Nigerian Recipes, Nigerian soup recipes

Bitter leaf soup (Ofe Onugbu)

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Bitter leaf soup or ofe onugbu is another popular Nigerian soup made with bitter leaves and cocoyam paste. This delicious Nigerian soup is packed full of flavour, hearty and quite filling too. Ofe onugnu is similar to the Camerounian Ndole.

(ofe onugbu) bitter leaf soup with smoked turkey

Bitter leaf Soup Recipe

Nigeria is very blessed with different dishes but it surprises me that many of us don’t even know the type of dish our next-door neighbour fancies. We can’t just be bothered by other cultural food other than our own. It is high time we started to mature our palate and try other food than our usual rice and beans with palm oil stew (talking from a Yoruba girl perspective). Growing up, I looked back and thought I didn’t try for myself o, food-wise I mean.

Anyways, that was then. Haha… This girl has grown up now and so is her palate. Thanks to all my friends from other cultural heritage. Today I am dedicating this bitter leaf soup (ofe onugbu) to my Igbo friends.

I was on the phone to my friend the other day and I told her I am cooking bitter leaf soup but I don’t have ogiri, she just told me don’t bother. She said if you give a non-Ibo man maybe he would eat but an Ibo person would definitely not like it and that got me thinking for a minute. I told myself, if I’m cooking ofe onugbu, I better do it right. So, to my Igbo people, I hope I have done you proud on this one. Enjoy

a bowl of bitter leaf soup.

Ingredients

wrap of ogiri

Dried cod (panla) washed

Cayenne pepper (use according to preference)

Cocoyam pieces (substitute with oat or potato flour)

Beef seasoning powder or stock cubes

Cooked assorted beef, stock reserved (do not use curry and thyme): Substitute beef with smoked turkey or chicken.

Ground crayfish

Dried Shrimps

Palm oil

Bitter leaves, chopped and washed

Salt to taste

How to wash bitter leaf

  •  Bitter leaf as the name implies is very bitter so you will need to get rid of the bitterness by adding enough water to the leaves and squeezing it between your palms. You will need to wash severally with fresh clean water until you can no longer taste the bitterness. You may add some salt to wash the leaves, we do this in Yoruba land to likewise get rid of the bitterness.
  •  I also heard that you can bring the leaves to boil for about 15 minutes for the same results as above.

How to make bitter leaf soup (ofe onugbu)

Boil assorted beef with salt, seasoning and onions. (No to thyme and curry) reserve stock. I like using clear stock in cooking so I always sieve the bits and bob from my stock. If this doesn’t float your boat, feel free to leave your stock with the meat.

Bring cocoyam to boil with skin on till tender, peel skin off cocoyam and pound till you get a smooth paste. You can also purée the cocoyam with a blender just add warm water when blending to form a smooth paste

image collage showing process of boiling cocoyam and making it into paste

Place a pan containing cooked assorted beef on medium heat; bring to boil for about 3-4 minutes (add water to the meat if needed to achieve the desired thickness of how you want the soup to be)

Add smoked fish, dried shrimps, palm oil and cayenne pepper

Add ogiri (the most important part of this dish, you can’t substitute it with any other thing. After you’ve added the ogiri, check for salt. Trust me if your beef is well seasoned you would not be needing salt again for this soup. I didn’t add any more salt to the dish; I only added 1 cube of seasoning)

boiling meat and stock fish

Continue cooking till ogiri dissolves in the soup and you should also be able to taste it, add pounded cocoyam paste in bits to the soup, and don’t stir just yet. Cover the pot with a lid and allow the cocoyam to dissolve in the soup. Once this is achieved, stir together and check for salt and seasoning

process shot showing the stages in making bitter leaf soup

Add the washed bitter leaf to the soup, stir till well combined. Reduce the heat and allow soup to simmer.

simmering

Serve Bitter leaf soup  with swallow of choice preferably yellow garri or pounded yam

Other Nigerian Soup Recipes You’ll Love

Afang soup

Ogbono soup

Efo riro

Ofe Akwu

Enjoy.

bitter leaf soup.
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Bitter Leaf Soup Recipe (Ofe Onugbu)

Bitter leaf soup or ofe onugbu is another popular Nigerian soup made with bitter leaves and cocoyam paste. This delicious Nigerian soup is packed full of flavour, hearty and quite filling too. Ofe onugnu is similar to the Camerounian Ndole.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Nigerian
Keyword: bitter leaf soup, bitter leaf soup recipe, ofe onugbu
Servings: 6
Author: Ajoke

Ingredients

  • 1 wrap of ogiri
  • 1 cup dried cod panla washed
  • Cayenne pepper use according to preference
  • 4 medium-size cocoyam pieces substitute with oat or potato flour
  • 2 Beef stock cubes I used Nigerian knorr cubes
  • 500 g cooked assorted beef stock reserved or smoked turkey
  • 2-3 tbsp ground crayfish
  • 1/3 cup Dried Shrimps
  • 1/2 cup palm oil
  • 300 g Bitter leaves chopped and washed
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  • Boil assorted beef with salt, seasoning powder and onions. (No to thyme and curry) reserve stock. If using smoked turkey, grill or boil with panla and smoked fish.
  • Bring cocoyam to boil with skin on till tender, peel skin off cocoyam and pound till you get a smooth paste. You can also purée the cocoyam with a blender just add warm water when blending to form a smooth paste
  • Place a pan containing cooked assorted beef on medium heat, add smoked fish, dried shrimps, palm oil and cayenne pepper, mix to combine and bring to boil for about 3-4 minutes, (add more water to the meat if needed to achieve the desired thickness of how you want the soup to be)
  • Add ogiri to the soup and stir to combine (the most important part of this dish, you can’t substitute it with any other thing). After you’ve added the ogiri, check for salt. Note, if your beef is well seasoned you would not be needing salt again for this soup but feel free to adjust to seasoning to taste.
  • Continue cooking until the ogiri dissolves in the soup and you should also be able to taste it, add pounded cocoyam paste in bits to the soup, and don’t stir just yet. Cover the pot with a lid and allow the cocoyam to dissolve in the soup. Once this is achieved, stir together and check for salt and seasoning
  • Add the washed bitter leaf to the soup, stir till well combined (add water if soup is too thick). Reduce the heat and allow soup to simmer. Take the soup off the heat after 15 minutes and serve soup with any swallow of choice preferably yellow garri or pounded yam

Notes

How to wash bitter leaf

Bitter leaf as the name implies is very bitter so you will need to get rid of the bitterness by adding enough water to the leaves and squeezing it between your palms. You will need to wash severally with fresh clean water until you can no longer taste the bitterness. You may add some salt to wash the leaves, we do this in Yoruba land to likewise get rid of the bitterness.
I also heard that you can bring the leaves to boil for about 15 minutes for the same results as above.

Please don’t forget to leave a comment and kindly tag my active kitchen on Facebook and Instagram if you have tried any of our recipes or this ofe onugbu. Also, leave in the comment box any recipes you will like to see on the blog. Thank you all

 

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