice, semovita, plantain flour, etc)
Tip
v  I used frozen spinach which was fine but next time I will defrost properly, squeeze the water out of them and slice them before I add to my soup or better still use fresh spinach
v  My mum prefers to heat up the palm oil first in a separate pot, add the ground melon seeds and fry 10 minutes before adding to the tomato mixture.
v  V1 prefers to use olive oil as it’s healthier than palm oil.
v  You can use any meat variation of your choice, I personally like the taste of chicken cooked in egusi soup.
v  The process of sweating food means exactly what you think it means – making them release water; it generally means that you need to keep the released water from evaporating to a certain extent. This means the water doesn’t evaporate, the chicken doesn’t dry out, and they end up cooking in their own expelled water. As long as you have them on a low heat, the pot is covered, they can go on stewing in their own juices for quite a while, intensifying their flavour.
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