Sunday Lunch: Asala-Scent Leaf Soup

Yes, a soup made from the African walnut, known as Asala in Yoruba. Because the beautiful crunch and divine nuttiness must be experienced in one lifetime.

The first time I used Asala in a recipe, it was a dip I made – a variation of my scent leaf one. It was beautiful. The characteristic bitterness one experiences after eating it and drinking water (back-to-back) disappears. Instead one is left with a creamy nuttiness that begs exploration.

I remember Funke saying when I shared the post on Instagram, that her grandmother made and ‘Egusi-style‘ soup with it. That got me all excited and I couldn’t wait to make this.

When I considered the vegetables to use, I stayed away from bitterleaf – I didn’t want a double dose, one and two, I was curious about what would happen to the bitterness of the walnuts during cooking. I went with scent leaf, shredded in a Ghanian asanka, not chopped, led by the spirit.


Don’t you just loveeeeeeeeeeee my chopping board? Go, on, get one…


I paired it with water leaf – soft, spinach like greens that are neutral flavoured yet add a silkiness to soups and stews.


I shelled the walnuts and played with food gradients, seeing how the colour changed from creamy fresh to browny ‘rotten’.


My protein was ready – stock fish, boiled soft; chunks of snails, kpomo aka cow hide, a Nigerian delicacy and beef.


There was the seasoned stock – the result of the boiled beef, flavoured with onions, chili peppers and ground crayfish. And so it began in a pot of hot, palm oil smoking with readiness into which the ground nuts went.


I wanted the essence of the scent leaves infused into the base of the soup so it followed.


Surf, turf, stock followed and then a sweet short simmer…


Till it was more sauce than liquid…


And then I served it with Pounded yam. Of the worst sort – the yam old ended up with koko, seeds but that did nothing to hold me back. because this soup was deliciousness beyond words – fragrant, nutty with a flavour reminiscent of Ugba, African salad. I also tried it with Eba, of cassava meal but p yam trumps.

I LOVEEEEEEEEE it and will make it through out this season.

The bitterness from the walnuts is absent, all that’s left is a creaminess that’s beautiful on the tongue. Sigh.

Try it. Let me know what you think xxx

Asala-Scent Leaf Soup
A delicious Nigerian stew/ eating soup made with Asala, African walnuts - in season.
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1212 calories
19 g
38 g
120 g
27 g
33 g
506 g
220 g
5 g
0 g
81 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1212
Calories from Fat 1034
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 120g
Saturated Fat 33g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 52g
Monounsaturated Fat 29g
Cholesterol 38mg
Sodium 220mg
Total Carbohydrates 19g
Dietary Fiber 7g
Sugars 5g
Protein 27g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 4 tablespoons palm oil
  2. 1 cup walnuts (about 20), washed, shelled & pounded
  3. 2 tablespoons scent leaves, shredded/ ground
  4. 1 cup water leaf, chopped
  5. Hot yellow pepper, to taste
  6. A few pieces of cooked beef, 5 or 6
  7. 1/3 cup of chopped Kpomo
  8. 1/4 cup cooked snails
  9. Ground crayfish, to taste
  10. Salt, to taste
  1. Add oil to pan and heat up
  2. Add the crushed walnuts and stir. Let cook for a minute or two then season with the ground crayfish and the ground scent leaves
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients - the yellow chilies, meats and a couple of cups of meat stock
  4. Finish by adding the waterleaf and checking for seasoning
  5. Let simmer for 3 - 5 minutes then remove from heat
  6. Serve with pounded yam (I swear, it is the truth and nothing else would do)
Kitchen Butterfly


_DSC1550[wpurp-searchable-recipe]Sunday Lunch: Asala-Scent Leaf Soup – – – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]


  1. Wow Ozoz, you beat me to it . I had planned to resurrect my grandmother’s Awosa recipe but kept putting it off because I could not get any raw ones in Lagos.. (she used raw awusa). Now you have challenged me….. Well done! Will share my recipe soon. Lots of love…funke.

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