Our Egunsi Soup is a hearty West African comfort food made from egusi (melon) seed. It’s creamy and savory, it has nutty accents, and it has levels of flavor from stewed vegetables and a kick of Habanero pepper.
Egusi seeds usually come from plants like squash, melons, and gourds, and are a staple of many West African dishes once they’ve been dried and ground. They’re right in fat and protein, and in Nigeria this stew is particularly popular with pounded yam.
Although there’s a fair amount of variation region to region in terms of the preparation of this soup, it usually contains leafy vegetables (such as African spinach, called efo tete, or cassava leaf), palm oil, other vegetables, seasonings, and sometimes smoked fish or bush meat, in addition to being thickened with the egusi seeds.
Since egusi soup has such a wonderful, complex flavor, and can actually be quite thick, I love to use it as a sauce on top of meats and veggies, like this chicken with shrimp and avocado dish. By tossing our Egunsi Soup over some meat, some rice, and some vegetables, you can get an easy and flavorful meal together in no time!
1 cup white rice
2 chicken legs
2 rosemary sprigs
2 garlic cloves
2 Tablespoons butter or oil
4 shrimp, peeled
1 avocado, peeled and cubed
1 tomato, diced
Jalapeño, sliced, to taste
1 jar Egunsifoods Egunsi Soup
- For the rice: rinse the rice and add to a pot with 2 cups of water and ¼ tsp of salt. Cook until the water has absorbed, then remove from the heat and allow to sit covered for a few minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.
- For the chicken: preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle the chicken legs with salt and pepper, then add the rosemary and garlic. Top with butter and wrap in foil. Place in a baking dish and bake for about an hour, or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
- For the shrimp: in a pan over medium heat, heat 1 Tbsp butter until melted and sizzling. Add the shrimp and cook until pink around the edges. Flip the shrimp and add ⅔ of the minced garlic. Cook for a few more minutes until the shrimp are opaque and cooked through. Season with salt and remove from the pan. Once cool, dice.
- Heat up Egunsi Soup according to package directions.
- Assemble the plates with rice and chicken and top with Egunsi Soup, avocado, shrimp, tomato, and jalapeno!