Nigerian Soups


Bitter leaf soup is a very popular soup here in Nigeria, but it actually hails from the eastern region of the country where it is popularly known as ‘Ofe Onugbu’ .Ofe in Igbo language means soup while Onugbu means bitter leaf. This article is to teach us how to make bitter leaf soup.

The soup very tasty and nutritious due to the bitter leaf used in making the soup; the herb which is the secret for the ancient African living healthy and long. It also has numerous health benefits which I will talk about later in the post. All I can say this is one soup every household should try and prepare once in a while.

Aside from cooking bitter leaf soup the regular way, it is also great to make the soup with Egusi, Okro or even Ogbono. Ofe Onugbu is known to be prepared mainly among the people of Anambra who are from the eastern part of the country(Igbo to be precise). This soup is quite easy to prepare and you can also get it wrong if you don’t do things rightly.

Bitter leaf is known as Vernonia amygdalina scientifically and it has been in existence for hundreds of years but only a few people know about its medicinal and healing properties. Let’s check out some health benefits of bitter leaf.

Other Popular Nigeria soups:


It helps to nourish the skin.

It speeds up the metabolism of the body which helps to aid weight loss.

It is said that bitter leaf can cure all forms of pie.

It helps to relief feverish conditions all you need to do is to take it 3 times daily till you notice the symptoms have disappeared.

It helps to reduce high blood sugar in the body system. It is especially great for diabetic patients.

It can cure skin irritation like rashes, ringworms, eczema e.t.c. when you squeeze the juice out of the leaves and apply on the body.

Taking a cup of bitter leaf juice every day helps to detoxify the body from harmful toxins.

It also helps nursing mothers by increasing their breast milk production.

Bitter leaf helps in the treatment of mild stomach ailments.

The boiled roots and stem of bitter leaf can be used as a worm expeller.

It strengthens the bones and teeth and this is possible because of the presence of vitamin C and vitamin K.

It contains antioxidants in large amount which helps to monitor oxidation which in turn increases the body’s disease-fighting properties.

It helps the liver and kidney to keep functioning well.


  • 500 g of any meat of your choice either meat, meat offals or even chicken
  • 200 g of stockfish
  • 1 large dry fish(washed and set aside for cooking)
  • 4 tbsp. of  crayfish powder
  • 3 tsp. of dry chili powder
  • 3 tbsp. of cooking palm oil
  • 2 scotch bonnet (ata-rodo)(crushed)
  • 1 cup fresh or dry bitter leaves(Make sure you wash and chop it; though chopping can be optional)
  • 2 cooked and pounded cocoyam(you can substitute it with 2 tbsp.of ofor or cocoyam powder or achi powder or even 1/2 cup of(blended smoothly with little water) for thickening.
  • 2 seasoning cubes
  • salt to taste.


  1. For the preparation, if the leaves are still fresh, wash the bitter leaves in clean water, make sure you squeeze and drain till the leaves are no longer bitter; then set aside. If the bitter leaves are dry, all you need to do is simply soak the leaves it in hot water and wash;  set aside for the preparation of the soup.
  2. Wash the meat and stockfish and place into a pot. Season a seasoning cube, little salt, 2 tbsp. of crayfish powder, 2 tsp. of dry chili pepper.
  3. Add water to the level of the meat and stockfish in the pot and cook till it becomes tender(add water when it is needed).
  4. Once the meat and stockfish are tender add your palm oil and cook until you longer taste the raw taste.
  5. You proceed by adding the remaining dry chili powder, crayfish, bitter leaves and any of the thickeners you chose to thicken the soup.
  6.  Cook for about 5-6  minutes till well thickened; then stir in the dry fish and scotch bonnet pepper.
  7. Check if the seasonings soothe your taste; then cook for about 2-3 more minutes and set aside.
  8. Your delicious and tasty bitter leaf soup(Ofe onugbu )is ready. You can enjoy it with any swallow of your choice.


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