Bitter leaf Soup
Bitter leaf Soup
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2-4.5 cups - fresh or dried bitter leaf (or several cups of spinach)
2 cups - fresh shrimp or
2 pounds - dried, salted, or smoked fish (such as cod)
2 cups of raw shelled
(or a cup of
and a cup of hot water)
2.5 tsp - fresh
root, finely minced (optional)
- garlic, finely minced
6 - ripe tomatoes, chopped and mashed
1/2 tsp -
1/2 tsp -
1 - green bell pepper, chopped (optional)
1 - chilli pepper, chopped (optional)
4 cups -
or vegetable oil for frying
Salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper or red pepper (to taste)
How to Make Bitter leaf Soup
If you are using dried or fresh bitter leaf, wash it in cold water, rinsing several times, and allow it to soak for at least a few hours, then chop it into pieces.
If you are using spinach leaves, clean and chop them immediately before cooking the soup.
Marinate the shrimp (or prawns) for a few hours in a paste made from half the minced ginger, half the chopped onion, and a little oil.
If using dried shrimp, add a little water.
Soak the dried/salted fish in water for a few hours.
After you have started cooking the soup, cut the fish into pieces and remove any skin or bones.
If using fresh peanuts: Remove the skins from the peanuts. Crush or chop the peanuts and then simmer them in 2 cups of water for about an hour. Add water if necessary.
After they have cooked, crush them into a smooth paste.
Heat a few tbsps of oil in a large pot and fry the remaining onions, garlic, ginger, rosemary and thyme for a few minutes.
Then add the tomatoes and reduce heat to a simmer for several minutes.
Add the bitter leaf (or greens) to the pot.
Stir and simmer for several minutes more.
Add the cooked peanut paste (or peanut butter and hot water).
Stir and continue to cook the soup at a simmer.
Add the fish (and any other meat) to the pot, along with the green pepper, and any hot chilli pepper, salt, and red or black pepper you think it needs.
Cover the pot and continue to cook over low heat.
When the greens seem tender (after thirty minutes to an hour), heat oil in a skillet and stir fry the shrimp (or prawns) along with their marinade.
Add them to the soup.
Cook soup (adding water or stock if desired) until it is the consistency you like.
Serve with Baton de Manioc / Chikwangue, Fufu, or boiled yams, or potatoes.
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Shruti J is an experimental cook and blogger who loves to adapt new versions of old recipes.