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a Liberian dish from Albert Quayee
Zwedru, Liberia
1 large onion 2 maggi (bouillon) cubes
1 cup palm oil salt to taste
1 medium squash hot pepper to taste
1 small can tomato paste 1 pound of meat if desired

It's called pumpkin soup but it isn't made with anything orange that you carve at Halloween. You use an orange colored squash. And, honestly, any squash you find is going to work on this dish. Once you get your squash, you throw in all the usual ingredients found in Liberian cooking.

Bring the oil to a boil over a coal pot and then fry up one large onion.  Toss in the squash and cook it until it is soft.  Add one small can of tomato paste (which is about four tablespoons), any meat if desired, a few maggi cubes, salt, and one teaspoon of hot pepper. Pepper is such a personal choice in Liberia. A teaspoon won't make you cry. My Liberian friends frequently grab two handfuls of dried pepper. You really can't imagine what that'll do to you until you taste it.

Cover everything with water and boil it to death.  The soup is finished when is reaches a desired thickness.

Serve over a small mountain of rice for each person.

My friend Albert introduced me to this recipe. However, I didn't have a photo until my return trip to Liberia. My friend Victoria prepared this upon my request in her little village of Tugbaken in River Gee County.

Copyright 1999 and 2016 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.