Central African Republic plantain soup is called Ngukassa is thick and hearty. Ngago leaves are a slightly bitter spinach type leaf native to CAR. You can use swiss chard, collard green, or kale as a good substitute. The combination of the plantains, peanut paste, greens and palm oil makes for a wonderful bite. Fufu is a cornmeal porridge that can be used to scoop up this soup/stew for an authentic experience.
Ngukassa Soup (Plantain Soup)
- 4 semi-ripe plantains
- 2 bunches of ngago leaves this is a kind of slightly bitter native spinach
- ½ cup fresh blanched, peanuts
- 1 Tablespoon red palm oil
- 1 quart water
- Peel the plantains and cut each one into 6 sections. Place 2 Tablespoons of the peanuts in a bowl, cover with cold water and set aside to soak.
- Crush the remaining peanuts in a mortar or grind in a food processor until you have a paste.
- Wash the ngago leaves and trim off the stems then chop them coarsely.
- Bring the water to a boil then add the plantains, ngago leaves and peanut paste.
- Stir to combine, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until the plantains are tender.
- Drain the soaked peanuts and add to the soup.
- Cook for 5 minutes more then take off the heat and stir in the red palm oil.
- Serve warm.