5 of the Most Popular Soups in Nigeria

Published on: October 7, 2021 (Updated on: April 22, 2024)

Nigeria is a nation with 36 states having over 10 tribes in each state. Each tribe eats various types of soup. Today, I will be enlightening us on 5 of the most popular soups in Nigeria, the process of making the soups, and the foods suitable to eat the soups with to have a sumptuous meal.

1. Abula soup (mixture of ewedu soup and gbegiri soup)

This soup is common in the southwestern part of Nigeria (the Yorubas). Ewedu soup is prepared from ewedu leaves (jute leaves). After picking out the jute leaves, the leaves are rinsed properly to get rid of dirt. Ingredients such as salt, stock cube, egusi (grounded melon seeds), iru (locust bean), kaun (potash) are added to boiling water. Then, the picked leaves are put inside the boiling water. After the leaves are soft, the soup is pounded using a special broom called Ijabe. After achieving a semi-smooth form, the ewedu soup is ready to be served.

Now, the gbegiri soup is prepared from ewa oloyin (honey beans). The ewa oloyin is cooked and mashed together until it’s in a smooth form. Then it’s sieved to remove the clumps to get a very smooth form. Palm oil is then fried with pepper and other ingredients like grounded crayfish, iru (locust bean), salt, and stock cube are added.

After a few minutes of frying, the smooth form of the beans is added and cooked under low heat for some minutes. The combination of both soups gives Abula soup which is served with stewed meat and Nigerian swallow foods such as eba, amala, or tuwo shinkafa.

2. Ogbono soup

Ogbono soup is common in the southeastern part of Nigeria (Igbos) and it's one of the most popular soups in Nigeria. The soup is prepared with grounded ogbono seeds gotten from grown trees in the Southeast. Ingredients like red palm oil, pepper (chilli), onions, salt, stock cube, bitter leaf, ugu, meat stock and assorted meat and fish are used in preparing the soup. The grounded Ogbono seeds are added to the already heated red palm oil with onions.

After constant stirring of the ogbono to give a smooth texture, meat stock or little water is added, then it boils for a few minutes. After achieving a thick texture and the soup starts to draw, then add more meat stock and continue stirring to avoid the soup from getting burnt. Afterward, add salt, stock cube, pepper, assorted meat, and fish.

Mix the ingredients added well and allow it to cook for 10 minutes. After cooking, the ugu leaves/ bitter leaves are added and cooked under low heat for 1-2 minutes. Now the ogbono soup is ready to be served. Ogbono soup is always served with Nigerian swallow foods like eba, fufu, tuwo, semolina, and wheat.

3. Efo-riro soup

Efo-riro is a very popular vegetable soup among the Yorubas in the southwestern part of Nigeria. Efo-riro is prepared with green vegetables, pepper (tomatoes are optional), crayfish, iru (locust bean), onions, red palm oil, salt, stock cube, and assorted meat and fish.

The vegetables are chopped into smaller forms and rinsed properly to avoid dirt. The red palm oil is heated under low heat with chopped onions and iru (locust bean). Then the ground pepper is added and fried for 10-15 minutes. Other ingredients like salt, stock cube, crayfish, assorted meat, and fried fish will be added, then cook for further for 5-10 minutes.

After the cooking, the drained vegetables are added and simmered for about 5 minutes. Afterward, the delicious efo-riro soup is ready to be served with Nigerian foods like eba, amala, fufu , rice, plantain, semolina, pounded yam, and wheat.

4. Edikaikong soup

Edikaikong soup is common in the South-southern part of Nigeria (Efiks) and it’s a good source of vitamins. It is prepared with various ingredients like crayfish, stockfish, palm oil, ugu leaves, waterleaf, stock cube, periwinkles, onions, pepper, assorted meat, and fish.

The vegetables (ugu and water leaves) are washed and cut into tiny slices. The assorted meat is washed and cut into bite-able sizes. Clean and remove the bones in the periwinkles, dried fish, and stockfish, then set aside on a plate. The assorted meat and stockfish are seasoned and cooked.

After the meat is done, the dried fish, periwinkle, palm oil, ground pepper, and crayfish are boiled for about 10 minutes. Now the water leaves are added and cooked for about three minutes. Then the Ugu leaves are added and stirred thoroughly and simmered for 5 minutes on low heat. After doing that, the Edikaikong soup is ready. The soup is served with Nigerian swallow foods like usi, eba, fufu, or wheat.

5. Afang soup

Afang soup is mostly eaten in the Southeastern part of Nigeria. Afang soup is prepared with afang leaves, water leaves, dried fish, beef, onions, red palm oil, ground crayfish, and stock cubes.

The afang leaves are grounded and onions are chopped. The beef is boiled with onions and seasoning cubes and a small quantity of water. When done, the dried fish is added with palm oil, ground pepper, and ground crayfish. After cooking for few minutes, the afang leaves are added first before the water leaves because of the toughness.

After 3 to 5 minutes, add the water leaves. Once the leaves become tender and liquid evaporates, the soup is simmered for about two minutes before it's ready to be served. Afang soup is always served with eba, fufu, wheat, semolina, or tuwo masara.

There are many kinds of soups in Nigeria but the above are 5 of the most popular soups in Nigeria. You might also be interested in the best traditional meals served at Nigerian events.