Light Soup with Lamb, Eggplant, Mushrooms, and Zucchini

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes

    4 to 6

    servings

Appears in

The Ghana Cookbook

By Fran Osseo-Asare and Barbara Baëta

Published 2015

  • About

Here is a healthy, simple, and delicious soup. As explained earlier, “light soup” is the English name in Ghana for a light stock-based soup so-named long before the West started talking about “light” foods. There are an infinite variety of light soups, easily adjusted according to what is on hand, but including onion, a little chili pepper, and probably tomato. When preparing this soup In Ghana one would probably substitute garden eggs for the eggplant, and use kpakpo shito peppers.

Ingredients

    Meat seasoning

  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped or minced onion
  • Light sprinkling dried ground red pepper
  • Light sprinkling salt or seasoned salt

Soup

  • pounds lamb round shoulder chops, fat trimmed and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 whole small Japanese eggplant, or ⅓ to ½ larger regular eggplant, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut in half
  • 1 small jalapeno or other chili pepper (or use ground dried red pepper to taste, if desired, beginning with teaspoon)
  • teaspoons salt or seasoned salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
  • 6 ounces fresh mushrooms (any type), washed and cut in half or quartered (depending on their size)

Additional seasonings of choice

  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • Additional chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • Sprinkling of dried ground red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme (or to taste)

Method

Directions

Season the meat

  1. Put the lamb and any bones in a soup pot with 1 cup of water. Sprinkle all the seasoning ingredients over the meat. Cover the pot tightly, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer while assembling the other ingredients, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Prepare soup

  1. Add the tomato sauce, onion, eggplant, zucchini, and chili pepper to the pot with the meat, along with 5 cups of water. (If you like things spicy, use the whole chili pepper; if not, cut it in half and remove the seeds and membranes first.) Add the salt and any additional seasoning of choice, stir well, bring it back to a boil, then let it simmer, covered, until the vegetables soften, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Use a slotted spoon to remove the eggplant, zucchini, chili pepper, and some of the chopped onion floating in the soup and put into a blender or food processor. It may be necessary to add a little broth from the pot, or do this in 2 batches. Blend the vegetables until smooth and return to the soup. Rinse the blender container with some of the broth or a little water and pour into the soup.
  3. Continue to simmer the soup until the meat is tender, about 30 minutes, depending on the toughness of the meat. When the meat is nearly tender, add the mushroom slices. For a stronger tomato flavor, add the tomato paste. Stir, cover, and allow the flavors to blend for another 10 to 15 minutes. Before serving, adjust the seasonings to taste, and skim any fat that may have risen to the surface.

To serve

This soup goes well with Ghana-Style Dumplings (Fufu), Rice Balls (Omo Tuo), or thick slices of bread.

Variations

  • Adjust or omit the eggplant, zucchini, etc. to suit your tastes.
  • Cube the vegetables instead of pureeing them.
  • The recipe makes a fairly thick soup; add additional water or some stock for a thinner soup.