Black soup is one of the popular soups known in Benin. It is easy to prepare but you have to get the measurement of the leaves right so you don't have an okward tasting soup.
If gotten wrong it could taste too bitter, or too 'scent leaf filled'. Lol I cant imagine how that would feel like.
A perfect blend of all the leaves will make a perfect black soup. Most people who are non indigenes of Edo find the soup weird because it doesn't look attractive but when you dig into a plate of this soup, you never want to stop eating. It's so delicious and it's almost never enough.
The soup is a perfect example of the saying "Don't judge a book by it's cover" as it doesn't look appetizing(stated earlier) but it is super delicious.
The most amazing thing about this soup is its medicinal benefits. It Contains leaves packed with various vitamins and minerals that are highly nutritious, cleansing and healing to the body. Edo People use this soup mixture to cleanse their system.
Below is the recipe of our black soup. I call it the golden soup of Edo( Esan) People.
Banga( palm kernel seeds)
Red oil(if no Banga)
Salt and seasoning to taste
Prepare Your Ingredients
1. Wash and blend your crayfish, onion, pepper, ogiri and set aside
2. Wash your dry fish with hot water and debone
3. Wash and boil your goat meat with assorted meat and season to taste
Prepare Your Snail
1. Break the shell and remove your snail
2. Remove the intestine of the snail
3. Soak in water containing alum and lime
4. Wash properly after soaking for a while and set aside.
Extract Your Banga Juice
1. Wash your kernels,put in a pot, add water place on the fire
2. When it has boiled, check if it is done. When done it will be soft
3. Bring down, seive and pound the kernel seeds in a peeling format, and not to break the kernel seeds
4. After pounding, add warm water and squeeze the juice out with your hand
5. Mind the water used, so you juice won't be 'watery' and will be rich
If you do not want to pass through the stress of extracting the juice or to save time you can use these other two alternatives:
1. Buy the extracted banga juice from the market
2. Use red palm oil
Prepare Your Leaves
You can either use a grinding stone or a blender to do this. If you are using a blender be cautious of the quantity of water used, let it be very minimal so your leaves can be rich and thick.
1. Wash and blend your scent Leaves and uziza leaves(little)
Note: Uziza leaves are optional, some use it other don't
2. Wash your bitter leaves, be careful not to wash all the bitter taste away and at the same time let it not be too 'bittery'
3. Blend and set aside
Note: Some People use very little bitter leaves, like a leaf or two, and this is blended together with the scent leaf that way they avoid washing large amount of bitter leaf. This method makes the soup more of scent Leaves than bitter leaves
See pictures of blended scent leaves and uziza in one bowl, and blended bitter leaves in another bowl:
Cooking Your Black Soup
Now that all our Ingridrients are ready, we can proceed to cooking our black soup
1. Add your boiled goat meat, assorted, dry fish, snail, blend of crayfish, pepper, onions and ogiri, and Banga juice extract into a pot and bring to boil
2. When it has boiled, the soup will get thick as a result of the rich Banga juice extract. Season to taste and leave to simmer for a while
3. Add your blend of bitter Leaves, allow to cook for a while.
4. After some minutes add your scent Leaves blend.
5. Taste and see if it will require any seasoning adjustment. If non, allow to simmer for a few minutes
6. When the color of the soup changes from fresh green to black, and it looks oily/shiny, you know your soup has done. Bring down
Note: You maintain your black soup by warming with little red oil till it finishes
Cooking Your Black Soup With Red Oil
For those who would prefer using red oil to cook this soup, the process is the same. The red oil does the work of the Banga juice extract.
1. Add your red oil to the pot containing your meat, Snail, fish, and crayfish, pepper and onions blend(red oil used in the picture below is congiled)
2. Allow to boil and done
3. Then add your leaves and cook, same way I decribed when you use Banga extract
Serve your black soup with any healthy swallow and enjoy your meal
Thanks for reading. Kindly like, share and comment or ask questions if any.
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