How to make homemade soup like banga / palm nut Soup is fairly easy to prepare at home. Although you can always use store-bought palm fruit extract, but making it yourself at home is definitely worth the time and effort
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What Is Ofe Akwu?/ How to Make Homemade Soup
It is a native Nigerian soup which simply means Palm nut soup in Igbo language. It is very popular in the eastern part of Nigeria. Ofe akwu is quite similar to Banga soup which is also palm nut soup but native to the people of the south-south.
Difference between Ofe Akwu and Banga Soup
The difference lies in the type of spices and herbs used in the preparation. Banga soup spices are special, they give the soup a unique taste and flavor, which makes it a bit different from the Igbo’s Ofe Akwu
Again the vegetables differ. For Ofe akwu, you could either use nchanwu or scent leaf, which is botanically known as Ocimum gratissimum or a combination of Scent leaves and Ugu “Pumpkin” leaves. While bitter leaf comes out better with banga soup.
In addition, people serve ofe akwu mostly with boiled white rice while banga soup is mostly eaten with starch.
However, whichever method you want to follow, make sure that your palm fruit juice is not too watery to avoid long cooking time (in order to thicken) thereby over darkening the soup.
How to make homemade soup consists of using palm fruit extract, beef, fish, scent leaves, and other ingredients.
Ingredients for Banga Soup/Ofe Akwu Recipe
- Palm fruit (freshly squeezed juice)
- Dry Fish
- Vegetables: scent leaf or dried and crushed bitter leaves
- Ground crayfish ( 2 table spoons)
- Salt and Cameroon Pepper (to taste)
- Ogiri Okpei (Iru) – optional (I don’t use it)
- 1-2 big stock cubes
How to Make Homemade Banga Soup/Ofe Akwu
- Firstly, please read here for a detailed explanation on how to extract your palm fruit juice. Put the extract in a pot and boil for 30 minutes.
- Secondly, the palm fruit juice is always watery from the start nevertheless make sure you leave it on the cooking gas to achieve a gradual thick result.
- Then, once you the soup begins to thicken, you can add your ingredients together with your seasoning cubes and salt to taste.
- Finally, add your vegetable of choice depending on the method you are using. Ensure the vegetable you add is not too much because it is not vegetable soup we are cooking.
- Leave to simmer for about 2 minutes. That is it! Your palm nut soup is ready.