The Serious Business of Soup in Ghana by Kofi Akpabli

When it comes to the structure of light soup, there are two schools of thought. Those who make a meal out of it (the pun is accidental) and those who cannot stomach it (this one is intended). For those who do not like the makeup, their main bone of contention is that light soup doesn’t amount to much. They find the soup too light to be taken seriously. To them, palm nut soup or groundnut soup are not only more filling, they have got character.

But all hope mustn’t be lost. The remedy for anti-light soup folks is simple, a thick light soup. Yes, thick light soup. See, though light soup can be as light and transparent as water (and still maintain its integrity), it can also be made as thick as gravy. This is actually food for thought. But that is another kettle of fish.

Critically, the meat or fish that is used to prepare, goes a long way to flavour and define light soup. The following are thus distinct in their own rights: goat meat light soup, cow meat light soup, bush meat light soup or fresh fish light soup (a personal favourite).

Beyond light soup and others already mentioned, there is another variety of soup. This is what one might call the eclectic or ‘everything goes’ soup. Eclectic soup may begin with a small, innocent bowl of stew. After a day or two of consumption, new ideas crop up. The stew is watered to assume a soup form. More fish or meat is introduced. Then fresh vegetables are added. As the days go by, groundnut paste, okro and even boiled beans may all find their way in. The group of people who are likely to be guilty of the eclectic soup are college students on campus. Other prime candidates are bachelors who do their own cooking.

~ Kofi Akpabli, The Serious Business of Soup in Ghana (in the book Tickling the Ghanaian)

**Join Kofi Akpabli and Nana Awere Damoah for book readings on 3rd Sept (Accra) and 24th Sept (Kumasi).

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