Recently, a friend was telling me how back in his school days in University of Nigeria, Nsukka (decades ago) he and his roomies would substitute groundnut for egusi in their soup. It was quite intriguing to hear a guy passionately share his cooking experience. Before then, I have heard people mention groundnut soup but combining groundnuts, tomatoes and leaves were considered (by me) as being quite absurd. Thus, I have never given a try out a thought.
However, after hearing it from my friend, I finally cooked it. Trust me; it sure made sense! The taste was everything I have been told and more - an incredible combination of savoury and sweet; very pleasant indeed and highly nutritious too. Served with fufu in Ghana and over rice as a national dish in Gambia, groundnut soup/stew is, of course, not native to only Southern and Northern Nigeria. Known also as peanut soup, it is quite popular in Taiwan (East Asia) and as a traditional Thanksgiving meal in Virgina (Unites States).
Though usually cooked plain or with pureed carrots in those parts of the world, the addition of leafy greens (ugwu, scent leaf, spinach or bitter leaf) and several other condiments - trust Naija with traditional spices - boosts this soup's nutritional punch and makes it a lot tastier. You really should try this delish if you are yet to.
Groundnut Soup Recipe
- 2 cups roasted groundnut (dry milled into paste)
- Any meat of choice (assorted/goat/beef/chicken)
- handful any leafy green of choice (chopped and washed)
- medium red onion (chopped)
- 6-10 Scotch bonnet (ata rodo)
- fresh tomatoes
- shrimps (dry or fresh)
- Dry smoked fish (optional)
- 2 Tbs ground crayfish
- 1 Cooking spoon Palm oil
- Stock water
- Seasoning cubes
- Salt to taste
Season meat appropriately and bring to boil till well cooked. When almost soft, wash stockfish and shrimp add to the pot of boiling meat. Alternatively, stockfish can be soaked in hot water and salt, but that might take longer to soften.
While meat is cooking, blend tomatoes, onions and pepper. Set aside.
Scoop cooked meat out of the pot into a bowl, reduce heat to medium and pour in blended pepper and ground crayfish. Leave to boil for about 10 minutes then add the groundnut paste. Ensure to stir well so as to dissolve and eliminate likely lumps. You may need to add some water then leave to cook for 10 -12 minutes. Stir at intervals, taste for salt and adjust accordingly.
As the groundnut mix cooks, a thin film of oil may show on the surface. At this point, pour back your meat, stock fish, smoked fish and shrimps. Add palm oil, cook for another 5 minutes. Then finally add green vegetables and leave to simmer for just about 3 minutes.
Serve hot with any choice of swallow or rice.