Nigerian Soups


You are welcome to another segment of discussing food and their recipes. Our discussion for today is on a dish called ‘Owo soup’. I believe that at the end of this segment you would have learned how to make Owo soup.

Origin Of Owo soup

Owo soup is a popular soup that originates from Edo state. It was named after a town in Edo state called “Owo”. It is a very popular town situated in the northern region of Benin. This soup is known as one of the oldest dishes eaten and loved by the people of Edo state.

This soup has now extended to other south-south regions, particularly the Isoko, Itshekiri, and Ijaw people of Delta state.

Description of Owo soup

This is a dish that is very easy to prepare and it is best made and enjoyed with prawn, bush meat and smoked catfish. But, in the absence of these ingredients, you can always use any fish or meat of your choice.

Owo soup is a thick and stew-like dish. The ingredients of this dish are Tomato, scotch bonnet(preferably the yellow one), locust bean, potash, palm oil, stock cube, and salt.

There are also different variations of how this dish is prepared among the Itshekiri, Urhobo, Isoko and other communities in the south-south region.

Urhobo don’t use tomatoes. Instead, they use garri or starch for their soup.

Similarly, the Isoko tribe in delta state prefers using starch to prepare this dish.

Owo Soup vs Nigerian Soups

Like I mentioned earlier, Owo is a stew-like dish. It, therefore, does not require any vegetables like the common Nigerian soups which require vegetables like water leaves, bitter leaf, spinach e.t.c.

Another difference is that potash is used in making owo soup but it is not required to prepare most Nigerian soups.

The last difference is that owo soup is traditionally eaten with yam or unripe plantain while Nigerian soups are usually eaten with swallows like pounded yam, semo, eba e.t.c.

These differences make people classify owo soup as a type of stew and not a soup.


Health Benefits

  • Nervous system: It is rich in potassium due to the use of potash in the soup. Having enough potassium in your diet helps to maintain a healthy nerve function.
  • Prevents Osteoporosis: This is an ailment that is connected with weak, porous and hollow bones. This is caused by a low level of calcium in the body. It is a curative alternative for osteoporosis.
  • Good for the heart: The potassium present in potash is very good for a healthy heart.
  • It reduces water retention: Potassium in owo soup reduces the build-up of excessive water in the body.
  • Owo soup and pregnancy: This dish is not good for pregnant women because potash is used in preparing it. Potash can cause heart problems for pregnant women.


  • 400 g of  any meat of your choice (goat meat, beef)
  • 2 pieces of dried fish
  • 1 handful of dried prawns
  • 1/2 tsp. of potash( akwanu)
  • 6 fresh tomatoes
  • 2 pieces of yellow pepper
  • 1 cup of palm oil
  • 2 tsp. of ground crayfish
  • 1 medium-sized onion
  • 1 stock cube
  • salt to taste.


  • Clean the prawns and dry fish and set aside for use later.
  • Blend the tomatoes and pepper and one onion
  • Pound the potash till it becomes powdered and set aside to be used for later.
  • Wash the meat you are using thoroughly, put in a pot, add chopped onions, stock cubes, and salt to taste. Place on your burner and cook till it is cooked
  •  To the boiled meat, add your cleaned prawns and fish, blended pepper mix, crayfish and a cup of water. Mix completely and allow to cook for about 10- 15 minutes.

N.B: keep checking the soup from to time so that it doesn’t get burned.

  • Pour the powdered potash into 3 tbsp. of hot water to dissolve it, and carefully pour it into the cooking soup.
  • Add the palm oil to the soup and cook for about 8 minutes. Stir till it is well combined.
  • Your delicious owo soup is ready.
  • It can be served and enjoyed with boiled yam, unripe plantain, starch or any swallow of your choice.


Owo soup should be consumed in a day because it doesn’t keep well


In conclusion, now that you have learned how to make owo soup, don’t hesitate to try it out this weekend. Here are other trendy delicacies you should try too: Coconut Rice, Ukwa, Ewa Agoyin Stew and Ofada Rice

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