Originally posted on August 20, 2021 @ 5:49 pm

Have you heard of efo riro before? It is the Yoruba name for vegetable soup. I have developed different Nigerian vegetable soup recipes over the years. This blog post will share different vegetables you can combine to cook a lovely soup. 

Nigerian Veegetable Soup Recipe
Vegetable soup

I love vegetable soup very much. The vegetable soup contains both micro and macronutrients. It contains nutritious ingredients, and the healthiest food is plant-based food. Whenever I want to cook vegetable soup, I’m always happy while cooking. I have tried many vegetable soup recipes because of my love for vegetables and healthy living.

Soup is essential in Nigerian dishes. Almost all region has one vegetable soup or the other. There are different types of vegetables used in cooking vegetable soups. You can combine them to make a healthy dish. I usually do this because I quickly get bored repeating the same vegetables. I shared a list of vegetables you can combine to cook a healthy and adventurous vegetable soup. kindly continue reading to see the list.

Moreover, the nutrients in all vegetables are not the same. It is healthier to cook varieties of vegetables at different times. The good thing about using this recipe is that You don’t have to wait for an owambe before eating delicious vegetable soup. I have made this homemade vegetable very easy to follow. You don’t have to ask friends about how to cook Nigerian vegetable soup anymore.

Vegetable Leaves combinations you can try

You can combine different vegetables when making a healthy vegetable soup. Some of the vegetable combinations are in the list below:

  • Pumpkin And African Spinach Leave (green or tete leaves)
  • Pumpkin, Waterleaf and African Spinach leaf 
  • Waterleaf and pumpkin leaf (ugu leaves)
  • Garden egg leaf and Lagos Spinach or Green Tete (Soko leaves)
  • Spinach Leaves ( Soko and tete leaves combination)

Benefits of Vegetable Soup

Vegetable soup has many benefits. This soup is highly recommended for healthy living. I have highlighted some of the benefits of vegetable soup.

  • It boosts immunity. Most vegetable leaves contain vitamin A, C and more. Vitamin C is great for boosting the body’s immunity.
  • It boosts fertility
  • It helps to keep diabetes in check by regulating blood sugar.
  • It helps fight against cancer. I recently watched a documentary on TV where cancer patients are helped to boost their body functionality using diet. Vegetables were part of the ingredients in their diets.
  • It lowers the risk of digestive problems. Taking Vegetables helps to keep the digestive track clear. Vegetables contain fibre.
  • It helps in weight loss. Due to the low-calorie content of vegetables, vegetable soup is good for weight loss. It is perfect when you go for fresh organic vegetables.

You can also read more benefits here

Ingredients for Nigerian Vegetable Soup Recipe

fluted pumpkin leaf ugu health benefits2 768x497 2
Fluted Pumpkin Leave (Ugu Leave) Photo Credit: fabwoman 

A soup is as nutritious as its ingredients. When it comes to cooking a healthy homemade meal, we need to select the ingredients we use to prepare the soup carefully. The ingredients for this vegetable soup recipe are readily available anywhere globally. 

  • vegetable leaves ( Pumpkin and Spinach leaves is what I used to prepare the soup in the featured picture )
  • 2kg Assorted meat (cow skin, Cow intestines, Cow leg or head). You can also use chicken, goat meat or lamb. 
  • Stockfish
  • Smoked fish
  • Locust beans
  • 2 – 4 tablespoons ground crayfish
  • 4-5 seasoning cubes
  • Pepper 
  • 2 big bulbs of onion
  • 1½ cups of red palm oil
  • salt (to taste)

Preparation of ingredients before cooking

African Spinach For preparing Nigerian Vegetable soup
Nigerian Vegetable Soup Recipe 11

African Spinach leaf (Efo Tete) Photo Credit: 9jafodie 

  • Rinse all dirt and stones from the vegetables; you may rinse up to 3-4 times. Rinse until the water is clean or free from dirt. Shred the vegetables into your preferred choice after cleaning. While growing up, we sometimes pluck the leaves one after the other, and we won’t even have to shred them, but some people don’t like the leaves big. 
  • Blend the tomatoes, Scotch bonnet pepper, onions and Bell pepper. Make sure it isn’t smooth. Not smoothly blending makes the soup retain its bright colour. If you prefer your mixture smooth, it will be just fine too.
  • Wash and clean the locust beans thoroughly. I usually buy clean locust beans because rinsing sometimes removes the fermented taste.
  • Cook the beef or chicken thoroughly. I sometimes fry the meat if I have enough time. Save the broth for your vegetable soup.
  • Wash and clean the cow skin thoroughly. I use an iron sponge to clean mine; it makes the cleaning process fast and easy. Cut the cow skin into small pieces. I soak my cow skin in salty water overnight, making it tasty. You can Do this a day before.
  • I usually use smoked hake fish. You can use smoked catfish or any other fish of your choice. Make sure you debone the fish to prevent swallowing bone during the meal. 

Roasted fish OR Eja yiyan
Cleaned smoked fish
Locust Beans
Locust Beans also known as Iru in Yoruba language
Cow Skin Ponmo
Cowskin also known as Ponmo. I have marinated it to enhance the taste.
Seasoning Cube
Seasoning cubes: I usually combine different types when cooking.
Grounded Pepper
Blended Pepper Mix: Tomatoes, Bell pepper, chilli pepper, onions and scotch bonnet pepper (tatashe, bawa, rodo, tomatoes and alubosa) . I blended this batch smoothly.

More Recipes from my blog

Steps to Cook Nigerian Vegetable Soup

  • Pour your palm oil on fire and leave to fry for about 2minutes
  • Pour some onions and locust beans into the oil stir for about two minutes
  • Pour in the pepper mixture and cow skin. Leave to cook for about 5-7minutes. Make sure it doesn’t burn
  • Add salt, crayfish and seasoning to taste, leave for another 1minute
  • Add meat to the mixture (leave to cook for another 2 minutes)
  • Add the smoked fish and cook till the water dries and the mixture is thick
  • Add the vegetables, stir and leave to steam for about one minute.
  • Serve along with other staples or enjoy it alone.


  • You can follow this recipe to cook other vegetable combinations. 
  • If you usually prefer to parboil your spinach, leave (continue reading to learn how to parboil spinach leave). I will advise you to cook the ugu leaves for about two minutes before adding the parboiled vegetables. After adding, stir and turn off the heat. 
  • Suppose you use Garden egg leave to please wash and squeeze out the juice a little. It tastes bitter, which can sometimes change the taste of the soup.
  • You can also cook the beef a day before to ease the stress but make sure you save the stock.

How to Blanch or Parboil Vegetable Leaves

blanched Spinach leaves
blanched Spinach leaves, ready to be stored in the freezer.

Blanching is the term used for parboiling vegetables. I sometimes parboil my vegetables before cooking vegetable soup to help the soup retain the beautiful colours. Leaves like spinach tend to change colour if it isn’t blanched. I use these seven easy steps to blanch my vegetables.

  • Rinse the vegetable thoroughly
  • Shred the vegetable into pieces
  • Turn the stove on medium heat
  • Place a pot on the stove and fill it with enough water to cover the vegetable.
  • Add salt to the water and allow to boil
  • Pour the vegetables into the boiling water and stir.
  • cook for one minute and strain

Blanching makes it easy to store your vegetable in the freezer. It lasts longer and retains its freshness.

I hope you found this easy homemade Nigerian vegetable soup recipe helpful. Imagine serving this yummy vegetable soup with a chilled Zobo drink. I have you covered if you don’t know how to make a sobo drink; the recipe is available here.

Don’t forget to leave comments when you try out the recipe. 

Much Love

Nigerian Vegetable Soup served with Rice
food is served

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