Ogbono soup is a Nigeria soup native to the Igbos in Eastern Nigeria. It is called Ofe Ogbono in Igbo Language because it is prepared with Ogbono seeds. It is loved by Igbos and other Nigerians and non-Nigerians who enjoy Nigerian food recipes.When I said earlier on in my previous post on how to prepare Okra soup with ogbono, that separating them (Okra & Ogbono) and cooking them independently will turn each of them into another soup entirely; This was what I meant because the recipe I will be giving you here is on how to prepare only Ogbono soup without Okra fingers.On this page, the recipe detailed is the recipe on how to prepare Ogbono soup.

Chicken soup with potatoes and buckwheat.
Chicken soup with potatoes and buckwheat.
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Ingredients

  • Ogbono
  • Vegetable (Pumpkin leaves (Ugu) or Bitterleaf)
  • Red Palm oil
  • Meat (beef, shaki, goat meat)
  • Fish(smoked fish, dry fish, stock fish)
  • Periwinkles(without shell)
  • Crayfish
  • Pepper (red pepper, Cameroun pepper)
  • Ogiri Okpei
  • Dawadawa
  • Stock cubes (Maggi or Star or Royco)
  • Salt

Note:

  • The ingredients to use all depends on you, you mustn’t use all. For instance Ogiri Okpei and Dawa-dawa gives Ogbono  soup a traditional taste, you can use both but they are still optional, especially for those who can’t stand their bad smell;

Dawa-dawa is almost like okiri okpei but flat and round.

  • The choice of meat and fish is yours. You must not use all the fishes or meats.Periwinkle is optional; but the best to use is the one without shell. It’s being sold in Nigeria markets.In terms of fish;
  • I like the smoked fish most and I don’t miss it out in my Ogbono soup, and then the dry fish, I like the one called asa and I prefer to use the fleshy part of the stock fish.
  • In terms of meat; I prefer beef, I don’t like shaki and I don’t really like using goat meat to cook Ogbono soup, but many people do, so it all depends on you, and you can also cook with more or lesser quantity too, that’s why it’s based on your choice.
  • The quantity of vegetable and other condiments depends on the number of people to be served.
  • To ease your stress of grinding the Ogbono, you can buy and grind it in the market. There are particular areas for grinding in Nigerian markets and those selling the ogbono can even grind it free for you if they have the grinder.

Other Cooking Utensil

-Blender

-Local grinder

-Mortar and pestle

Preparation

  • Grind the ogbono seeds with a dry mill (local grinder).
  • Boil your Stock fish for 10-15 minutes if it’s the very tough type; If not, soak with the dry fish in hot water for about 30 minutes, debone the smoked fish and others; break them apart into sizeable chunks, wash all and set aside.
  • Wash, season and cook the meat to be used, when it’s done, add the fishes and periwinkles and cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Wash you Pumpkin leaves (Ugu) and slice into tiny pieces with a knife.
  • Grind your Crayfish, pepper dawa-dawa and ogiri okpei with mortar and pestle or blender and set aside.
  • Boil some water and set aside

Cooking Directions

  • In your pot of meat, fish and periwinkles, put enough water for your soup depending on the size and thickness you want your soup to be, as for me I love thick soups.
  • Add red palm oil.
  • Add your ground ogbono powder inside the boiling water, stir in the process for it not to stick to the pot and to blend very well then Cover the pot and set to low heat and cook for 20minutes.

After 20 minutes, the ogbono should be thick and well-cooked and its nice aroma should be perceived. Keep stirring continuously and at intervals to prevent the ogbono from sticking to the bottom of the pot and to prevent the soup from getting burnt, till you get the consistency you want.

  • Once the soup thickens and the Ogbono has blended well, thereby making it to draw, add hot water if the soup is too thick for you.
  • Add the ground crayfish and pepper and cook for 2minutes.
  • Add your Bitterleaf/Onugbu (if that’s your choice of vegetable), cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes or you
  • Add your pumpkin leaves (Ugu) and cook for a minute.
  • Add the stock cubes and salt to taste then stir and leave the soup to simmer for 2-3 minutes then your soup is done cooking. Turn off the heat and leave to stand and cool off for about 5 minutes before you serve with any Nigerian fufu (Garri/Eba, Semovita/Semolina fufu, Cassava/Fufu/Akpu, Pounded yam, Amala).