Egusi Soup Recipe

Embark on a West African culinary adventure with a rich, flavorful, and satisfying Egusi Soup made with ground almonds! You can’t the difference.

The Egusi Soup is a widely known dish in Ghana and Nigeria because of how hearty and delicious it is. Its main ingredients are melon seeds that give it the perfect consistency and the right nutty flavor.

I love cooking it because it goes so well with my favorite swallow foods. It has meat, turkey, vegetables, and broth – everything you can ask for in a world-class soup recipe.

almond vegetable stew

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Once you try the Egusi Soup, it will surely be one of your go-to dishes with your family. You can serve it for celebrations or weekends to give everyone a new and interesting dish to try!

How to Make Egusi Soup

Today, you will learn everything you need to know about the Egusi Soup. Even if it takes time to cook, it is always worth the way. There are even bonus recipes for the famous African pepper sauce, mackerel, assorted meat, and more!

Are you ready to cook Egusi Soup at home?

Ingredients

If you want to make the perfect egusi soup, then these are the ingredients that you will need:

Leafy greens

It won’t be an authentic Egusi Soup without the leafy greens: spinach and kale.

Spinach is a sweet, crunchy, leafy green that becomes a moist and creamy ingredient once cooked. Meanwhile, kale has a powerful, nutty, earthy, and robust flavor that enriches the taste of spinach.

Both the kale and spinach taste add so much flavor, color, and texture to the dish. When it comes to leafy greens, spinach, and kale are an excellent duo. I also love these for Yam Porridge, Couscous, and Green Smoothie!

Bell peppers and sweet peppers

Make it a real African delicacy with bell peppers and sweet peppers.

You will need these peppers to make the tasteful sauce. I suggest using red bell peppers because of how fruity and sweet they are. On the other hand, sweet peppers have a mildly spicy and saccharine taste.

They pair perfectly with red bell peppers and spices such as scotch bonnet. These are my go-to peppers whenever I cook Smoked Mackerel Stew, Fish Stew, and Okra Soup!

Scotch bonnet 

A little bit of scotch bonnet goes a long way.

Pepper Scale mentioned that the scotch bonnet’s spice level could reach 350,000 Scoville heat units! It’s hotter than a jalapeño but don’t worry because it also has a touch of sweet and fruity flavor.

Adding scotch bonnet to the Egusi Soup certainly makes it better, especially if you want to make the dish exciting. It’s also one of the best spices for Fried Rice, Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry, and Grilled Tilapia!

Red onion 

The red onion will surely make the dish smell and taste better.

Whenever you have spices, remember to pair them with aromatics. In this recipe, I suggest using red onions because of how subtle their sweet and pungent flavors are.

Since they are aromatics, they are guaranteed to give the dish an appetizing fragrance. Once they are cooked, they will have a caramelized quality. To enjoy it raw, you can have it in your Tortilla Wraps!

Locust beans 

Have you tried cooking with locus beans before? This is the perfect time to try.

Locust beans are fermented beans usually used in African soups and stews for a warm, umami flavor. They also give the soup an even better consistency that makes the dish irresistible.

These beans taste like a mix of chocolate and cheese that will taste so much better once cooked. These are great for adding flavor to meat, fish, turkey, and vegetables, too.

almond nuts
Ground almonds 

Take Egusi Soup to a new level with ground almonds!

Escalate the quality of the Egusi Soup with ground almonds to add texture and flavor. Aside from the nutty and earthy taste, the ground almonds also serve as thickeners for the soup.

Since they are already ground into granules, you can easily mix and dissolve them in the stew. You buy these in grocery stores or make them at home with fresh almonds.

Assorted meat

Give the dish some meaty goodness by adding assorted meat!

In this recipe, I suggest using assorted meat such as beef, tripe, abodi, cow foot, and cow skin. These are going to give a smoky, meaty, and beefy taste to the dish. The meat will also add a chewy yet tender texture to the stew.

You can even skip or substitute the meat, depending on how you like your Egusi Soup. Cook it at home, and you get tender meat with a meat liquid stock that goes with lots of recipes!

Turkey 

Are you looking for something to do with leftover smoked turkey?

Well, add them to Egusi Soup to infuse them with delicious flavor while adding a tender texture. It adds a smoky and savory taste to pair well with the assorted meat. I love cooking turkey recipes like Turkey Pie and more!

Turkey is a popular meat option for African recipes because of how easy it is to cook and season. It is also perfectly fine to use any leftover turkey for an extra kick of flavor in your soup.

Mackerel

Just when you think it can’t get any better, let’s add some mackerel!

Let’s complete the stew toppings with mildly sweet, savory, and salty mackerel. Cook it in a perfectly seasoned broth, and you’ve got yourself a simple yet delicious mackerel.

Aside from the mackerel itself, you will also get fish stock that you will add to the stew. It’s an excellent two-in-one dish that you will appreciate in stews. I also love using Smoked Mackerel for this recipe!

Seasoning

In any soup dish, you will need the right herbs and spices.

Since the recipe already uses lots of flavorful and savory ingredients, the seasoning can be as simple as sea salt and stock cubes to balance out the flavors. You can also use other herbs and spices to season the dish to your liking.

Palm oil 

It may take time to cook the stew, so you need oil with a high smoke point, like palm oil. Palm oil will also make the meat and vegetables taste better. I’m sure it will make a big difference in the dish.

healthy almond vegetables stew

It’s surely everything you can ask for in a stew. There’s a sweet and rich sauce, delicious vegetables, meat, turkey, fish, and the best seasonings!

Directions

Following these steps, you can cook the best Egusi Soup perfectly, even on your first try!

Pepper sauce

  1. Slice the bell peppers and sweet peppers using a knife.
  2. Puree them in a blender or food processor.
  3. Then, filter the contents with a colander.
  4. Heat palm oil in a frying pan.
  5. Cook the pepper sauce and scotch bonnet for 25 minutes on low to medium heat.

As the sauce cooks, let’s prepare the mackerel.

Mackerel

  1. Slice the mackerel into four pieces.
  2. Arrange them in a pot with water.
  3. Season it with salt and stock cubes.
  4. Then, cook for up to seven minutes. 
  5. Debone and break it into chunks with a knife or fork

Set the mackerel aside and let’s get into the leafy greens.

Leafy greens

  1. Boil water in a pot.
  2. Then, place the steaming basket inside.
  3. Steam the spinach and kale until tender.
  4. Drain the excess water.

Now that we have the pepper sauce, mackerel, and leafy greens, it’s time to make the Egusi Soup!

Egusi Soup

  1. Pour in the fish stock from the mackerel.
  2. Season the soup with sea salt, chicken stock cubes, and locust beans.
  3. Then, cook for 10 minutes on low heat.
  4. Blend onions until smooth.
  5. Mix the onion paste with the ground egusi or almonds.
  6. Roll a teaspoon of the paste into a ball. 
  7. Mix in the assorted meat and smoked turkey.
  8. Let them cook for five minutes.
  9. Add the egusi or almond paste.
  10. Cook for another five minutes. 
  11. Stir together with a spatula and cook for eight minutes on low heat.
  12. Mix in the spinach and kale.
  13. Add the mackerel fish and let it simmer for two minutes.
  14. Once you’re satisfied with the flavor and texture, take it out of the heat, and enjoy your Egusi Soup – Almond Vegetable Stew!
almond vegetable stew (egusi Soup)

The Egusi Soup has always been a family favorite in our home, and now that you know the recipe, you can surprise your family with such an excellent dish!

Tips

Spinach

Buying spinach
  • My Food and Family suggests buying dark green spinach with a fresh scent.
  • Avoid bundles with wilted leaves. 
Storing spinach

Kale

Buying kale
  • Buy kale with crisp green leaves.
  • They should have a subtle earthy odor to indicate freshness. 
Storing kale
  • According to Foolproof Living, you can wrap the kale in paper towels and store it in resealable bags.
  • Dry the kale as much as you can before storing it in the fridge or freezer.

Peppers and scotch bonnet

Buying peppers and scotch bonnet
  • Buy brightly colored and smooth-skinned scotch bonnet and peppers.
  • The stems should still be attached and should feel heavy for their size.
Storing peppers and scotch bonnet
  • Store the peppers and scotch bonnet in resealable bags and refrigerate them for several weeks. 

Red onion

Buying red onion
  • Red onions should feel firm and smooth.
  • Avoid ones with soft spots and discoloration. 
Storing red onion
  • Store the onions in cool areas of your kitchen.
  • Keep the sliced onions in containers and use them within several weeks. 
healthy almond vegetables stew recipe

No-Blender Pepper Sauce

In case you don’t have access to a blender, you can use a food processor or a miller. Otherwise, use a knife to chop the ingredients finely.

Push the slices against the colander to extract the juices for a finer texture. Alternatively, you can use a grater for more even pieces and extracted juices.

Assorted Meat

If you want to make the best Egusi Soup, then you’ve got to check out these tips on preparing your assorted meat!

According to Real Simple, buy assorted beef with purple or bright red. Don’t buy meat with dark spots because these are prone to spoilage. Store it in the fridge for four days or in the freezer for months.

Here’s how you can cook the assorted meat:

  1. Rinse the meat.
  2. Then, put them in a pot and add your favorite herbs, spices, and seasonings like onions, sea salt, mixed herbs, garlic, pepper, bay leaves, and more! 
  3. Set fire to low to medium heat.
  4. Add enough water to cover the beef.
  5. Let this simmer for ten minutes.
  6. Then, check the tenderness of the beef parts.
  7. Cook for another 30 minutes or until soft. 
  8. Drain the meat from the stock and store the stock for beef broth.
  9. Freeze the beef stock in ice cube trays and transfer them into freezer bags to use within several months. 

Smoked Turkey

Whichever method you choose, the smoked turkey will be an amazing addition to the stew!

almond vegetable stew recipe
Smoker
  1. Preheat the smoker to 120°C.
  2. Grease the aluminum pan with oil.
  3. Prepare the turkey by stuffing the wings inside the cavity.
  4. Stuff it with onions and other herbs you prefer. 
  5. Then, rub the seasoning mix on the turkey.
  6. Let it cook in the smoker for at least six hours or until done.
  7. Baste it with broth from time to time.
  8. Once contended with the tenderness, allow it to cool and slice or serve!
Oven
  1. Brush the aluminum baking pan with oil.
  2. Bake the turkey in a preheated oven for up to four hours.
  3. Baste it with broth every thirty minutes after the one-hour mark. 
  4. Once satisfied, let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before slicing.
Slow cooker

Aside from using a smoker, you can also cook it in a slow cooker for eight hours. Simply season the turkey and stuff the cavity with your preferred herbs. 

Egusi Soup Variations

There are so many other ways to make the Egusi Soup special.

To make it a vegetarian egusi soup recipe, don’t add the assorted meat, turkey, and mackerel. Trust me; the egusi soup will still taste divine even without them! You can also try pumpkin leaves, waterleaf, and other vegetables for the leafy greens. 

For the ground almond and onion paste, you can substitute it with egusi or ground melon seeds paste to thicken the soup. You may still add the onion paste but mix them thoroughly to avoid lumps. 

In case you want to add more aromatics, you can go for ginger, garlic, or local African spices like ogiri or uziza. Instead of egusi, you can use yam flour or plantain flour to make the soup thick.

  • Blender: Make the pepper sauce using a blender.
  • Colander: Filter the sauce and the leafy greens in a colander.
  • Frying pan: Cook the egusi soup in a pan.
  • Pot: Prepare the steamed greens and the mackerel in a pot.
  • Spatula: Stir the ingredients using a wooden spatula. 
  • Knife: Peel and slice the vegetables with a knife. 
  • Steaming basket: Cook the spinach and kale with a spatula.

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almond vegetable stew

How to Serve Egusi Soup

Is everyone looking forward to trying the Egusi Soup?

You can serve this Egusi Soup with other African recipes and steamed fruits and vegetables. I especially enjoy it with swallow foods for the perfect flavor and texture. For instance, you can relish this soup with a side of:

This dish is so flavorful, in texture, and healthy that you will be cleaning out your plate in no time! Quench your thirst with any of the following drinks:

More Healthy African

Storage Tips

  • At room temperature: Eat the Egusi Soup within two hours.

make ahead

In the fridge: Store the stew in a container to refrigerate for up to four days. 

To freeze: You can also store the stew in freezer bags to freeze for several weeks or months.

Nigerian egusi soup recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Egusi soup made of?

In this recipe, the Egusi Soup is made of pepper sauce, meat, turkey, mackerel, leafy greens, locus beans, spices, fish stock, and more! There are plenty of other veggie stew varieties you can try.

How healthy is Egusi soup?

With the combined ingredients of the Egusi Soup, you can expect that it’s going to be great for your bones, energy, immunity, heart health, digestion, vision, muscles, and overall health!

What is the name of Egusi in English?

In English, Egusi is known as a white-seed melon. It’s a popular kind of melon in Africa because of how delicious it tastes in food. In fact, it is also a source of oil for lots of African countries.

Is Egusi a fruit or vegetable?

The Egusi is a fruit because it’s a type of melon. Unlike other melons, the egusi is small and round. Inside, it’s quite dry and white but once you cook it, you will experience just how delicious it is.

egusi (almond) soup

The Best Egusi Soup (VIDEO)

5 from 1 vote
Enjoy the meat, fish, and turkey with the health benefits and flavors of leafy greens and other vegetables with this Special Egusi Soup recipe!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 10
Course Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine African, Nigerian
Calories 356kcal

Ingredients
  

For the sauce

  • 5 bell peppers (medium-sized)
  • 4 sweet peppers (medium-sized)

For the almond (egusi) paste

  • 200 g ground almond (or egusi – melon seeds)
  • ½ red onion (medium-sized)

For the stew

  • pepper sauce
  • almond and onion paste (egusi and onion paste)
  • 500 g spinach
  • 180 g curly kale
  • assorted meat (beef, tripe, abodi, cow foot/skin)
  • 3 pieces smoked turkey (boneless and diced)
  • 1 mackerel fish (boiled or smoked – deboned and chunks)
  • ½ cup fish stock
  • 2 scotch bonnet
  • 1 red onion (½ blended and ½ diced)
  • 1 tbsp locust beans
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup palm oil

Instructions
 

Pepper sauce

  • Slice the bell peppers and sweet peppers using a knife.
  • Puree them in a blender or food processor.
  • Then, filter the contents with a colander.
  • Heat palm oil in a frying pan.
  • Cook the pepper sauce and scotch bonnet for 25 minutes on low to medium heat.

Mackerel

  • Slice the mackerel into four pieces.
  • Arrange them in a pot with water.
  • Season it with salt and stock cubes.
  • Then, cook for up to seven minutes.
  • Debone and break it into chunks with a knife or fork.

Leafy greens

  • Boil water in a pot.
  • Then, place the steaming basket inside.
  • Steam the spinach and kale until tender.
  • Drain the excess water.

Egusi Soup

  • Pour in the fish stock from the mackerel.
  • Season the soup with sea salt, chicken stock cubes, and locust beans.
  • Then, allow cooking for 10 minutes on low heat.
  • Blend onions until smooth.
  • Mix the onion paste with the ground almonds (or ground egusi).
  • Roll a teaspoon of the paste into a ball.
  • Mix in the assorted meat and smoked turkey.
  • Let them cook for five minutes.
  • Add the almond/egusi paste.
  • Cook for another five minutes.
  • Stir together with a spatula and cook for eight minutes on low heat.
  • Mix in the spinach and kale.
  • Add the mackerel fish and let it simmer for two minutes.
  • Once you’re satisfied with the flavor and texture, take it out of the heat, and enjoy your Almond Vegetable Stew!

Video

Notes

  1. Be creative with this recipe’s meat, vegetables, and seasoning to make it your own truly.
  2. Feel free to use ground egusi in place of ground almonds.
  3. You can cook the smoked turkey in an oven, in the smoker, or in a slow cooker.
  4. Steam and drain the kale and spinach if you don’t want a watery soup. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1 (of 10)Calories: 356kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 8gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gSodium: 325mgPotassium: 598mgFiber: 7gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 9860IUVitamin C: 171mgCalcium: 152mgIron: 3mg
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