Molokhia Soup, also known as Melokhia, Jute Leaf Soup, or simply “Egyptian Green Soup” is an interesting taste sensation. I stumbled upon the existence of a green soup from a traveller blog and then found the actual recipe in the comment string from a completely unrelated blog. Curious, I decided to give it a go, not really knowing what it was. Molokhia leaves were easily located in the frozen food section of Superstore, which was a surprise. The package available to me already had the leaves cut (shredded more like), and looked a lot like the frozen spinach block used for the spinach dip in sourdough bread. When I was cooking it I noticed that the leaves have the same slimy texture as okra slime, which combined with the visual of a bubbling green pot made me think of a witches brew, as well as question my sanity. However, don’t forego your efforts just due to some bubbling green slime! The molokhia leaves are subtle in flavour but distinct. The spices and heat from the extra hot peppers really shone through, and I slurped up the bowl in record soup-eating time. Absolutely delicious and worth a repeat! I guarantee you will be rewarded with this soup taste profile, plus you will have bragging rights of being able to slurp down some slimy green soup next time the subject of ‘gross foods’ comes up at the water cooler.
*Note* If you can’t find Molokhia leaves in the frozen section, a Middle East grocery should stock them. If all else fails or you want the soup to be pantry friendly, frozen spinach could be easily substituted with similar delicious results.
The recipe below was taken from a couple of comment threads from various travel boards. However, aside from the molokhia leaves, every single ingredient listed was optional. This is my version of the optional ingredient list. Feel free to make your own version!
6 cups vegetable broth
1 lb. (400g.) frozen molokhia leaves, thawed
2 hot chili peppers, minced
1 bay leaf
1 small onion, diced
black pepper, to taste
1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1½ tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp. lemon juice
cayenne pepper, to taste
1) Chop molokhia leaves into strips: roll a handful in a cigar shape and slice into think strips
2) In large pot bring vegetable broth to a boil.
3) Add molokhia leaves, chili pepper, bay leaf, onion, and black pepper. Stir. Reduce heat and simmer ~20 min.
4) In small bowl mash garlic and coriander into a paste.
5) In small fry pan, sauté garlic paste in olive oil until garlic slightly browed.
6) Add paste and remaining oil to soup. Stir.
7) Add cilantro, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper. Stir and let simmer ~5 min.
8) Serve hot over rice.