Ogbono soup is a popular Nigerian dish made from ogbono seeds (also known as bush mango seeds or Irvingia gabonensis). The soup is thickened using the seeds, which are ground into a fine powder. Here's a step-by-step guide to making ogbono soup:
- 1 cup ogbono seeds, ground into powder
- 1 lb (450g) assorted meats (beef, goat, chicken, or fish)
- 1/2 cup palm oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cups stock (meat, fish, or chicken)
- 2 cups ugwu (pumpkin leaves) or spinach, chopped
- 1/2 cup crayfish, ground
- 1 habanero or Scotch bonnet pepper, chopped (optional)
- 2 stock cubes (Maggi or Knorr)
- Salt, to taste
Prepare the meats: Wash and season the assorted meats with salt and stock cubes. Boil the meats in a pot over medium heat until they are tender. Reserve the stock for later use.
In a dry pan, toast the ground ogbono seeds over low heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously to avoid burning. This step helps to release the nutty flavors of the ogbono seeds.
In a separate pot, heat the palm oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
Add the toasted ground ogbono to the pot with the onions and palm oil. Stir continuously to dissolve the ogbono in the oil, ensuring there are no lumps. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Gradually add the reserved meat stock to the pot, stirring continuously to ensure a smooth consistency. If the soup is too thick, add some water to achieve your desired consistency.
Add the cooked assorted meats, ground crayfish, and chopped habanero pepper (if using). Stir well and let the soup simmer for about 10-15 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with salt and additional stock cubes if necessary.
Add the chopped ugwu (pumpkin leaves) or spinach to the soup, stirring gently to combine. Let the soup simmer for another 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
Serve your ogbono soup hot with your choice of "swallow" – fufu, eba (garri), pounded yam, or semolina.
Enjoy your delicious homemade ogbono soup!