Vegetable soup with grains and chickpeas (Angola)

Angola is a large country on the south-central coast of Africa. Until 1975 it was a territory of Portugal and as a result the population is largely Portuguese-speaking and Catholic country, although Bantu languages and indigenous religions also form large minorities. After Angola gained independence there was a civil war lasting until 2002 and killing at least 500,000 people, with various opponents supported by many other countries, such as the United States, Soviet Union, China and Cuba.

It’s hard to find information about Angolan cuisine, though it is often said to have been influenced by the Portuguese one. It also seems to commonly feature chicken, meat, fish (the latter two often dried), peanuts, peas, sweet potatoes, beans, palm oil, corn, cassava, okra, greens (particularly sweet potato leaves), zucchini, tomatoes and garlic. Spicy stews and other spicy foods are popular. This dish isn’t spicy, though.

This Celtnet recipe makes for a tasty winter comfort food type soup, mildly but pleasantly spiced. I don’t eat kohlrabi often and I have to say I didn’t like it too much here. It also takes much longer to cook than the other veggies, so I should have chopped it smaller than the sweet potato. I also found I had to add a lot more water than in the original recipe and still the “soup” turned out very dry, as you can see. I have halved the recipe, as it still makes a huge amount of soup.

Vegetable soup with grains and chickpeas

Angolan vegetable soup

2 small or 1 large kohlrabi, peeled and cubed
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 small onion, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
2-3 tomatoes, chopped
150 g/5 oz cooked/canned chickpeas (with some cooking water/liquid from the can included)
50 g/1.75 oz bulgur or couscous
25 g/0.9 oz raisins
0.5 tsp ground coriander
0.25 tsp turmeric
0.25 tsp cinnamon
0.25 tsp ginger powder
0.25 tsp cumin (jeera)
2-3 cups/5-7.5 dl water
salt to taste

Place all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender to your liking. Serve hot. Makes 5-6 portions.

One Response to “Vegetable soup with grains and chickpeas (Angola)”

  1. 1

    Lovely dish and so glad to discover your blog!

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