We all have those days when our food is so bland! Traditional African recipes are one of those ways to spice up your palate. And what other better way than relishing West African food recipes? Especially the sweet aroma and taste of the red oil soup, thanks to the Kissi tribe of Liberia. And there be plenty of recipes for you here, different-different ones, not only Liberian food recipes but also those from South, East, North, and Central Africa. As you savor the different flavors, you get to reap the benefits of red palm oil and other plant-based nutritional wholesomeness.
So, let’s unpack this fine-soup small-small Ooo, ene? But first, I want to share this with you all.
When you live abroad and are far away from your familiar childhood environment, it seems foods from your childhood can trigger certain emotions and memories. Yes, happy ones too. The sweet aroma and taste help me remember those days which are now a sacred treasure.
My Kissi people, how you dey? Drink one bottle of palm wine for me yeh!?
Red Oil Soup Charming Color and Flavor
Red palm oil is responsible for the sweetness and distinctive red coloring of this delicious soup. A lot of traditional African recipes use red oil for the distinctive color and taste of their soups and stews. Particularly West African food recipes use this red gold in amounts that can make most Westerners gasp. The good thing is that you can adjust the amounts to make delightful dishes. Check this flavorful Red Oil Kittely Stew and perfect hearty Liberian Red Oil Okra Stew. You go love them Ooo.
By any chance, if red palm oil is not available, you can use a canned palm soup base. And as the last option, regular oil with paprika can at least get the color right. However, to get the right flavor and obtain the health benefits of red palm oil, prepare the soup as shown in the cooking video. You can find red oil in international grocery stores and African import stores.
Unlike most soup dishes, Liberian food recipes have their tasty soups with meat and fish all in one pot. Add vegetables like okra and string beans, then serve with less water as the main dish. OR, serve on a bed of boiled rice with toppings like sliced banana and chopped-up chilies, adding each relish onto the heaped plate.
And don’t accuse us of eating too much Ooo, blame it on too much jobbing (working). After all, “You cannot work for food when there is no food for work“African Proverb
Traditionally, the Kissi tribe of Liberia prepared this soup for big dinners and family celebrations. They reveled in seeing guests add their choice of toppings and accompaniments. Similar to most traditional African recipes, red oil soup is easy to adapt to what is available, you may try our Mixy-Boxa Method. Our traditional red oil soup is 100% plant-based, with fried tofu for protein and garden egg on the vegetable font. Feel free to adapt it to your delight.
What are the Benefits of Red Palm Oil?
First, as the name suggests, palm oil is red in color with a semi-solid or very viscous texture at room temperature. Locals add it to most West African food recipes bringing out that red-orangey color and unique earthy taste.
Some refer to it as a superfood and rightly so. Red oil is so versatile with many nutritional benefits. To reap these benefits, experts advise buying virgin unrefined red palm oil. Refining removes all the important components that give it its health benefits. In addition, it gives the oil a lighter color and a softer flavor.
So, is red palm oil good for you? Yes! We’ve already mentioned the unique color, rich flavor and enticing aroma it gives to Liberian food recipes. P.S.- try our traditional red oil soup and give your feedback in the comments below.
Besides that, research shows that unrefined palm oil contains large amounts of vitamin E and no cholesterol. It is also high in levels of “good” mono-unsaturated fats. In light of this, research is ongoing to show that consuming palm oil may result in better heart health and improved brain health.
Moreover, the red-orangey color shows the presence of carotenoids which are responsible for vitamin A in the body. Red palm oil is an important source of vitamin A among the Kissi tribe of Liberia and other West African communities.
Nevertheless, fat is fat. It is advisable to use palm oil in moderation like other fats and oils.
Finally, like other traditional African recipes, this flavorful red oil soup has plenty to offer. Come leh eat Ooo. Remember to share this recipe and tag us on our socials.
- ⅓ cup Red Oil (aka Palm Oil)
- 1 Onion
- 1 block Tofu (any protein)
- 2 habanero peppers
- Any amount Garden Egg OR fresh okra; tomatoes; kittely
- 1 tsp Salt & dash of ground black pepper
- 1.5 cup Vegetable broth OR 2 vegetable cubes
- Heat a pan on the stove on low heat.
- Place ⅓ cup of Red oil (also known as Palm oil) in the pan and allow the oil to heat up a little on low heat.
- Once the oil is heated, fry the protein blocks in the red oil (I used block tofu, but any protein will do). As the protein fries slowly, we move onto the aubergines. Note the protein does not have to crisp up in the oil, it will cook throughout the process.
- Next, place the aubergines in a bowl and dump out the water out from the can; gently squeeze out any excess water from garden eggs making sure you don't smash them. (Use fresh aubergines if possible, otherwise, processed aubergines will suffice).
- When the protein has fried for 2mins, add 1 yellow onion diced and 2 finely diced habanero peppers on top of the protein. Gently spread these ingredients over the protein. Allow to cook on low heat for 2 minutes so onions become fragrant.
- Next, add the desired amount of garden eggs (eggplants), I used the entire can of aubergines. If you decide to use fresh tomatoes or okra or a handful of fresh kittely which are great alternatives too, you want to add those alternatives at this step. Gently spread these ingredients over the protein.
- Leave this to shallow fry on low- medium heat for a maximum of 5 minutes. Do not stir.
- After 5 minutes have lapsed, Gently pour in 1.5 cups of vegetable broth. IF you use vegetable cubes, use one large cube and 1.5 cups of water. Do not stir the mixture..
- Taste first, then, add 1 teaspoon of salt and stir gently without smashing the garden eggs.
- Next, add a few cracks of black pepper if grinding it fresh or use 1/4 tsp of black pepper.
- Place a lid over the soup and leave to cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes.
- After 10-20 minutes have passed, give the soup a gentle stir taking care not to smash or smush the garden eggs. The consistency should be soupy but not too watery. If you want it thicker, boil it longer.
- Your Liberian traditional red oil soup is now ready to eat, serve it while hot. Best to eat with rice, grains or bread.
If you are looking for a hearty, tasty and filling one pot meal then traditional red oil soup is a great option! Not only does it taste fantastic, it is also incredibly easy to make!
Be sure to give this recipe a try and please share this scrumptious recipe with a friend!
Please leave us a comment and share pictures of your red oil soup with us on our social media @Humveg.