OKRO SOUP

Okro, Ila, Kubewa, Okwuru as it is called in Nigeria is a vegetable used in cooking soup. It is the easiest soup to cook and can be cooked on a budget. The origin of Okoro is not certain but I will stick with West Africa (Lol, do not come for me). There is a wise saying in Igbo “Okwuru anaghi eto karia onye kuru ya” literally meaning Okro plant is never too tall for the owner, now that is a saying parents will always tell their children if they are getting out of hand. Okro is either grated, cut or pounded to prepare soup, for this soup I am going to grate the Okro.

INGREDIENTS

  • 500 g fresh Okro (grated)
  • 1 kg Snails
  • 400 g Dry Fish
  • 200 g Ugba (Oil bean seed)
  • 1 cup Isam (periwinkles)
  • 4 TBsp Pepper (blended)
  • 6 TBsp Palm Oil
  • 5 TBsp Crayfish (grounded)
  • 2 Maggi Crayfish cubes
  • Salt to taste
  • 5 cups water

DIRECTIONS

  • Clean and wash the snails and fish. Break the fish into sizable chunks.
  • With the pot on fire pour 5 cups of water and bring to boil. Add the washed snails and fish season with seasoning cube and leave to cook for 20 minutes.
  • Add Palm oil and let it steam for 10 minute add ground crayfish and pepper.
  • As it is cooking add the grated okro and periwinkles allow to cook for 5 minutes. Add the Nchuawu leaves stir and add salt and the remaining seasoning cube and the soup is ready. Serve with Rice,swallow,yam etc.

Recipe Notes

  • Remove the snails from their shells and clean with lime to remove the slime.
  • I love my Okro soup hot that is why l used 4 TBsp pepper, reduce if you cant take the heat.
  • Dont over cook the okro remember it is a vegetable
  • You can use meat, stockfish or any protein of your choice
  • I dont like the taste of onion in soup feel free to add onion.

Edikangikong soup

I love travelling, each year I get to pick a state in Nigeria to spend my vacation. Now, Nigeria has 36 states and I have been to 20 of these states, but of all the states, I love Cross Rivers and Akwa Ibom states(do not get me wrong I love all the states I have been to) but I keep going back because of the food. There is a particular soup I love to eat in Calabar; Edikangikong soup.

Okazi

Edikangikong soup (vegetable soup) is the traditional soup of the Efiks and Ibibios. It is very nutritious because it is prepared with lots of vegetables.

Ingredients

Uziza leaves
  • 500 g Ugu(fluted Pumpkin leaves)
  • 50 g Uziza leaves
  • 50 g Okazi leaves
  • 1 kg Water leaf (Talinum triangulare)
  • 400 g Goat meat
  • 100 g Kanda( cow skin)
  • 300 g Snail
  • 100 g Dry fish
  • 1 cup periwinkles
  • 3 TBsp dry Pepper
  • 5 TBsp ground crayfish
  • 2 cups Palm oil
  • 2 stock cubes
Ugu leaves

Direction

  • Pick all the leaves, wash and cut separately.
  • Clean and cook the fish,snail, kanda and goat meat till the are done.
  • Steam the waterleaf for 3 minutes and drain.
  • With a pot on fire add the steamed waterleaf, Ugu, okazi, uziza, periwinkle and stir for 1 minute.
  • Add the Palm oil, crayfish, pepper and stir for 1 minute
  • Add salt and season cube to taste.
  • Serve with any swallow.
Kanda

Recipe Note

  • The Palm oil is the liquid for the soup.
  • I use Uziza leaves because it adds a certain flavor to the soup.
  • You can use spinach if the other veggies are not available.
  • I steam my ugu before cooking the soup, it makes it soft, less chewy.(optional)

Egusi Soup

Egusi is mostly grown for consumption in Nigeria. Egusi is the name for the fat- and protein-rich seeds of certain cucurbitaceous plants (squash, melon, gourd), which after being dried and ground are used as a major ingredient in West African cuisine. In Nigeria, it is used in preparing dishes such as egusi soup and akpurakpu mgbam(egusi cakes)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups ground Egusi seeds
  • 2 cups of water
  • 400 ml red palm oil
  • 1 cup of periwinkle
  • 3 Tbsp Usu(makes the soup lumpy )
  • 1 kg snail
  • 200 g Dry Fish
  • 3 Tbsp ground crayfish
  • Pepper(I prefer fresh pepper) and Salt (to taste)
  • Okazi leaves
  • 2 small stock cubes
  • 1 Ogiri Okpei (traditional locust bean seasoning optional

Directions:

  • Season and cook the snail and dry fish in a pot and set aside.
  • Heat 400ml red oil, add the ground egusi and usu and stir fry for 2 secs then add ground crayfish and pepper.
  • After 3 secs add the periwinkles, snail-fish stock and 2 cups of water stir and leave to boil for 10 minutes.
  • Add ogiri and salt to taste.
  • Stir and add Okazi or any vegetable of your choice.
  • Remove from heat and serve with rice, boiled yam or any swallow of your choice

Recipe Notes

  • Wash the fish, debone and break into sizeable chunks.
  • Clean the snail (How to clean snail).
  • You can add stock fish
  • Wash the vegetable to be used. Cut into tiny pieces.

Ukpo Soup

Ukpo is a seed used in thickening soups especially in the Eastern part of Nigeria .

I had this craving for sea food so l decided to cook Ukpo with sea food. You can eat this soup with Rice,Yam,Fufu or Garri but for today am eating it with ground rice.

Ingredients

  • 3kg Catfish(cut and cleaned)
  • 80g ground Crayfish
  • 40g fresh Pepper (blended)
  • 100g Ukpo (boiled and ground)
  • 3TBsp Palm Oil
  • 100g Shrimps (deveined)
  • 100g Mushroom
  • 100g Periwinkle
  • Uziza (to sprinkle)

Direction

  • Cut and clean fish . Season and bring to boil for 15 minutes.
  • Add shrimps mushroom and periwinkle to the fish and continue cooking for 10 minutes.
  • Add the Palm oil ,crayfish, ukpo, pepper and cook for another 10 minutes. Add salt to taste. Eat with any Swallow of your choice.

Recipe note

  • I used Uziza because it has a sort of tangy bitter taste and l love spicy food. Don’t add it to the whole soup or steam it because it will become bitter. Just sprinkle it on the soup you are about to eat. You can use any leaf of your choice.
  • Swallow is any starch side dish that accompany soup in Nigeria like Eba, Fufu, Yam, Semovita, Amala or Wheat but today l used ground rice as the accompaniment .