Sometimes referred to as the king of trees, the palm tree is among the top common trees in Liberia. This tree is rich Ooo, you can even apply it to architectural use. Many West African culinary require its red oil aka nectar of the gods for their delightful soups and stews. Here, we’ll show you how to make Liberian palm butter soup with the oil palm fruit as the basic ingredient. Add palm butter leaves for that smoky aftertaste. Pair palm butter soup and fufu or with anything from rice, bread, eba and enjoy…
Taste Multi West African cultures
Not to be confused with palm oil, palm butter is an ingredient from the fleshy part of palm nuts. The traditional way of making it takes time and energy. We used store-bought palm cream concentrate and loved how juicy it turned out. You can choose to make it from scratch. You will need a large mortar, pestle, and a bit of muscle to pull this off. Thank you Ancestors for inventing food processors to extract palm cream concentrate.
In the past, I didn’t know other countries and cultures in West Africa ate palm nuts too oo. I thought only Liberians eat this type of food. Nonetheless, how to make Liberian palm butter soup makes all the difference. Humble Vege’s main goal is to explore and eat food from all over Africa to learn about places and people that shape the food we eat. Sample these authentic African foods and delight your taste buds. Like you, I am getting to know multiple cultures with one dish. Liberians call it Palm Butter but it goes by many other names – moambé or mwambe (Republic and Democratic of Congo), nyembwe (Gabon), Muamba de galinha (Angola).
Liberians Create Songs for Food We Love
Let’s pause for a second. Did you know there is a song for beans too? Stay tuned, we will gist you about the song Liberians sing for beans. This is how the palm butter song Liberians love to sing goes: “palm butter zo-yu-y, zo-yu-y, zo-yu-y-ah, palm butter!!” When people make a song about any kind of food there is something special about that food and it shows you how creative that culture is. This juicy Liberian soup is what you want. Loka, if you don’t use palm butter leaves or Kablai leaves (not sponsored) with this soup, it is not authentic (I’m kidding of course). Although, Kablai leaves adds an extra beautiful aroma.
Palm Oil is Nectar of The Gods
Something spectacular inspired me to coin this phrase in referring to Palm Oil as Nectar of the Gods. Could it be because we use it to give reverence to certain ancestors? And…what does palm butter taste like? I love Palm butter because it is fattening, tastes nutty, buttery smooth, and its taste elevates whatever food you pair it with.
Have fun with this recipe. If you’d like to try out other recipes with the nectar of the Gods, savor this rich tasty vegetarian ogbono soup and hefty Liberian Red oil okra stew. We hope you enjoyed the palm butter soup and fufu classic combo. Comment below if you’ve sample this food share your thoughts or concerns.
- 1 Palm Butter (100g) Can
- Half Onion dice
- Plenty Pepper (habanero or pepper flakes or nada)
- 2 Vege cubes
- 3.5 cup water (or use broth and ditch the vege cubes)
- 426g Homemade Seitan
- 4 Palm Butter leaves (Kablai)
- Half teaspoon salt
1. To cook Palm butter soup, get a 100g can of Palm butter paste. Gently pry open the Lid. Be cautious since the lid is sharp when you open it.
2. When the lid is fully opened, take a tablespoon, scoop your Liberian Palm Butter Paste into your deep pot or pan. Palm-nut paste solidifies so it might take some effort to get it out of the Can.
3. When all your palm butter paste is scooped into the pan, place the pan on medium heat and start cooking the palm butter. Allow the paste to melt for 2 mins before proceeding to the next step.
4. Next, add about three and a half cups of vegetable broth and stir. Using your cooking spoon, stir the cream and the heat will allow it to dissolve gradually.
5. After the paste starts to boil and if you notice the paste is thick, add a quarter cup of water to the palm nut can and rinse out the can into your pot. This is the authentic way to rinse the can with water to completely extract everything
6. Thereafter add your well-diced whole onions to the boiling soup and stir.
7. Next, add your preferred quantity of habanero pepper. Partly, close your cooking pot with a lid and allow the soup to boil for about 15 minutes. If I closed the pot completely in the video, that was in error because the palm butter will foam and spill over if you close the pot completely.
9. At this Stage you have an option to add in your palm butter leaves also called Kablai leaves. If you don’t have it, simply skip this step. After adding it, stir and let the soup boil further for about 2mins. You will notice the fragrant smell after adding kablai leaves.
10. Of Course for taste, add in a half teaspoon of salt and stir. Wait until the palm butter paste thickens before salting it further if you need more.
11. Lastly, add in your homemade seitan. If you don’t have plant protein, skip this step or add any protein of your choice. Boil further for 15mins.
12. At this point you will notice your Palm butter soup will start to thicken. Feel free to take out the excess oil to your desired preference and put in another bowl to store. Preserve the excess oil for future uses. See our notes section for ideas on how to use the excess oil. Your soup is simply juicy and you can go ahead and enjoy it with fufu, eba or rice.
Fun fact, different western African countroes has many unique names for Palm Butter. Such as moambé/mwambe (Rep. & Dem. Congo), nyembwe (Gabon), muamba de galinha (Angola).
***If you are cooking for yourself, you may want to NOT use an entire can of palm nut paste because it yields a large portion of soup. For a smaller portion, cut the recipe in half and preserve the remaining palm nut paste into a glass bowl and freeze it.
WHAT TO DO WITH EXCESS OIL
**What to do with excess oil? I highly recommend you scoop out excess oil from the soup and store it into a glass container. The pure red oil that you take from the soup can be use over gari yorkor or over your African dry rice. Detailed recipes are listed on our website. (https://humblevege.com/gari-yorkor/)
**DO NOT STORE RED OIL IN PLASTIC CONTAINER: It will stain the plastic