Vegetable Egusi Soup – How to make Nigerian Egusi Soup

This Vegetable Egusi Soup recipe demonstrates how to make a classic West African melon seed soup.

Plants such as squash, melons, and gourds are known as Egusi seeds in West Africa. The seeds of the citrul-lus lanatus, not the seeds of the watermelon, which most of us are familiar with.

Nigerian Vegetable Egusi Soup Recipe
Nigerian Vegetable Egusi Soup Recipe

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The flesh of egusi melons is inedible and is thrown away. It is harvested solely for its seeds.

When dried and powdered, the seeds become a common ingredient in many West African recipes.

Egusi is a popular staple ingredient in Nigerian culture in particular. These seeds are high in fat and protein, and they contribute these important nutrients to West African cuisine.

Nigerian vegetable Egusi Soup is a soup thickened with ground melon seeds and containing leafy and other vegetables. Nigerian Egusi soup can also be prepared without vegetables

It is one of Nigeria’s most popular soups, cooked in a variety of ways by various tribes and served with meals such as pounded yams.  You can use goat, meat, fish, or shellfish to prepare it!

Recipe for Nigerian Egusi Soup with Vegetables ~ Vegetable Egusi Soup Recipe

Growing up, I thought egusi soup was extremely difficult. As a result, I never used to cook it. One of my favorite dishes is pounded yam and vegetable egusi soup.

Because egusi is great in clumps in whatever soup it’s used in, it almost tastes like meat, or to our vegetarian friends, like tofu.

Most people, however, fry the egusi paste (I’ll show you how to make it) in oil first before adding it to the soup.

Vegetable Egusi Soup Nutritional Facts

While incredibly nutritious (contains essential amino acids, each seed has 35 percent protein, roughly 10% carbohydrate, and 12 percent fiber), each seed contains roughly 50% oil.

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Anyway, I’ll cease yammering now. Follow along to learn how to prepare a tasty chunky vegetable egusi soup!

Vegetable Egusi Soup Ingredients
Ground egusi 2 cups
Spinach (or other vegetables) 2 cups
Tomato sauce 4 cups
Salt 1 tsp
Chicken bouillon seasoning 1 tbsp
Cajun seasoning 1 tsp
Italian seasoning 1 tsp
Palm Oil 1/4 cup
Dry fish (optional) 1/2 cup

Prep Steps  

  • Make the tomato sauce. To learn how to create tomato sauce, Go Here.
  • Dice a quarter of the half onion.

For the time being, ignore the egusi. While the tomato sauce is cooking, we’ll get started on that.

Let’s get down to business with the egusi!

  • Heat the palm oil in a frying saucepan over medium heat. Use a non-stick pot if possible.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the onions, spices, and bouillon seasoning, then pour in the tomato sauce one minute later.
  • If you’re going to utilize any dried fish or meats, do so now. I want to pack as much flavor as possible into the oils and stew base.

Note: This is a complete vegetarian meal; simply exclude the meats and fish, and use vegetable bouillon instead.


  1. We’ll make the paste while the stew is simmering. Blend together the remaining onion, 1 cup water, the egusi, and some salt and pepper if desired.

A food processor or blender would help to achieve a fine paste.

  1. Once everything is finely combined, you should have a lovely thick paste.
  2. Now is the time to stir the stew. Using a tablespoon, take small scoops of the paste and drop them into the stew.

Cover and cook for another 10-15 minutes. STIRRING IS NOT RECOMMENDED at this stage.

Stewed Egusi

  1. Check to see if the egusi has cooked into firm chunks before adding your choice of spinach or other green vegetable leaves. To keep the nutrients in the vegetables, cook for about another 5 minutes or less.

The Egusi stew is ready to eat!

It’s time to get your hands dirty! Vegetable Egusi Soup goes great with just about anything.

I enjoy it with pounded yam, rice, bread, eba, and egusi once more. Yeah, I’m a sucker for a good egusi soup!

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