These Are the Easiest Nigerian Soups to Make, According to Ifeoluwa

June 29, 2022

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that Nigerian soups are elite and amazingly diverse. Our soups deserve a place on the coat of arms — they’re that good.

According to Ifeoluwa — a food blogger who believes food is an art that shouldn’t be limited to rules — one of the best things about Nigerian food has to be how easy it is to make these staple soups. Anyone can make them.

1. Egusi soup

This is one of the easiest Nigerian soups to make, but the method differs depending on tribe. 

Ingredients for three to four servings

  • 1 cup of ground egusi
  • Assorted meat
  • Blended pepper mix (onions, red bell peppers and scotch bonnet peppers according to your tolerance) 
  • 2 -3 tablespoons of palm oil
  • 1 onion (sliced)
  • Half a cup of ground crayfish
  • 1 tablespoon of locust beans (optional)
  • 1 cup of chopped vegetables (ugu, uziza or bitter leaf)
  • Salt and seasoning

Preparation

I prefer the frying method, so here’s how it’s done:

  • Fry the onions and pepper mix in hot palm oil. You may add the locust beans at this point as well. Also, start boiling your meat in a separate pot, so it’s ready when you need them.
  • Mix the ground egusi and crayfish with a small cup of water into a bowl, just enough to form a thick paste, and add to the soup base. 
  • After frying the paste for a bit, add the boiled meat (including the stock), and allow it to cook well. Don’t forget to season to your taste.
  • Add your chopped vegetables of choice and allow to cook for about three minutes.
  • Enjoy your soup with whatever side you want. No stress.
demarcated white party plate with egusi and meat in one section and wheat in the other section

2. Okro soup (Ila Alasepo)

Okro soup is another versatile meal that won’t have you spending time in the kitchen. 

Ingredients for two servings

  • 1 small bowl of okro
  • Boiled meat and stock
  • Blended pepper mix 
  • 2 -3 tablespoons of palm oil
  • 1 tablespoon of locust beans (optional)
  • 1 cup of chopped vegetables (ugu or bitter leaf)
  • Salt and seasoning

Preparation

My trick for ensuring my okro soup stays slimy is adding a little water when blending, or using a food processor. Here’s my process:

  • Fry your pepper mix in hot palm oil and add your meat, stock and any other protein of choice, to form a soup base. Season to your preference, and let it cook for about ten minutes.
  • Add the okro. I like processing some of the okro to ensure it’s slimy, and chopping the rest to add a crunchy texture to the soup.  
  • Let it cook for about three minutes then include your chopped vegetables — ugu, bitter leaf or whatever you prefer. 
  • Your soup is ready!
white ceramic serving bowl of okro & vegetable soup with multiple pieces of boiled chicken

3. Ogbono soup

Ogbono is another Nigerian fave that can be made in many ways. But good ogbono starts from your vendor — some ogbono soups taste soapy because the seeds weren’t great. It’s important to choose trusted vendors.

Ingredients for three to four servings

  • Half a cup of ground ogbono
  • Assorted  meat
  • Half a cup of ground crayfish
  • 2 -3 tablespoons of palm oil
  • Scotch bonnet peppers
  • 1 cup of chopped vegetables
  • Salt and seasoning

Preparation

This is my trick to achieving smooth, tasty ogbono:

  • Mix the ground ogbono and hot palm oil into a paste, and set aside. This will help dissolve the particles until it’s smooth. 
  • Next, boil your meat and season appropriately with pepper, salt and stock cubes. Igbo Nigerians use a lot of crayfish, which gives the soup a great taste.
  • When properly cooked, add your ogbono paste. You might not need any more palm oil.
  • Pour in your chopped vegetables of choice. 
  • You’ll notice your soup is smooth and slimy, plus you didn’t spend all day in the kitchen.
shallow brown ceramic bowl of ogbono soup with a lot of meat pieces

RELATED: You Should Try These Nigerian Foods

4. Efo riro

Efo riro is a Yoruba staple, most people who grew up Yoruba already know how to make.

Ingredients for two servings

  • One bunch of vegetables (efo shoko or efo tete)
  • Boiled meat and stock
  • De-boned panla fish
  • Half a cup of ground crayfish
  • Pepper mix
  • 1 onion (sliced)
  • 3-4 tablespoons of palm oil
  • 1 tablespoon of locust beans 
  • Salt and seasoning

Preparation

  • Start by blending your pepper mix into a coarse texture.
  • Fry the blended pepper with hot palm oil, onions and locust beans.
  • Add crayfish, meat, the de-boned panla fish, seasoning and some water to cook it properly. Efo riro needs very little water.
  • For your vegetables, use efo shoko or efo tete. You may either blanch your vegetables or wash them at least thrice, before chopping them. Once this is done, pour into your soup base.
  • To retain the greenish colour of your vegetables, it’s advised to cook for just two to three minutes.
white serving bowl of efo riro soup with a lot of meat pieces

5. Ewedu

Ewedu is pretty straightforward and typically paired with stew. It’s also a Yoruba staple. 

Ingredients for two to three servings

  • One small bunch of ewedu leaves
  • 2-3 tablespoons of ground crayfish
  • 1 tablespoon of locust beans 
  • Salt and seasoning

Preparation

Blend the leaves before or after cooking. I prefer blending them after. 

  • Rinse the leaves and boil in water for a bit to make them tender. I like to cook it on low heat to ensure it stays slimy. 
  • Once tender, take them out and blend. Don’t blend for too long so it’s not super smooth.
  • Transfer back to the pot (on low heat), and add the locust beans, ground crayfish and seasoning to your taste. 
  • Your ewedu is ready!
white spoon scooping steaming hot ewedu from an orange shallow cooking pot

NEXT READ: These Nigerian Meals Are Perfect for the Rainy Season

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