Good evening, Raffies!
Tonight I had to prepare everything before going to school and leave it to simmer on a low fire.
We were going to Cameroon and we were going to try a dish I had been eager to try for a long time: Bitter leaf soup.
True to its name, bitter leaf is very very bitter. It is often used as a tea when you feel sick in your stomach. To my experience, it really helps along when you have an intestinal virus to ease up the peristaltic movements.
Well, in order to be able to use this as a vegetable, you need to wash the bitter leaf thoroughly before starting. This part of the recipe is very boring, but essential if you do not want to drown in bitterness.
The rest is quite straight forward and I must say that the flavour is really good with the prawns and peanut paste.
For the recipe, I have followed this version of the soup. The problem is that I did not wash it thoroughly enough and the soup turned out to be terribly bitter…So, to avoid my mistake, make sure to REALLY wash the bitter leaf thoroughly. Pour some water into a bowl, wash the leaves and throw the away the water. Repeat the process several times. If the bitterness is stubborn, you can boil the leaves in water for 15 minutes and wash them again with cold water.
Apparently, if you cannot find bitter leaf, you can use some spinach or kale.
1-2 handful bitterleaves, washed
10 corms Cocoyam (if you can’t find it, you can use 5 medium potatoes)
3 tbsp red palm oil (try to find a Fair Trade one, otherwise use peanut oil)
10 shrimps / 200 g beef
Dried stock fish
2 cubes of stock
1 tsp Ogiri Ibo, or miso
Start by peeling ind boiling the potatoes or cocoyam. Mash them in a bowl.
In a pot, pour 1-1.5 litres of water and bring to a boil Add the dried fish, crayfish and the stock. Now, if you are using meat, add the meat and cook until done.
Then add the bitterleaves, pepper and salt. Let cook for a few minutes and then add the shrimp and cocoyam. Let it boil until the soup is thick. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Have you ever tried bitterleaves? Let me know in the comments below.