DIY Recipes: How to make WreWre Nkwan (Nut-free alternative Soup)

Did you know that Ghanaians have a nut-free soup which just tastes so much like groundnut soup but without the nuts? It is a soup made from a type of melon seeds called wrewre.

WreWre Nkwan (Nut-free alternative Soup)

Serve soup hot with fufu, boiled rice, rice balls, boiled yams, boiled potatoes, boiled ripe plantains or bread or can be eaten on its own.

Ingredients

2 Medium Hard Chicken (butchered)

1 Small Lemon

3 Cups of Wrewre

2 medium-sized Onions

4 Vine Medium Tomatoes

2 Tbsp Tomato Paste

6 Fresh Gloves of Garlic

100g or thumb size fresh Ginger

1 Small Scotch Bonnet Pepper (or to your taste)

1 Sprig of Rosemary

A Handful of Thyme

A Handful of Sage

2 Tsp AVK 10 Spice Blend (alternatively use a 1 tsp combination of thyme, Star Arnise, Aniseed (nkitinkiti), Rosemary & Cloves)

1 Tsp AVK 7 Spice Blend (alternatively, use 1 wide3 Aba & 2 hwentia pods)

Water – about 3 litres

Salt to taste

Method

Prep the chicken by washing it with lemon juice and removing any remaining feathers. The lemon juice helps to remove the poultry smell.

Blend one onion, half of the ginger, fresh herbs and garlic together. Use a little bit of water to help with the blending.

Place the chicken in your soup pot and add salt to taste, the spice blends and the blended onion mixture. Stir and let it season for about 30 minutes. Also add in the rest of the onions, tomatoes, tomato paste and pepper. Also, slice the remaining ginger and add it.

Now prep the Wrewre by toasting in the oven or dry toasting on the hob. Before toasting, do check and remove any remaining debris found in it.

If toasting in the oven, pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and toast for about 30 minutes. Use a wide oven tray to help spread out the Wrewre for even toasting. Also, stir the Wrewre 15minutes into the toasting time to ensure an even toasting.

Start steaming the chicken including everything else in the pot. You may need to add extra water to help the chicken to tenderize to your preference.

Once the Wrewre has browned lightly, remove from oven and mill into a coarse paste.

Extract the Wrewre milk by blending the coarse paste with water and using a fine sieve to strain it. Repeat this step a couple of times until the water becomes clear and non-milky. Then throw away the chuff. Use about 3 litres of water for this process.

Now using a finer sieve, re-strain the milky solution a couple of times to remove as much chuff as possible. The result should be silky smooth milk with little or not grits when passed through the fingertips.

Now check on your steaming pot, the vegetables would have softened up, ready to be removed and blended. Check the seasoning of the chicken and correct with salt.

Blend the onion, tomatoes and pepper. Add it back into the soup pot. Cover and let it simmer for about 10 minutes until a light layer of oil forms.

Now add the Wrewre milk to the pot, straining it once more.

Turn up the heat and let the soup simmer for about 20minutes. Then turn down the heat and let it simmer gently until cooked to perfection. This stage could take an hour depending on your heat settings.

Your soup is ready when the consistency is right for you and a layer of oil forms at the top. Check my tips below to know when the soup is cooked.

Serve soup hot with fufu, boiled rice, rice balls, boiled yams, boiled potatoes, boiled ripe plantains or bread or can be eaten on its own.

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