Aren’t you sick of chicken noodle soup by now? African soups are full of great spices to clear those sinuses. If you happen to be caught up in a polar vortex, or are just a little chilled, here are 10 great African soups to keep you warm this winter.
Lentil soup is perfect when you’re sick and need good protein that’s easy on your stomach. Red lentils are especially great because they don’t need to be soaked in advance like regular lentils, and their slightly sweet flavor works well with the spices in this recipe such as paprika, turmeric, coriander and cumin.
Okra soup will appeal to minestrone lovers, who are over spinach and looking for something a little heartier. This recipe calls for palm oil to give the soup a really smooth texture, plus fresh chilies to spice it up, chunky pieces of beef and of course, nutritious okra.
This recipe is vegan and, if you use gluten-free bread for the breadcrumbs, it can be gluten-free as well. It’s a really simple-but-nourishing soup with main ingredients of Tunisia’s famous hot sauce, harissa, protein-rich chickpeas, lemon juice and olive oil. The tang of the lemon juice melds beautifully with the harissa.
Cassava leaf stew comes out creamy and thick, and it’s full of greens, so it’s great for the cream-of-broccoli lovers out there — and it’s dairy free. This recipe has some subtle seafood flavors from the mackerel, plus it calls for crayfish powder, which adds a great savory tang to an otherwise sweet, peanut butter-based soup.
This is not your boring old vegetable soup. It’s packed with spices such as coriander, parsley, cayenne pepper, hot chile pepper and garlic. The recipe calls for leaves of a plant akin to okra called molokhia, and they’re packed with fiber. For that comforting fall taste, there is tons of chicken stock.
This isn’t the pumpkin soup you’re used to with cinnamon and nutmeg. This soup brings out the spicier side of pumpkin with smoked fish, chili and black and white pepper for a really hearty soup with a texture more like a puree. The tomato paste adds a great sweetness.
Pepper soup is for the adventurous palate — it combines the strong flavors of goat meat with bitterleaf, mint, dried shrimp and a few other ingredients for a soup that is spicy, bold and seriously warms the throat and stomach.
With a curry, coconut and green-banana base, this comes out more like a creamy stew than a soup, so serve it over rice. This recipe is wonderfully creative, with banana adding a nice, mild sweet flavor, plus herbs such as thyme, parsley and bay leaf, zesty ginger, and generous portions of vegetables. It’s filling but still very healthy.
This soup is so sweet and creamy it could almost be a dessert! With a base of cream and melted butter, it’s filling, so pair it with a salad or light side. But that dairy base is balanced out by lemon juice, green chilies, garlic, onions, chicken stock and of course the beautiful butternut squash.
Palm fruit soup features the healing herb periwinkle, so it’s perfect for cold season, plus it has the very sweet aidan fruit that gives it an incredible smell, and a few more ingredients for the adventurous, such as snail, smoked dryfish and bitterleaf. It’s a complex flavor, paired well with simple rice or bread.