How to Cook Black Soup
Black soup is a local food of the Edo people in Nigeria and it is mainly made from crushed vegetables. This is very famous like the Nigerian jollof rice, Green Soup but it is prepared differently. This food is usually top of the menu in our local restaurants( in the southern part of Nigeria). It is also common recipe for the raining season as it warms the body up. You are about to learn how to prepare black soup .
The Niger delta region of Nigeria is one the areas in the country that is highly infested with mosquitoes and it is usually at its peak in the raining season. At that time of the year, people in that region call it the Black Soup season because they believe that black soup is anti Malaria.
Modern day black soup has evolved, it is now prepared in many different forms. I am going to be talking about one of the simplest black soup recipes that is obtainable no matter your location. This is currently my best African dish.
How To Prepare Black Soup
We are first of all going to list the ingredients for black soup:
- Bitter Leaf (Vernonia amygdalina)
- Scent leaf (Ocimum gratissimum)
- Dried Crayfish
- Palm oil
- Dried Fish
- Kpomo (cow skin)
- Seasoning Cubes
- Nigerian Periwinkle (shelled)
- Stock Fish
Now that we are done listing the ingredients, let’s get to business. The first step to preparing a very delicious and simple black soup starts with picking the right ingredients. Make sure your vegetables are fresh and clean, wash them thoroughly with clean water.
Some people are not very comfortable with the very bitter taste of bitter leaf so they reduce the bitterness by squeezing the leaf in washing motion. While some boil the leaf in water for 5 to 10 minutes to reduce the bitterness. After you have gotten the level of bitterness you desire from the bitter leaf, you can put it in a blender and blend. Remember to add lots of water while blending in order for it to blend smoothly, this also protect your blender. (If you don’t have a very strong blender, it is preferable to use another alternative as the hardness of the leaf can spoil a fragile blender).
As for the scent leaf, you can wash that in running water to remove the dirt. Then put it in a blender and blend till it is smooth. You should also add enough water while blending to make it easy to blend. Once your leaves are smooth you can place them aside in a bowl.
After that you should wash your meat (Beef, chicken or Goat meat), kpomo (you can chop this in small pieces), and Nigerian periwinkle (remove the black eye) thoroughly, put them in a pot, add your seasoning cubes, salt and water. Close the lid and leave to boil for 10 to 15 minutes. While it boils you can wash your onions (you can use one or two bolls of onions depending on how much you like Onions) , and dried Cray fish in water and place on your blender. Blend that until it is smooth and keep aside.
Once your meat is properly cooked you can add you ground onions and dried cray fish to the pot. Add your pepper to taste, I suggest you use Cameroon pepper( don’t know what this is called in other regions) . Please note that the water in the pot should not be above your ingredients. Allow to boil for few minutes and add your palm oil. In order to know the quantity of palm oil to add you should try the local method of using your cooking spoon to measure or a measuring cup. You can use two cooking spoon of palm oil. Cover the pot and allow to boil for some minutes.
At this point you can now add your ground leaves and allow to boil for some minutes. While it boils you can wash your dried fish and add to the soup. Leave for some minutes and taste the soup for seasoning. If you require more salt and seasoning cubes you can add to taste at this point. Allow to boil for some minutes and viola your black soup is ready.
Here are some things you need to know about how to prepare black soup :
- Its herbal
- Its curbs excess sugar in the body system
- Its anti-malaria
- Its very tasty
- Its very nutritious.
- It is food
This soup can be eaten with any of the local swallow( pounded yam, Eba, Fufu or starch) you can also sip it with a spoon as you will normal pepper soup. Now that you know the easy way to prepare your Edo Black soup, you can try it out today and give me feedback in the comment section. I am also open to questions and observation.