Nigerian vegetable soup is a local delicacy indigenous to the Efik people from the Cross River and Akwa Ibom states in Nigeria. It is a nutrition-packed delicacy prepared with fresh whole foods, mainly meat, vegetables, and seafood. This article aims at teaching you how to prepare vegetable soup with ugu and waterleaf the Nigerian way.
You have come to the right place if you want to learn how to prepare vegetable soup with ugu and waterleaf, you have come to the right place. Should you encounter situations where you do not have the traditional ingredients but wish to prepare this soup, this article provides alternative substitutes. So, check out these details.
How to prepare vegetable soup with ugu and waterleaf
This soup is also known as Edika Ikong soup. It is primarily made of ugu leaves, also known as fluted pumpkin leaves, and waterleaf or Malabar spinach. It is made using assorted meats and proteins; hence, most people refer to it as "rich man's food." Nonetheless, this Nigerian vegetable stew is enjoyed across the country.
Edikang Ikong is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Its ingredients are loaded with crucial health benefits. For instance, these are the benefits of ugu leaves:
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- They help reduce the risk of some types of cancers.
- They boost the immune system.
- They lower blood pressure.
- They help in weight loss.
- They improve blood production.
The assortment of meats makes the African vegetable soup the perfect source of proteins. So, here is a detailed Nigerian vegetable soup recipe.
These are the ingredients required in preparing Nigerian vegetable soup:
- 1/2 kg goat meat
- 1 kg of roasted or dried fish (deboned)
- 1 cup of ground crayfish
- 2 bunches of waterleaf (Malabar spinach)
- 2 bunches of ugu leaf
- 4 bell peppers finely diced
- I cup of shrimp
- 1 cup of palm oil
- 1 cup of periwinkles (to taste)
- 1/2 a cup of finely chopped onions
- 1/2 cup of avocado oil
- 2 tablespoons of ofor or achi
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3-4 cubes of Maggi or Knorr cubes
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
These are the steps to follow if you are looking for ways on how to cook Nigerian vegetable soup.
- Soak the dried fish in hot water for four hours.
- Wash and cut the meat into bite-size pieces.
- Transfer the meat into a pot and add the chopped onions, Maggi or Knorr cubes, salt and pepper to taste.
- Add water. Ensure the water submerges the meat slightly.
- Cover the pot and bring it to a boil for 40 minutes under moderate heat.
- As the meat boils, prepare the vegetables by washing and transferring them to a colander to drain the excess water. Chop the vegetables into thin slices.
- Blend the bell peppers into a paste.
- Add the avocado oil into a pan, and once the oil heats up, add the onions. Let them fry until they are translucent.
- Add the blended bell peppers to the onions and mix everything in. Cover and let the paste cook for 20 minutes.
- Drain the hot water from the smoked fish.
- Add the boiled meat, shrimp, fish, ground crayfish, periwinkles, ofor or achi and spice to the bell pepper and onion paste and stir them in. Allow them to boil for 15 minutes.
- Add the ugu and waterleaf to the pot. Stir and taste for salt.
- Add the palm oil and let it simmer for 10 minutes on low heat.
- Stir everything in and serve with fufu or rice.
What can I add to vegetable soup to make it more flavoured?
If you wish to make your African vegetable soup taste better, you could boil the meat and dried fish with garlic the night before. Alternatively, you could build the flavours by cooking the meat in spices such as cumin and smoked paprika.
How do you cut waterleaves?
Before cutting the waterleaves, separate them from the stalk. Wash them using cold water before chopping them to your desired size. It is easier to chop them on a chopping board.
How can I make vegetable soup better?
If you wish to make your Nigerian soup taste better, you could include bay leaves, smoked paprika and garlic cloves. You could also go in with veggie stock or a dash of cumin. Not only do they enhance the flavour of the soup, but they improve the soup's nutritional value.
Which vegetable is good for soup?
If you cannot access ugu or waterleaves, you could opt for vegetables such as asparagus, dried split peas, kale, cabbage, lentils and mushrooms. The flavour might differ, but the high nutritional content is worth it.
This Nigerian vegetable soup tastes as good as the health benefits it is loaded with. So, if you were dying to know how to make Nigerian vegetable soup, you just made a mouth-watering delicacy. Invite relatives and friends to dinner. They are guaranteed to appreciate your cooking skills, especially now that you know how to prepare vegetable soup. Complement the feast with a second dish like fufu or rice.
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