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RECIPES FOR THICKENED SOUPS

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Palm nut soup

12 cups of palm nuts                1 large onion or about 8 shallots
500g meat                        3 garden eggs
500g smoked fish                    salt and pepper to taste
4 crabs or snails (optional)
3 tomatoes

1.    Wash palm nuts, cover with water in a saucepan and boil until they are soft.
2.    Wash meat. Cut into neat pieces; add half the onion, a little salt and a little water. Cook slowly in a separate pot.
3.    When nuts are soft, pour out water and beat the nuts in a mortar until the skins are crushed. Put into a bowl and mix with warm water.
4.    Squeeze the nuts, take out the fibre. Beat and strain again until al the oil is removed.
5.    Strain the liquid through a sieve
6.    Add the palm nut liquid to the meat. Add washed garden eggs, tomatoes, pepper and remainder of onion
7.    Simmer till all the ingredients are soft. Remove the garden eggs and tomatoes and pepper. Grind pepper and tomatoes, mix with some of the liquid from the  soup and strain to remove seeds, etc. return to soup. Remove skin from garden eggs, mash some and return the rest whole.
8.    Add the fish and crabs. Season. Continue simmering until a thick consistency is obtained and all ingredients are tender.
9.    Skim off surplus oil from the top of the soup. Store for future use.

Groundnut soup

4 cups of groundnut                    4 tomatoes
750g meat, fish, or chicken                4 okras
Crabs, shrimps (optional)                21/2 litres of cold water or stock
1 large onion or 8 shallots                salt and pepper to taste

Method 1
1.    Roast groundnuts in sand over slow fire, cool, remove skins and grind to a smooth paste
2.    Wash and cut up meat or fish or chicken
3.    Put meat or chicken with salt and water in a pot and simmer gently.
4.    Mix nut paste with a little liquid or stock and add to soup
5.    Grind pepper and onions; add to soup. Add tomatoes, garden eggs and okras. Season.
6.    Cook slowly till all the ingredients are tender and soup is of correct consistency.
7.    If fresh fish is used, add prepared fish about 15 minutes before soup is ready.

Method 2

1.    Roast and grind groundnuts.
2.    Put meat, vegetables, half the tomatoes and onions into a pot and allow to simmer
3.    Mix groundnut paste with water to a thick consistency. Sieve into pot. Add mashed onion, tomato pulp and a little salt. Bring to the boil and simmer with the lid on. Stir occasionally until oil collects at the top. Remove from the fire.
4.    Add to the meat. Mix and add more water if necessary.
5.    Cook slowly until thick.
The oil from the groundnuts is extracted so that it does not float on top giving the soup an oily appearance
6.    Garnish with a few shelled hard-boiled eggs.


Palm oil soup

500g fish                            4 tomatoes
1 cup of roasted egusi (optional)                125 ml palm oil
1 large onion                            500ml water           
Salt and pepper to taste

1.    Grind the onion, peppers and tomatoes. Prepare the fish and add salt
2.    Put the palm oil and water to boil in a covered pot.
3.    Mix the egusi into a smooth paste and add to the liquid. Add the ground ingredients.
4.    Cook steadily and slowly until soup is thick. Add the fish. Season. Cover the pot and simmer gently until fish is done and the soup is of the right consistency.
Note: Use less water if egusi is omitted. In that case the vegetables act as the thickening agent.

Okra soup

500g fish or meat                    3 tomatoes
2 garden eggs                         cold water or stock
6 okras                        salt and pepper to taste.

1.    Prepare the fish or cut meat into neat pieces.
2.    Put the meat, salt and a few slices of onion into the saucepan or pot and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3.    Add the water and bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 30 minutes
4.    Add the vegetables and the rest of the onions. If fish is used, use less water and cook the vegetables until they are soft.
5.    Remove vegetables, grind or mash, then separate, removing the skins and seeds. Sieve pulp. Return to soup. Reserve a few pieces of garden egg for garnishing.
6.    Season and allow to simmer until meat is tender and the required consistency is reached.
Cocoyam soup

500g meat                        2 tomatoes
½ pig’s foot                        750ml cold water
1 large onion                        salt and pepper to taste
3 or 4 cocoyam or 4 slices    of yam            1 dessertspoon tomato paste (optional)

1.    Cut and soak pig’s foot for 30 minutes. Wash well.
2.    Wash and cut up meat into small pieces. Put in a sauce pan, add pig’s foot, water and salt, bring to the boil and skim.
3.    Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes until meat is almost tender. Add ground or chopped onion, pepper and tomatoes. Cover saucepan and continue simmering.
4.    Peel, cut and wash cocoyam or yam. Add to the soup. Add the tomato paste and a little more salt if necessary. Simmer soup gently until the cocoyams are soft. Mash them in the soup or leave them whole.
Smoked or fresh fish may be used instead of meat. This soup may be served as a main dish for an evening meal with more cocoyam or yam, especially if served hot in cold weather.

Bean soup

500g meat                    2 large tomatoes
250g salt beef                    handful of macaroni (optional)
½ pig’s foot                    750ml cold water
250g green beans                salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of broad beans                1 dessertspoon tomato to tastes
1 large onion

1.    Boil broad beans till soft enough to be skinned. String and cut green beans
2.    Follow instructions for cocoyam soup to stage 3
3.    Then add prepared beans, tomato paste and macaroni. Season well
4.    Cover and allow to simmer until ingredients are tender and flavors well blended
5.    If macaroni is not available, thicken the soup with one tablespoonful flour mixed to a paste with cold water.

Water yam soup

2 cups of grated water yam                1 onion
4 smoked fish                        1 large tomato
4 tablespoonful palm oil                salt to taste
6 large peppers                    ½ litre waters

1.    Flake fish. Grind peppers, onion and tomato. Grate the water yam
2.    Make a soup with the oil, pepper, onion and water.
3.    Add the grated water yam in lumps. Leave to cook before stirring. Stir gently with a wooden spoon. Taste for seasoning
4.    When cooked, serve hot with agidi.

Dumpling soup
2 cups of flour                        3 teaspoons of baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt                    1 tablespoon margarine
150ml milk

1.    Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt
2.    Rub in the margarine, add the milk and stir quickly to form a soft dough
3.    Drop spoonfuls into boiling soup, stew, or boiling water
Dumplings add flavor and body to thin soups. They serve as starchy food when served with stews. If cooked in boiling water they should be served as an accompaniment to the meat dish in place of rice or root vegetables. Salt, pepper and seasonings may be added to the water. Dumplings should be fluffy when coked, therefore the saucepan should be kept tightly covered during coking.

Vegetable pepper soup
1 litre beef or chicken stock or                2 large ripe peppers-chopped
2 cubes of beef or chicken bouillon             salt and white pepper
A few carrots, green beans                6 small cocoyam or 3 slices of yam
2 small onions-chopped                    3 fresh tomatoes-sliced

1.    Prepare the vegetables
2.    Add all the ingredients to the stock, cover and simmer for 1 hour or more. Stir occasionally and taste for salt and pepper. If necessary add more salt and pepper
This type of soup improves in flavor with long simmering.
3.    A few pieces of meat (beef, mutton or chicken) may be added. In that case cook in the stock until partly tender before adding the vegetables.

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