Groundnut soup is made from groundnut, also called Peanut. It is a legume that grows widely in the tropics. It has a high fat content and it is regarded as an oil crop because of this. The groundnut itself is a great plant source of protein. Compared to the fat content, the carbohydrate content is low and it has low glycemic index. Many nutrient-dense recipes and products have been developed with groundnuts for the treatment of undernutrition. It is a good addition to complementary foods for infants.
The groundnut soup is eaten widely in many African countries, especially West African countries and the recipes are not too different. In Gambia, it is a national delicacy called Domoda. It is Maffe Tiga in Guinea and the Senegalese, Ghanaian and Cameroonian versions of the soups exist also. In Nigeria, it is both a Northern and Southern Affair. In the North of Nigeria, it is called Miyan Taushe, Omisagwe by Edo people and Obe Epa in the South west. Suffice to say that the groundnut soup is a very traditional one in Africa; its place in history is fixed.
Groundnuts are usually roasted to make this soup/stew but not always; there are variations. A 100g roasted groundnut contains an astounding 633.26kcals much of which is fats; 45.60g of mono-unsaturated fats and poly unsaturated fats. Roasting has been shown to increase antioxidants in groundnuts.
The usual ingredients for the groundnut soup are roasted and grinded groundnuts, tomatoes, onions, scotch bonnets, shrimps (commonly called Crayfish), leafy vegetables and palm oil. Others include garlic, black pepper, fish, beef, chicken, lime, lemon, and so on.
One of the great things about this soup is that it can be meatless or fishless. A lot of Nigerians would miss a chunk of animal protein but the soup itself is rich in plant protein and enriching it with blended dry shrimps further improves the protein quality.
Common issues of groundnuts include allergic reactions which can be as mild as rash to life-threatening conditions such as anaphylaxis. Groundnuts sometimes contain aflatoxins when stored in poor conditions or is affected by some poor growth situations. Symptoms of Aflatoxin include jaundice, loss of appetite and in serious causes liver problems including cancer. Getting wholesome groundnuts is important for health.
I served this groundnut soup with Pounded yam; a very heavy combination in terms of calories. It was interesting to watch my Toddlers eat it. I fed them with their own share of pounded yam and groundnut soup with the hope that it would make them tired and fall asleep and I would have more time to do other things but I was wrong. No doubt, it is a great meal that can be enjoyed by every member of the family.