Nelson Mandela’s private chef was an integral part of his home, so it’s no surprise that Xoliswa Ndoyiya’s recipe book entitled Ukutya Kwasekhaya: Tastes from Nelson Mandela’s Kitchen is filled with heart-warming anecdotes of Mandela’s enjoyment of her dishes. iSophu is one such dish that Ndoyiya describes as ‘we all grew up with’. Consisting of sugar beans and white maize, this is a deeply nourishing meal that’s simple to prepare, and as Madiba would have described it, ‘home food.’
700g dried sugar beans
3 chicken stock cubes (or to taste)
2 cups of water
300g white maize (corn), cleaned and removed from the cob
1 medium onion (about 100g), finely chopped
2 T butter
salt and white pepper, to taste
Place the beans, stock cubes and water in a pot, bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the beans are soft, about 2 hours. During this time a nice brown stock will form. Add extra water when necessary to prevent the beans from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Once the beans are soft, add the maize kernels, onion and butter and cook until you have a thick, wholesome soup, about a further 30 minutes.
Season and serve hot. SERVES 8 to 10
To order a copy or find out more about Ukutya Kwasekhaya: Tastes from Nelson Mandela’s Kitchen by Xoliswa Ndoyiya, email email@example.com