Egusi soup ,also known as Obe Efo elegusi/ Ofe Egusi, is a delicious Nigerian soup that is made with ground melon seeds and enriched with assorted meat, fish and spices. It is actually one of the most popular Nigerian soups used for eating bolus meals such as Pounded Yams, Eba, fufu and wheat meal.  

It is also popular in other parts of west Africa and the cooking methods differs from place to place.

The common variations for cooking Egusi Soup include: 

Variation 1: Egusi soup cooked with vegetables(either spinach/ugu, bitter leaves or a combination of both.

Variation 2: Egusi soup cooked without vegetables

Variation 3: Frying the ground egusi seeds before adding the palm oil and condiments

Variation 4: Boiling the assorted meat and fish, then adding the ground egusi seeds,with or without vegetables

I always urge my friends to try out the different variations (if they can), and they’ll realize that the cooking methods are simply a matter of preference. All that really matters is getting it right and making sure that the ground egusi seeds are properly cooked/fried,to get the raw taste out. 

This is one of the ways I prepare mine and hope you enjoy. If you love videos, here’s a video on How to Cook Egusi Soup with vegetables and fresh fish

Ingredients for Egusi Soup 

* 1 cup ground Egusi/melon seeds

* 500g assorted meat of choice (tripe/shaki,beef, chicken, cow’s skin/ponmo)

* 200g assorted fish (stock fish, dried fish)

* 150 g Fresh fish ( 1 medium sized mackerel fish will do)

* 750g Spinach leaves/Ugu/collard greens 

* 1 medium sized onion bulb.

* 1/2 cup palm oil (2 cooking-spoonful)

* 1 teaspoonful ground chili pepper/fresh scotch bonnet(atarodo)

* 1 teaspoonful ground Crayfish

* 2 bouillon/stock cubes (seasoning cubes)

* Salt to taste

Cooking Method

**Grind the egusi seeds until smooth.Place in a bowl and dissolve with a little lukewarm water to form a paste.

 Dissolving the egusi is optional, but it helps to reduce burning when frying in the oil.

** Slice the vegetables and set aside

** Wash and season the assorted meat and fish with sliced onions, one stock cube(and any other meat seasoning of choice) and salt to taste. Cook until tender and set aside. Reserve the meat stock.

Now to cook the Soup

* Heat up the oil in a pot until hot. Add the dissolved Egusi paste and fry, stirring constantly until the soup begins to thicken. Fry for about 15  to 20 minutes or when you notice the oil rise to the top of the egusi.

* Add the meat stock, mix thoroughly and leave to boil for 10 minutes.

* Add the ground pepper, crayfish, stock cube and the cooked assorted meat & fish and cook for 10 minutes.

* Next, add the fresh fish and cook until the fish is done.

* Then, add the sliced vegetables and salt to taste. Simmer for 5 minutes and the soup is ready.

Egusi Soup can also be used as a sauce for boiled rice and mostly enjoyed with semolina, amala, tuwo masara, fufu , pounded yam, and several other bolus meals.