Is anything really more comforting than sipping on a warm bowl of soup? A steaming cup is perfect on those cold winter nights, and it can even be refreshing on warmer summer days. Nothing makes you feel more at home, warm from the inside out, than your favorite soup. Our go-to, in Nigerian cuisine, when that craving for comfort food hits, is Obe Ata.
What is Obe Ata Soup?
Obe Ata is a West African tomato and pepper soup that’s absolutely unmatched in its versatility. It’s a dish that has been embraced by both home cooks as well as professional chefs in West African cooking, and it’s unbelievably flavorful and delicious.
It’s often eaten with other soups, paired with various swallows. It’s often eaten with okra and eba (a swallow made from cassava flour), or Ewedu and Amala (a yam swallow).
How Do I Eat Obe Ata Soup?
The possibilities are endless! Obe Ata can serve as the base for stews, it can be eaten over rice, or it can be simply eaten on its own and soaked up with some hearty, crusty bread. Sometimes I top mine with spicy roasted chickpeas, or toss in some pasta to bulk it up.
Honestly, though, Obe Ata is the perfect canvas for your own creativity. You could top it with poached eggs, use it to infuse some flavor into your braised beef or roasted chicken. In my opinion, it’s one of the most crucial cooking shortcuts you can keep up your sleeve! Sometimes, I even use it as the base for my jollof rice.
What Makes Obe Ata Soup the Perfect African Comfort Food?
There are so many benefits to consuming soup, and especially to slurping down some Obe Ata!
First of all, soups are a great way to get some more fruits and veggies into your diet. Obe Ata is made from stewed tomatoes and peppers, both of which have a bunch of crucial vitamins and minerals. It’s packed with fresh ingredients like carrots, vegetables, celery, onions, and mushrooms, not just for flavor, but to give you that extra little boost, too!
Not only that, but some of our ingredients like ginger and garlic help give your immune system a little bump as well!
Additionally, soups are a great way to bulk up some of your meals and make them more satisfying. Whether you eat Obe Ata on its own, or use it as a sauce, or eat it alongside something else, it’s bound to pack that flavorful punch. Add your favorite grain, a couple of eggs, serve with jollof rice, or use it to simmer meat or vegetables. You’ll have a full meal that you can’t wait to have again in no time.
Lastly, soup keeps you hydrated! Did you ever think about how much liquid there is in soup? When you slurp it down, you’re getting the benefit of that, too. We all know we should be drinking plenty of water, but sometimes we forget. Soup at meal times is a great way to up our water intake.