Saturday, 28 March 2015

How to make Egusi (melon) soup with bitter leaf.

Hello blog family! How are we all doing? I hope this week was good to us. Today we are going to be making Egusi and bitter leaf soup. This is one soup I could go for years without cooking, this is because I did not like egusi or bitter leaf as a child and whenever the two were combined it was as if my whole house had conspired against me.
My mother tried all she could to get me to like this soup, but I just didn't like. All her efforts were not in vain though, cos she got me eating a little, I learnt to tolerate this soup. Many years later in my own home, anything egusi or bitter leaf could not be found in my kitchen (why cook what I won't enjoy eating?). I didn't even think anything of this until one day my darling husband asked why I had never cooked bitter leaf soup or egusi soup in our house. I realised I had not even given my kids a chance to make up their own minds about this soup. I have started cooking egusi and bitter leaf in my home, but not often.

My main issue with bitter leaf or egusi is the way they smell, so when I'm making this soup I use goat meat and stock fish to help with the smell. Sometimes I fry the egusi before blending, I'll do a post on that too. Egusi with bitter leaf is a delicious Nigerian soup. I believe I'm just one of the few who are not crazy about it. That's one interesting thing about humans, we are not all wired the same.

Egusi lovers, this one's for you.

2 cups Egusi, blended
500g goat meat
1/3 cup palm oil
1/2 cup crayfish
1 onion bulb
3 fresh scotch bonnet 
1 stock fish head
3 stock cubes
Cow skin
Washed bitter leaf
Black fungus (optional)

Blended egusi
Wash stock fish and soak in salt water to soften.
Pound or blend pepper, crayfish and onions together. 
Wash the meat and cow skin properly. Cut to desired size. Put meat and cow skin in a pot. Season with 1 stock cube, pepper, onions and salt. Add water and bring to a boil. Add stock fish.
When it is cooked, add the pepper mix. Make sure there is still enough water in the pot.
Add egusi, add palm oil. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes, stir frequently to avoid burning.
Add stock cubes, bitterleaf and black fungus. Stir. If it's too thick, add some water until it reaches the consistency you like. I like mine somewhere in the middle, not too watery not too thick.
Correct seasoning. Allow to cook for about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve with eba, semovita etc.

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