Spicy Egusi Soup Recipe For Beginners – Your Tasty Homemade Guide

Transport your senses to the vibrant heart of West Africa with this traditional Egusi Soup Recipe, a rich and hearty melange of flavors that’s sure to delight. Begin by blending melon seeds into a smooth paste, set aside. Sauté onions and garlic, then add your choice of meat, frying until browned. Stir in the egusi paste, allowing it to cook and release its nutty essence. Introduce spinach and a blend of African spices, simmering until the flavors meld beautifully. Serve over pounded yam or rice, and revel in this authentic African feast!

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Dive into the culinary richness of Africa with Egusi Soup Recipe – a testament to vibrant tradition and rich flavor. A beloved centerpiece in Nigerian feasts, this delectable potage weaves magic with melon seeds – the ‘Egusi.’ 

Egusi Soup Recipe

Watch as local elements like Spinach, dried fish, and palm oil transform into a symphony of taste. It is savored with fufu or pounded yam.

Each mouthful takes you on a gastronomic journey through time-honored West African households. 

The luscious textures meet an exquisite balance of spices, indulging your senses in a meal you’ll crave. Not just a soup, Egusi is an invitation, a story – evoking memories, conjuring homesickness, or sparking newfound love for African cuisine. 

Join us as we immerse in the Egusi experience – a delectable voyage of discovery that reveals secrets behind each simmer, each stir, and ingredient.

Because when you’re sharing in the Egusi journey, you’re embracing the heart of African dining.

What Is Egusi Soup?

Egusi Soup is a renowned West African dish popular in Nigerian cuisine. This rich, hearty soup gets its name from ‘Egusi,’ or melon seeds, which are ground and used as the main ingredient.

A tantalizing medley of Spinach, dried fish, meat, and palm oil join the seeds, creating a robust flavor profile.

This aromatic soup is often served with traditional sides like fufu or pounded yam, making it a staple comfort food and a gastronomical symbol of African heritage.

History Of Egusi Soup Recipe

Tracing its roots to West Africa, Egusi Soup is revered in Nigerian culinary history. Its star ingredient, Egusi (melon seeds), was introduced to Africa through trade with Asia and the Middle East thousands of years ago. 

The locals ingeniously leveraged the nutritious potential of these seeds, evolving what started as a simple melon seed broth into the complex and hearty Egusi Soup we know today. 

The recipe has been preserved and passed down throughout generations, maintaining its original essence.

Today, Egusi Soup is a symbolic representative of Nigerian and, more broadly, African heritage, continuing to nourish bodies and souls.

Interesting Facts About Egusi Soup Recipe

  • Egusi Soup is incredibly versatile; it embraces regional variations across Africa, with ingredients reflecting local produce and cultural preferences.
  • The key ingredient, Egusi, is rich in protein, fats, and vitamins, making the soup a nutritious powerhouse.
  • Despite its name, Egusi isn’t a soup in the Western sense. It’s a dense, almost stew-like dish typically served with starch-like fufu or pounded yam.
  • The grinding of the Egusi seeds, critical to the dish, symbolizes communal preparation and sharing, reinforcing the soup’s cultural significance.
  • The soup’s hearty consistency and rich flavor make it a favorite during festive celebrations and family gatherings, establishing it as a communal bonding dish.
  • Egusi Soup’s popularity extends beyond Africa, finding a place in the global culinary scene, owing to the African diaspora.

What Makes The Egusi Soup Special? 

  • Unique Ingredients: The main ingredient, Egusi (melon seeds), gives the soup a distinct, nutty flavor and creamy texture, unlike any other soup.
  • Cultural Significance: Egusi Soup holds a significant place in West African cuisine. It’s integral to cultural traditions, celebrations, and everyday meals.
  • Versatility: The soup can be prepared with various proteins (beef, goat, fish, shrimp) and vegetables, catering to different tastes and dietary preferences.
  • Nutritional Value: Packed with protein from the Egusi seeds and meat, vitamins from the vegetables, and healthy fats, the soup is as nutritious as it is delicious.
  • Accompaniment pairs wonderfully with various starches, transforming into a complete, hearty meal.
  • Flavorful: The rich blend of spices, herbs, and ingredients creates a robust and savory flavor profile that delights the palate.
Egusi Soup Recipe

Ingredients List

Pumpkin Seeds (pepitas)3/4 cup
Beef Stew Meat (cubed)1 1/2 pounds
Peanut Oil1/2 cup
Tomatoes (large, chopped)2
Onion (small, chopped)1
Habanero Peppers (seeded and minced)2
Tomato Sauce18 ounces
Tomato Paste3 tablespoons
Water1 1/2 cups
Fresh Shrimp (peeled and deveined)2 pounds
Fresh Spinach (washed and chopped)1 pound

Ingredient Tips 

  • Unique Ingredient: Egusi Soup’s unique ingredient is ground melon seeds, which give it a distinctive flavor and texture.
  • Cultural Heritage: The soup is significant in African cultural heritage, particularly in Nigeria, representing a long history of tradition and culinary craftsmanship.
  • Nutritional Profile: Egusi seeds are high in protein and healthy fats, and when combined with other ingredients like Spinach and fish, the soup becomes a nutritious meal.
  • Versatility: Egusi Soup embraces variations, with different regions adding unique touches based on local produce and tastes.
  • Communal Bonding: The preparation and consumption of Egusi Soup often involves family and community participation, reinforcing social bonds.
  • Global Appeal: The soup’s rich flavors and intriguing ingredients have drawn interest from food lovers worldwide, making it a global ambassador for African cuisine.

Can You Vary The Egusi Soup With Other Ingredients? 

Egusi Soup can be adapted to cater to different dietary preferences:

  • Keto: The basic Egusi Soup recipe is keto-friendly, low in carbs and fats. Just ensure the stock cubes and any added proteins are keto-compliant.
  • Paleo: Replace the traditional starch accompaniment (like fufu) with a paleo-friendly alternative such as cauliflower mash. Also, check that the dried fish and crayfish used are paleo-approved.
  • Gluten-Free: Egusi Soup is naturally gluten-free, but it’s always wise to check all ingredient labels for hidden gluten sources, especially in processed ingredients like stock cubes.
  • Whole30: For a Whole30-compliant version, avoid using any processed ingredients. Opt for homemade stock and fresh meat or fish, and serve it with Whole30-compliant sides.
  • Vegetarian/Vegan: Substitute meat and fish with tofu or mushrooms for protein. Use vegetable stock instead of the traditional fish or meat stock. Palm oil can be used as it’s plant-based, making it perfect for a vegan diet.
ingredients of soup

Recipe Directions

  • Blend pumpkin seeds into a velvety paste, ready to infuse the Egusi Soup with richness.
  • Season and brown tender beef in a hot, oil-filled pot, filling the kitchen with enticing aromas.
  • Blend ripe tomatoes, fresh onions, and fiery peppers, adding vibrant flavors to the beef.
  • Simmer the tantalizing mixture until the ingredients meld into a harmonious delight.
  • Stir in spinach and ground pumpkin seeds, elevating the soup’s creaminess and complexity.
  • Serve the steaming hot Egusi Soup with your preferred side dish and savor the African-inspired indulgence.
Egusi Soup Recipe

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings

  • Variations

Alter the protein in your Egusi Soup. Use chicken, fish, or even a mix for depth of flavor. Vegetarian? Swap the meat with firm tofu or mushrooms.

  • Additional Vegetables

Alongside Spinach, add okra or kale for extra texture and nutrients.

  • Spice It Up

For heat lovers, incorporate more chili pepper or a sprinkle of cayenne.

  • Add-Ons

Enrich the soup with diced bell peppers, eggplant, or African yam for added complexity.

  • Toppings

A dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt on top can provide a remarkable contrast. For vegans, a dash of nutritional yeast adds a cheesy note.

  • Side Variations

Serve with different staples like brown rice, quinoa, or plantain to cater to dietary needs and preferences.

Scaling The Recipe

Scaling the Egusi Soup recipe up or down is straightforward. You adjust the quantities of the ingredients proportionally based on the number of servings you require.

Scaling Up

  • Suppose you’re cooking for a larger crowd, double or triple the required ingredient quantities. For instance, if the recipe serves 4 and you want to serve 8, you’d double all the ingredients.

Scaling Down

  • If you’re cooking for fewer people, reduce the ingredients proportionally. If the recipe serves 4 and you cook for 2, halve all the ingredients.

What Is Used For Garnishing?

Egusi Soup can be garnished with a variety of ingredients to enhance its visual appeal and add a burst of extra flavor:

  • Fresh Herbs: A sprinkle of fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro can add a vibrant color contrast and a fresh flavor.
  • Chili Flakes: A sprinkle of red chili flakes can add a pop of color and spice for those who prefer a bit of heat.
  • Lemon Wedges: Serving the soup with lemon wedges on the side allows guests to add a tangy freshness to their servings.
  • Sliced Peppers: Thinly sliced red or green bell peppers provide a colorful garnish and a slight crunch.
  • Chopped Green Onions can add a nice color contrast and a mild, sweet flavor.
Egusi Soup Recipe

Can I Make Egusi Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

You can prepare Egusi Soup in a slow cooker and an Instant Pot, simplifying the process and saving time.

Slow Cooker

  • Blend the pumpkin seeds and set aside.
  • Brown the beef in a pan with oil and transfer it to the slow cooker.
  • Blend tomatoes, onions, and pepper, and add this mixture to the slow cooker.
  • Add tomato sauce, water, and shrimp. Stir well.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
  • 30 minutes before serving, stir in the Spinach and the blended pumpkin seeds. Allow it to cook further.
  • Once cooked, adjust the seasoning if required and serve.

Instant Pot

  • Blend the pumpkin seeds and set aside.
  • Use the ‘Sauté’ function to heat oil and brown the beef.
  • Blend tomatoes, onions, and pepper, and add this mixture to the pot.
  • Add tomato sauce, water, and shrimp. Stir well.
  • Close the lid and set the Instant Pot to ‘Manual’ or ‘Pressure Cook’ mode. Cook on high pressure for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Allow natural pressure to release, open the lid, and switch back to the ‘Sauté’ function.
  • Stir in the Spinach and the blended pumpkin seeds. Let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Once cooked, adjust the seasoning if required and serve.

Can I Use Store-Bought Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

You can certainly use store-bought broth for convenience, but making it has advantages.

Store-Bought Broth

  • It’s a quick and easy alternative, saving you preparation time. When choosing a store-bought broth, look for a low-sodium version, and ensure it doesn’t contain any additives or preservatives that might conflict with your dietary restrictions or preferences.

Homemade Broth

  • It allows you to have full control over the ingredients and flavors. Homemade broth often has a fresher and richer taste. You can make it in large batches and freeze it for future use.

Can I Use Different Types Of Meat/Fish/Pasta/Vegetables For The Soup?

Egusi Soup’s versatility allows various ingredients to be used based on personal preferences and dietary needs.

  • Meat/Fish: Traditional recipes often use beef, goat meat, or fish, but you can substitute these with chicken, lamb, or other seafood. A mix of proteins also works well for a more complex flavor.
  • Pasta: While pasta isn’t a traditional ingredient in Egusi Soup, you can experiment. Try adding small types like orzo or macaroni for texture. Ensure the pasta complements the soup without overpowering its original flavor.
  • Vegetables: Traditional Egusi Soup recipes often use Spinach, but you can experiment with other leafy greens like kale, collard greens, or Swiss chard. Adding diced bell peppers, okra, or eggplant can add texture and flavor.
Healthy soup

Success Tips – Tips And Tricks For Making Soup

Sure, here are some tips and tricks that can elevate your soup-making skills:

Success Tips

  • Fresh And Quality Ingredients: Start with fresh and high-quality ingredients, including fresh vegetables, meat, and melon seeds (egusi).
  • Properly Cleaned Egusi: Thoroughly clean and wash the egusi seeds before grinding. This helps remove any impurities and ensures a clean taste in the soup.
  • Variety of Meats: Use a combination of meats for depth of flavor. Common choices include chicken, beef, goat meat, or fish. Each adds a unique taste to the soup.
  • Balanced Spice Blend: Create a well-balanced spice blend using ingredients like ground pepper, ginger, garlic, and onions. Adjust the quantities to suit your spice preference.
  • Ground Crayfish: Include ground crayfish for an authentic flavor. It adds a unique taste that is commonly used in West African cuisine.
  • Palm Oil: Incorporate palm oil into the soup for richness and a distinct flavor. It also contributes to the traditional reddish color of the soup.
  • Preparation of Leafy Greens: If using spinach, ugu (fluted pumpkin leaves), or other leafy greens, wash them thoroughly and chop them just before adding to the soup to retain their freshness and nutrients.

Prepping Tips

  • Fresh Ingredients: Always aim for the freshest ingredients. Fresh vegetables and high-quality proteins yield the best flavor.
  • Prep Ahead: Chop all your vegetables and meats before you start cooking. It not only saves time but also ensures even cooking.
  • Blend Well: When the recipe calls for blended ingredients, blend until smooth for the right texture and consistency.
  • Seasoning: Always season your meats and vegetables before adding them to the soup to enhance their flavors.

Cooking Time Tips

  • Layering Flavors: First, blend flavors by sautéing your onions, garlic, and spices. It releases its aromas and infuses the oil, creating a flavor base for the soup.
  • Cooking Time: Don’t rush the cooking process. Allow enough time for the ingredients to cook properly and for flavors to meld together.
  • Stir Occasionally: Stir the soup occasionally to prevent sticking at the bottom of the pot and to ensure even cooking.
  • Adjust to Taste: Always taste your soup before serving and adjust seasonings as needed. Adding more salt or spices is easier than fixing an over-seasoned soup.
  • Right Consistency: Depending on the soup, the consistency can be adjusted by adding more broth to thin it or cooking it uncovered to allow it to thicken.
Egusi Soup Recipe

Nutritional Values  

Delight in the nourishing goodness of Egusi Soup! This exquisite African delicacy harmoniously blends protein-rich beef and shrimp, vitamin-laden Spinach, and the wholesome benefits of pumpkin seeds, offering a formal and truly delightful culinary experience in every thoughtfully prepared spoonful.

What Are The Total Calories In The Soup?

The total calories in a serving of Egusi Soup can vary greatly depending on the specific ingredients and their quantities.

For instance, if your recipe includes meats, fish, palm oil, and vegetables, a single serving of Egusi Soup might range between 200-300 calories. This estimation would change based on the types and amounts of protein used, the amount of oil used, and the specific vegetables incorporated.

Dietary Restrictions Of Egusi Soup

As traditionally prepared, Egusi Soup may not be suitable for all dietary preferences or restrictions. However, it can often be adapted to meet different needs. Here are some potential restrictions and possible adjustments:

  • Vegan/Vegetarian: Traditional Egusi Soup often contains meat and fish. To make it vegetarian or vegan, you can substitute the meat with tofu, tempeh, or a variety of hearty vegetables. Use vegetable broth instead of meat-based broth.
  • Gluten-Free: Traditional Egusi Soup is naturally gluten-free as it doesn’t contain wheat or other gluten-containing ingredients. However, always check the labels of any pre-packaged ingredients to make sure they don’t have hidden gluten.
  • Dairy-Free: Traditional Egusi Soup is also typically dairy-free.
  • Nut-Free: Egusi Soup includes ground melon seeds. For those with a nut or seed allergy, this could be problematic. Unfortunately, there’s no easy substitute for the egusi (melon seeds) which are the defining ingredient of this soup.
  • Low-Carb/Keto: While Egusi Soup can be low in carbs, it’s often served with high-carb sides like fufu or pounded yam. For a low-carb or keto diet, you could serve the soup with a side of vegetables instead.
  • Paleo: Egusi Soup could be considered paleo-friendly as it consists of whole foods. However, strict paleo dieters might omit certain legumes or grains if included in a variant recipe.

Health Benefits Of Egusi Soup

Egusi Soup is not only flavorful but also packed with numerous health benefits owing to its rich and diverse ingredients:

  • High in Protein: The melon seeds, meat, and fish used in Egusi Soup provide a significant amount of protein, essential for building and repairing tissues in the body.
  • Rich in Healthy Fats: Egusi seeds are high in healthy fats necessary for various bodily functions such as nutrient absorption and hormone production.
  • Contains Essential Minerals and Vitamins: Vegetables like Spinach add vitamins A, C, K, and several B vitamins to the soup, as well as minerals like iron and calcium.
  • Boosts Immune System: The vitamin C content from vegetables helps boost the immune system and aids in the body’s ability to heal.
  • Heart Health: The omega-3 fatty acids from fish can promote heart health by lowering the risk of heart disease.
  • Good for Eyesight: Vitamin A in vegetables and palm oil contributes to maintaining healthy eyesight.
  • Bone Health: The calcium and phosphorus in the soup contribute to strong bones and teeth.
  • Digestive Health: Fiber from vegetables helps maintain a healthy digestive system and prevent constipation.

Nutrition Table 

nutrition table

How Can I Make Egusi Soup Lower In Sodium? 

Reducing sodium in your Egusi Soup without compromising its flavor can be achieved by implementing a few strategies:

  • Less Salt: Use less salt when seasoning your meat and soup. You can gradually reduce the amount until you find the minimum level that gives a satisfactory taste.
  • Low-Sodium Broth: If the recipe calls for broth, opt for a low-sodium version or make your own at home to control the salt content.
  • Spices and Herbs: Boost flavor with herbs and spices, like thyme, rosemary, basil, or cayenne pepper, so that you won’t miss the salt.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh meats, vegetables, and tomatoes instead of canned or processed ones, which often contain added sodium.
  • Lemon Juice or Vinegar: Adding a small amount of lemon juice or vinegar can enhance the flavors of the soup, reducing the need for extra salt.
  • Rinse Canned Foods: Rinse canned vegetables or proteins thoroughly under cold water to remove excess sodium.

How Can I Make Egusi Soup Lower In Sugar?

Traditional Egusi Soup doesn’t typically contain added sugar, so it’s already low in sugar. However, the natural sugar content from the ingredients, particularly the vegetables, and tomatoes, could still be a concern for those strictly monitoring their sugar intake. Here are a few tips to make Egusi Soup even lower in sugar:

  • Choose Low-Sugar Vegetables: Opt for leafy greens and other low-sugar vegetables as much as possible.
  • Use Fresh Tomatoes: Canned tomatoes can sometimes contain added sugars. Opt for fresh tomatoes when possible, and if you’re using canned tomatoes, choose a no-sugar-added variety.
  • Avoid Sweetened Broths: Some broths may contain added sugars. Always check the label, choose unsweetened varieties, or make your own at home.
  • Limit High-Sugar Add-Ins: If you like to customize your soup with additional ingredients, be aware of their sugar content.
Egusi Soup Recipe

How To Serve The Egusi Soup Best?

Egusi Soup is best served hot and is traditionally accompanied by a variety of starches, allowing it to be enjoyed as a hearty meal:

  • Fufu: This is a common side made from cassava, yams, or plantains that have been boiled, pounded, and rolled into balls. It has a mild flavor that pairs well with the rich taste of Egusi Soup.
  • Pounded Yam: Another popular side, pounded yam is smooth and stretchy, and its subtle flavor allows the soup to shine.
  • Garri (Eba): Made from grated, dried, and fried cassava, garri is formed into a dough-like consistency and serves as a perfect dip for the soup.
  • Rice: Plain steamed rice can also be a good companion for Egusi Soup, providing a neutral base to appreciate the soup’s complex flavors fully.
  • Amala (Yam Flour): Another dough-like side made from yam flour. Its smooth texture and unique taste complement the soup well.

Perfect Side Dishes To Complement Egusi Soup Recipe

Egusi Soup is traditionally paired with various West African starchy staples. These sides not only complement the soup but also provide a balanced meal:

  • Fufu: This smooth, dough-like dish made from cassava, plantains, or yams is a classic companion to Egusi Soup.
  • Pounded Yam: Soft, stretchy, and slightly sticky, pounded yam is another beloved side that pairs well with the soup.
  • Garri (Eba): Made from grated and fried cassava, Garri is formed into dough-like balls and serves as a wonderful side for Egusi Soup.
  • Amala: Made from yam flour, Amala’s unique taste and smooth texture make it a suitable side dish for Egusi Soup.
  • Tuwo Shinkafa: A northern Nigerian dish made from rice, it’s molded into balls and pairs beautifully with the soup.
  • Rice: Plain boiled rice can also be paired with Egusi Soup, especially for those who prefer less traditional sides.
Healthy soup

How Long Can We Store The Soup?

Storing Egusi Soup properly can extend its shelf life and allow you to enjoy it over several days or even weeks:

  • Refrigerator: Egusi Soup can be stored in the fridge for 3-5 days. Make sure to use an airtight container to maintain freshness and prevent the soup from absorbing other flavors in the refrigerator.
  • Freezer: For more extended storage, you can freeze Egusi Soup. When stored correctly in a freezer-safe, airtight container, it should be suitable for 2-3 months. To reheat, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then warm it on the stove or microwave.

Can I Make Soup In Advance?

Egusi Soup is a fantastic make-ahead dish. Here are some benefits and strategies for preparing it in advance:


  • Flavor Development: The flavors of the soup can deepen and meld together when made in advance, enhancing the overall taste.
  • Time-Saving: Preparing the soup beforehand saves time on busy days, as you only need to reheat and serve.
  • Meal Planning: Making Egusi Soup ahead of time aligns perfectly with meal planning strategies, allowing you to have ready-to-eat meals for several days.


  • Full Preparation: Cook the soup thoroughly, let it cool, then store it in the refrigerator or freezer in an airtight container.
  • Partial Preparation: You can prep components of the soup, like blending the Egusi seeds, cutting the meat, and chopping the vegetables, then storing them in the refrigerator. When you’re ready, cook the ingredients to make the soup.

What Can We Do With Leftovers? 

If you have leftover Egusi Soup, don’t fret! There are plenty of ways to repurpose this versatile dish:

  • New Side Dish: Serve the soup with a different starch like rice, couscous, or quinoa for a unique experience.
  • Filling: Use the soup for savory pies or puff pastries.
  • Stir-fry Base: Add the leftover soup to stir-fried vegetables or noodles for a flavor boost.
  • Omelet Addition: Incorporate the soup into an omelet or scrambled eggs for a rich, savory breakfast.
  • Topping: Use it as a topping for baked potatoes or roasted yams.
  • Pasta Sauce: Consider it as a sauce over pasta. Thin it if needed with a bit of broth or water.
  • Freeze: Remember, you can also freeze leftovers for later use!
Egusi Soup Recipe

Special Tools/Equipment Needed

Cooking Egusi Soup doesn’t require any specialized tools; however, a few kitchen utensils can make the preparation process more convenient:

  • Blender or Food Processor: To blend the pumpkin seeds into a smooth paste, a blender or food processor helps achieve the desired consistency.
  • Pot or Dutch Oven: A sturdy pot or Dutch oven is essential for cooking the soup. Choose a size that can accommodate all the ingredients and allow for simmering.
  • Wooden Spoon: A wooden spoon is ideal for stirring the soup while it simmers, as it won’t scratch the pot’s surface and helps evenly distribute the flavors.
  • Sharp Knife: A sharp knife is necessary for cutting the beef and other ingredients, ensuring precise and even pieces.
  • Cutting Board: Use a cutting board to chop and prepare the vegetables and other ingredients before adding them to the pot.
  • Ladle: A ladle helps serve the hot soup in bowls without spilling.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I Use Pre-Ground Pumpkin Seeds Instead Of Blending My Paste?

While using pre-ground pumpkin seeds is an option, blending your paste ensures fresher flavors and a creamier consistency, elevating the overall taste of the Egusi Soup.

Can I Substitute The Beef With Chicken Or Other Meats?

Absolutely! Egusi Soup is versatile, and you can use chicken, goat meat, or even fish for a variation in flavors, allowing you to tailor the dish to your liking.

Is Egusi Soup Suitable For Vegetarians?

Yes! You can make a delightful vegetarian version by omitting the meat and using vegetable broth. The pumpkin seed paste, Spinach, and other vegetables provide a satisfying and nutritious meat-free option.

Can I Freeze Leftover Egusi Soup?

Yes, you can freeze the soup for future enjoyment. Store it in airtight containers or freezer bags for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat gently on the stovetop for a delicious meal.

Can I Adjust The Spiciness Of Egusi Soup To My Preference?

Absolutely! To control the heat, modify the quantity of habanero peppers or use milder chili varieties. Personalize the spice level to suit your taste buds.

Spicy Egusi Soup Recipe For Beginners - Your Tasty Homemade Guide

Spicy Egusi Soup Recipe For Beginners – Your Tasty Homemade Guide

5 from 8 votes
Recipe by Lana Rivera Course: Soup Recipes


Prep time


Cooking time







Savor the authentic African delight of Egusi Soup! Its rich, flavorful essence comes from creamy pumpkin seed paste, tender beef, succulent shrimp, and vibrant Spinach, offering a truly wholesome and unforgettable culinary journey.


  • 3/4 Cup 3/4 Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)

  • 1 1/2 Pounds 1 1/2 Beef Stew Meat (Cubed)

  • 1/2 Cup 1/2 Peanut Oil

  • 2 2 Tomatoes (Large, Chopped)

  • 1 1 Onion (Small, Chopped)

  • 2 2 Habanero Peppers (Seeded And Minced)

  • 18 Ounces 18 Tomato Sauce

  • 3 Tablespoons 3 Tomato Paste

  • 1 1/2 Cups 1 1/2 Water

  • 2 Pounds 2 Fresh Shrimp (Peeled And Deveined)

  • 1 Pound 1 Fresh Spinach (washed And Chopped)

Step-By-Step Direction

  • Start with the pumpkin seeds. Please place them in a blender and process them for 30 to 40 seconds until they are consistent with powdery paste. Set this mixture aside for later use.
  • Rinse the beef well and cut it into bite-size cubes. Season these cubes with a generous pinch of salt.
  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Once the oil is hot enough, add the beef cubes and saute them for 3 to 5 minutes. You want them to brown, but they don’t need to be cooked through.
  • In the blender, place tomatoes, onions, and pepper. Blend these ingredients for about 30 seconds or until the mixture is smooth. Pour this blended mixture into the pot with the beef.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pot. Allow the beef to cook with the tomato mixture for about 40 to 50 minutes or until the meat becomes tender.
  • Add the tomato sauce, water, and shrimp to the pot. Let this mixture simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • Finally, add the Spinach and the ground pumpkin seeds set aside earlier. Simmer the soup for 10 more minutes to fully incorporate all the ingredients.
  • After cooking, do a final taste test. Adjust the seasoning if needed, then serve your delicious Egusi Soup hot. You can pair it with a side of your choice, like fufu or pounded yam, for an authentic African dining experience.


  • Pumpkin Seed Paste: Blending the pumpkin seeds into a smooth paste is crucial for the soup’s creamy texture and nutty flavor. Take care not to over-blend; it may become a nut butter consistency.
  • Beef Browning: When browning the beef, ensure the pot is hot enough to sear the meat properly. This step locks in the flavors and adds depth to the soup.
  • Adjusting Spice Level: Control the heat by adjusting the amount of habanero peppers used. For milder palates, reduce the quantity, or omit the seeds for a milder flavor.
  • Shrimp Timing: Add shrimp toward the end of simmering to prevent overcooking. They should turn pink and opaque, indicating they are perfectly cooked.
  • Spinach and Pumpkin Seed Paste: Stir in the spinach and pumpkin seed paste towards the end to preserve their vibrant color and nutrients.
  • Nutritional Values: Remember that the nutritional values are approximate and vary based on ingredient brands and measurements.
  • Serving: Egusi Soup pairs well with steamed rice, fufu, or your preferred side dish. Garnish with fresh herbs for an extra touch of freshness.
  • Storage: Refrigerate any leftovers promptly and consume them within a few days for the best taste and quality. Reheat gently over low heat to maintain the soup’s creamy consistency.
Lana Rivera

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