Nigerian Soups Uncategorized


Nsala soup which is known as Ofe Nsala in Igbo language and in the English language is known as ‘White soup’ because of its light color due to the absence of palm oil.  I will be taking you on how to make nsala soup and I hope after this article you will love this soup.

This soup is mostly eaten by the people of the eastern region of Nigeria(The Igbos) and it is very unique to them, but I also found out that this soup is also unique and very much part of the culture of the Efiks. This implies that southeastern tribes have similar soups for their culture but might have different versions or principles of cooking the soup, just like nsala soup.

This soup is a very rich and spicy soup but it is prepared without the usual ingredient of other soups which is palm oil and vegetable( some people add the vegetable to their soup to make it more nutritious). Some people think that this soup is less healthy than other soups such as banga, afang, egusi e.t.c. due to the absence of palm oil in the soup.

I will say that the ingredients you choose to use to prepare the soup will determine how healthy the soup will be. The choice is all yours and I believe that at the end of the article, you will know what ingredients actually soothe your taste.

Ofe nsala can also be defined as a richer and thicker version of our popular pepper soup. The major difference is that this is prepared to be consumed with our swallow such as eba, pounded yam or even fufu, but can take the soup alone if you are calorie-conscious. With this, you can choose to say that since you have basic knowledge of making pepper soup, then making nsala soup will not be a problem.

I mentioned earlier about the white soup is a thick soup, the ingredient that makes it thick is yam. It is either yam cubes or yam powder, but if you can’t get yam you can cook white soup with achi or even cocoyam. If choose cocoyam, remember that it has a slimy consistency which may, in turn, affect the consistency of your soup.

If you are choosing the option of using leaves, you can use Utazi or Uziza , but remember I said it is not compulsory to leaves when preparing white soup. The authentic ofe nsala is prepared with catfish because it gives the soup a unique taste(just like pepper soup). In the absence of catfish you can cook nsala soup with meat (it can be cow meat or goat meat) or you can use assorted meat(offals) or chicken.

Other Popular Nigerian soups:

Health Benefits

It has been shown that white soup helps to increase circulation in the body and also reduces the risk of heart problems.

Ofe nsala prepared with fish is very rich in protein, potassium, vitamin C, E, and omega-3 fatty acid.

In the case of nsala soup and pregnancy, Igbo mothers like giving their pregnant daughters reason being that, the ingredients used to prepare this soup


White soup is shown to increase circulation and reduce the risk of heart problems.

The foods we eat contribute to either a healthy living or lead to ill health. Nutritious and good food helps one look good and healthy. Today’s recipe, Ofe nsala soup also known as white soup, is rich in protein, vitamins C, E, potassium and omega-3 fatty acid.

In the case of nsala soup and pregnancy, Igbo mothers like giving their pregnant daughters and those who just delivered their babies, reason being that the ingredients used to prepare this soup aids digestion and also prevent irritation occurrence during prenatal and postnatal.

White soup can also be taken during the rainy season to shake off the cold just because of how to spice this soup is.


1 Medium-sized catfish

2-3 Pieces of Stockfish

1 Medium-sized smoked fish

1 Tbsp. of Crayfish

2 tsp. of dry pepper or 3 pieces of yellow pepper

A small of Ogiri/Dawadawa/ Okpei

1 handful of uziza or utazi

2 Ehuru seed( Calabash Nutmeg seed)

1 Uda pod

1 Teaspoon Uziza seeds

6 cubes of Yam

2 Seasoning cube

Salt to taste


1. Season your meat, stockfish and dried fish with one seasoning cube, salt, and onions. Cook until it is done and set aside.

2. Pound or grind the uziza seed, ehuru,uda and Dawa Dawa/okpei and set aside for use later.

3. Peel your yam cubes and cook it till you notice it is soft and pound till you have a smooth paste, get your mortar and pestle ready.

4.Set aside your yam paste to be used for later.

N.B- If you don’t have mortar and pestle, blender or food processor and can be used. Add small hot water and blend until smooth.

5. Proceed by placing the catfish in a pot, add the seasoning cube, onions, and salt to taste. Cook for the fish for about 15-20 minutes till the fish is completely cooked.

6. Now, add the pepper, crayfish and the spice you blended earlier.

N.B- If you are using meat or chicken for your soup, you have to add it to the soup at this junction(including the dry fish). Also, start adding the yam paste bit by bit and allow the soup to cook till paste has completely dissolved.

7. Finally, add the uziza or utazi leaves to the soup and allow to simmer for about 2 minutes

8. Your delicious white soup is ready.

9. You can enjoy Nsala soup with any swallow (Eba, Pounded yam, Fufu e.t.c.)of your choice.


Let’s know how you enjoyed this article on how to make nsala soup and also what you ‘ve learned. Please remember to share with family and friends. You can also check our soups on Egusi and Ogbono.

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