Gbegiri is a type of pureed soup made from cooked and peeled beans, commonly eaten by the Yoruba people from Ibadan in Nigeria. Usually made with black-eyed peas or Nigerian honey beans (Ewa Oloyin), it’s traditionally velvety smooth. Not only is it delicious and simple, but beans boast a number of health benefits. They can help lower cholesterol levels, improve gut health, and they’re packed with fiber and nutrients.
Even though it can be enjoyed on its own, Gbegiri really shines when you pair it with something else. When paired with Ewedu (jute leaf soup) and Obe Ata (or Buka) soup, it’s known as abula. It’s eaten with Amala, a dough made from yam flour.
Because it pairs so well with so many things, I love to make it a component of my lunch when I just throw together a bowl. One of my favorite combinations is our Gbegiri soup, rice, sauteed kale, mushrooms, and caramelized onions. The mushrooms and onions are a great way to get that umami, meaty flavor that pairs so nicely with the Gbegiri, but is still quicker to come together than a pot of Buka!
This, though, is only one of my favorite bowls to build -- the possibilities are endless! Feel free to get creative and add a little bit of Gbegiri to your lunch today.
1 cup white rice
2 large white or yellow onions, peeled, halve and thinly sliced ¼ thick
6 Tablespoons butter or oil
12 button mushrooms, cleaned and halved
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
3-4 leaves of kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
1 jar Egunsifoods Gbegiri Soup
¼” freshly ground black pepper *optional
- For your base: rinse the rice and add to a pot with 2 cups of water with ¼ tsp salt and 1 Tbsp. oil or butter. Cook for 30-45 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to stand covered for a few minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.
- For the onions: in a large fry pan over medium heat, heat 2 Tbsp. oil or butter until melted and sizzling. Add the onions and cook until soft and just beginning to turn translucent, 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Stir and flatten, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cover. Let cook until the desired shade of brown is achieved, stirring often, about 30 minutes. *Note: you can caramelize the onions in advance. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
- For the mushrooms: use the same pan as the onions. Remove the onions and return the pan to medium heat, then add 2 more Tbsp. butter or oil. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes. Then, stir and cook for 3 more minutes.
- Season with salt, 2 of the cloves of garlic, and stir to combine. Cook until the garlic is a golden brown, about 3 more minutes. Remove from the pan.
- For the kale: return the pan to the heat and add 2 Tbsp. butter or oil and the rest of the garlic. Cook for 1 minute, until the garlic is fragrant, then add the kale and ¼ cup of water.
- Cover and let cook until the kale is soft but still bright green. Uncover and cook until the water has evaporated. Season with salt.
- Heat the Gbegiri Soup according to package directions.
- Assemble your bowl with rice, onions, mushrooms, kale, Gbegiri soup!