The Black (Esan) soup is peculiar to the Edo people of Benin state, it is a delicacy majorly used in eating swallow foods. It is a rich soup (I call it herbal soup) which is delicious and nourishing. For this season, if you are looking for something nice and different that you can make to give a different meal to try out, you should try the black soup, I’m sure you’d like it.
To make this soup you need either of these three basic leaves. While some people argue that only two leaves are important, all of the three are necessary. These leaves are actually grounded together with the native Edo grinding stone or the electric blender.
Some people make black soup with just Bitter leaf and effirin (scent leaf) while others prefer it to add the uziza leaves. I prefer the three leaves together because it is way better than using just two leaves.
To prepare the black soup, you will need;
- 2 cups of Washed bitter leaves
- Half cup of sliced Scent leaves
- 2 cups of sliced uziza leaves
- 300 gram of roasted fish
- 1 kg of assorted meat.
- Half cup of ground crayfish
- Ground Pepper to taste
- 7 pieces of stock fish ear
- 4 cups of palm fruit sauce.
- Salt to taste.
- Grind the uziza leaves and scent leaves together but the bitter leaf should be grounded alone.
- This soup is made with Palm fruit sauce (banga sauce) and not palm oil. Wash and boil the palm fruits for 15 minutes, pound with mortar and pestle, add water, filter to get the sauce, wash and filter to get thick banga sauce and set aside.
- Wash and boil the meat with half cup of onions, add seasoning and a pinch of salt. Cook for 30-45 minutes, until the meat becomes tender.
- Add the dry fish (after washing with hot water), stock fish, crayfish, add the banga sauce and allow to cook for up to 15 minutes until the soupy mixture thickens.
- Add the ground leaves, stir, add seasoning, salt to taste, allow to simmer for another five minutes and you are done.
Here is a video on how to make the black soup
As usual, serve with eba, fufu, amala or semo. Note that you can add assorted meat as you wish.
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