Is there a soup in Nigeria that is without vegetables? You will hardly see such soup, and the traditional soups of the southwest, Nigeria, are no different. Every tribe in Nigeria mainly cooks their soups with vegetables. Even though we have some soups in southwest Nigeria that can be cooked without adding vegetables, the notion is that these soups cannot go well with a swallow.
These traditional Yoruba soups use other ingredients, such as beans, peppers, plantain, or meat, to create a hearty and nourishing dish.
In this article, we will explore seven different Yoruba soups that can be cooked without vegetables, providing a range of options for a comforting and filling meal. Whether you are a fan of traditional Yoruba cuisine or looking to try something new, these soups will surely delight your taste buds and satisfy your hunger.
Here is the list of soups you can cook without adding vegetables.
1. Omi Obe (Stew)
Omi Obe is a delicious soup with many proteinous foods like fresh mackerel, tilapia, or beef. Some people pair this soup with Ewedu to eat swallows like Amala, Eba, or pounded yam. Others like to have theirs with Eba, rice, beans, Eko, and yam. The Yorubas love this soup so you will find it at most local restaurants and Yoruba parties. They call it Obe Eja Tutu (Fresh fish soup).
The difference between the soup and the regular stew is that the consistency is not too thick or loose; it is somewhere in between and has a smoothly blended pepper mixture. Unlike the regular stew, the pepper mixture is usually rough when blended, and the consistency is thick. You can also pair this Omi Obe with plain Okro, vegetables, Ewedu, and Gbegiri to make a complete soup.
How to cook Omi Obe
For this recipe, you will need
Meat/fresh tilapia/fresh mackerel fish- 1kg
Fresh tomatoes (500g)
Cayenne peppers (100g)
Red bell peppers (200g)
Scotch bonnet (100g)
Palm oil (1 cup)
Seasoning cubes- 2
Salt to taste
- In clean water, rinse your peppers and onions (tomatoes, scotch bonnet, red bell peppers, and cayenne peppers). Blend the peppers and onions until a smooth paste is formed.
- Rinse your fresh fish until it is well cleaned and set aside.
- Add palm oil to a clean, dry pot on low-medium heat.
- Heat your palm oil until it is boiling, pour the blended pepper mixture into the hot palm oil, and allow it to boil for 5 minutes.
- Add seasoning cubes and salt.
- Add your cleaned fresh Fish or cooked meat.
- Let it cook for 20-25 minutes. Taste it and check for doneness and seasonings. The consistency should not be too thick and too watery.
- Remove from heat and serve with your favorite swallow.
2. Egusi Ijebu
When you cook Egusi (melon seed), it has this naturally sweet flavor. No wonder it can go well independently, even without adding vegetables. This Egusi soup without vegetables originates in Ijebu, the southwestern part of Nigeria; that’s why it is called Egusi Ijebu.
This soup is famous among Ijebus, but some other Yorubas also like to cook this delicious meal.
How to cook Egusi Ijebu
We use a very smooth blended egusi for the soup; unlike the one we cook with vegetables, the Egusi is always roughly blended and dry. This soup has a unique, rich, and flavourful taste. Egusi soup is one of my favorite soups. The soup is easy to cook, doesn’t require many ingredients, and is a healthy food rich in protein, fats, minerals, and vitamins.
Egusi seeds- 2 cups
Dried chilli peppers (Ata-gbigbe)- 1 cup
Red bell peppers (Tatashe) – 200g
Smoked Fish- 1kg
Beef or goatmeat- 1kg
Crayfish- 1 cup
Palm oil- 1 cup
Seasoning cubes- 2
Salt to taste
- Prep your Egusi by picking any specks of dirt, stones, and peels from it. Rinse it properly, sieve the water with a mesh strainer, and repeat the process with other ingredients like dried chili pepper, red bell peppers, crayfish, and onions.
- Prep your meat by rinsing it properly. Rinse the smoked Fish and the Ponmo properly, too (NB- it is advisable also to soak your Ponmo and smoked Fish in hot water after rinsing with ordinary water to disinfect them from any germs.
- Pre-cook your meat and Ponmo, and add one cube of the seasoning cube and salt. NB- it is best to keep the meat broth simple if you want to use the meat stock for the Egusi.
- Add your cleaned Egusi, dried chili peppers, crayfish, and onions in a blender or grinder. Blend everything into a smooth paste.
- Heat the palm oil in a large saucepan on low-medium heat. Allow it to sizzle, and add your blended Egusi mixture. Leave it to boil for 10-15 minutes before adding anything else so the Egusi will not have lumps. NB- The aim is to achieve smooth consistency.
- Add your meat stock and seasoning cubes with salt. NB- just ½ tsp of salt should be okay because Egusi can quickly get too salty, and we have meat stock, crayfish, smoked Fish, and seasoning cubes that can easily enhance the taste of the soup.
- Add your pre-cooked meat and Ponmo into the Egusi and stir them together. Please leave it to keep cooking for about 5 minutes.
- Lastly, add your smoked Fish to the Egusi, and stir carefully so that the smoked Fish will not pieces in the soup. Leave for 2-3 minutes.
- Check if the soup is not too watery or too thick, and taste the soup. Add a seasoning cube or salt if necessary. If it is too thick, add little water to loosen it. The consistency of the soup should not be too watery or too thick, just somewhere in the middle.
- Switch the heat off and let it simmer before serving it.
Read Also: How to cook Egusi Ijebu with Ewedu
3. Obe Ishapa
This is another beautiful traditional soup that you can cook without using vegetables. The native soup originated from the Egbas, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria, and is widely eaten among other Yoruba states.
Even though it is not so common in other parts of Nigeria, it is a soup everyone should try. It is highly nutritious and made using Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) or fresh white zobo leaves with Egusi. The soup is rich in vitamin C and contains antioxidants that help to prevent diseases. If you love Egusi very well, try this Ishapa soup, you will love it.
How to cook Obe Ishapa
Smoked Fish- 500g
Ishapa (white zobo or hibiscus leaves)
Scotch bonnet peppers (50g)
Red bell peppers (100g)
Onion- 1 medium size
Ground Egusi (melon seeds)- 1 cup
Locust beans- ½ cup
Seasoning cube- 2
Potash- ½ tsp
- Rinse and cook the meat in a pot. Add about 2-3 cups of water to the meat. Season it well with salt, seasoning cube, and onion. Cook for about 20 minutes.
- Rinse your tomatoes, scotch bonnet pepper, red bell pepper (deseed), and onion. Blend everything into a smooth paste.
- You can use either dried or fresh Ishapa for preparing this soup. If it is fresh Ishapa you are using, wash them thoroughly, then place them in a clean pot. Add 3-4 cups of water in a pot, and put your fresh Ishapa leaf in. Add potash to it, and boil for about 15 minutes. Strain the water from the Ishapa and set it aside.
- When using dried Ishapa, soak the Isapa in hot water for 20 minutes, strain the excess water, and rinse, then set aside.
- In another saucepan, heat the palm oil for about 2 minutes, and allow it to cool slightly. Add the blended tomato mixture and fry for about 10 minutes. Make sure you stir at intervals.
- Add your cooked meat and clean smoked Fish. Add little water and iru. Stir it thoroughly and bring it to a boil for about 8 minutes.
- Add a thick paste of ground egusi to your cooking without stirring, and cover the pot immediately. Leave to cook for about 6-8 minutes. Add seasoning cubes and salt at this time.
- Add the Ishapa and stir together. Simmer for about 3-5 minutes.
- Obe Ishapa is ready, remove from heat and serve with any swallow of choice.
Gbegiri (beans soup) is popular among the Yorubas, and it is also called Abula. It is one of the easiest soups from western Nigeria and does not require many ingredients. This particular soup is cooked with peeled beans. The beans are peeled, and then you cook with ingredients like palm oil, ground crayfish, assorted meat, grounded pepper, or fresh pepper are used. You can pair it with your swallow like this or with Omi Obe (stew) and Ewedu (this is the usual way).
How to cook Gbegiri soup
Peeled brown beans (1½ cups)
Ground cayenne pepper (1 tsp)
Palm oil – 1 cup
Ground crayfish (2 tbsp)
Seasoning cubes (2)
Salt to taste
- Add enough water to boil your washed peeled beans in a saucepan over medium-high heat until soft.
- In another saucepan, boil your beef till tender with seasoning cubes, onions, and salt.
- Once the beans are ready, allow them to cool a little before blending them to puree. Blend the cooked beans until a smooth consistency is achieved, and set aside; pass the blended beans through a kitchen sieve, and discard the chaff.
- Place a pan on low-medium heat, add palm oil, and let it get hot, but don’t bleach. Add the blended beans to palm oil. You can add a little water for the beans to loosen up if there is a need for that. It should not be too thick because it will get thicker as you cook it.
- Add beef and ground cayenne pepper. Mix, and leave it to cook for about 10 minutes.
- Add ground crayfish, seasoning cube, and salt. Check if there is a need to add water if the soup is too thick. Continue to cook for about 3 minutes more.
- The soup is ready. You can serve it like this with a swallow of choice or serve it alongside Ewedu or Okro soup.
5. Obe Dudu
Obe Dudu is known as Ayamase, a typical soup in Ogun state, Southwest Nigeria. A spicy and flavorful soup that is popular in Yoruba cuisine. This soup has a unique flavor due to its combination of unique ingredients. Ingredients like bleached palm oil, green bell peppers, and assorted meat give it a distinct flavor.
How to cook Obe Dudu
Green bell peppers- 400g
Red cayenne pepper- 50g
Green scotch bonnet (Ata Rodo)- 100g
Onion (chopped)- 150g
Iru (locust beans)- ½ cups
Bleached Palm oil- 1 cup
Meat (Assorted meats)- 1½ kg
Seasoning cubes- 2
Ground crayfish- 2 tbsp
Boiled eggs- 6
Salt to taste
- Rince your meat thoroughly and put them in a saucepan. Add salt, chopped onions, and a seasoning cube to it.
- Blend the green bell peppers, scotch bonnet peppers, cayenne peppers, and onions. Boil the pepper mixture to remove excess water. Set it aside.
- Prepare your bleach oil in a separate pot. Bleach oil for 5 minutes on low-medium heat (while covering the pot) until it turns honey-brown. Leave to cool completely after bleaching before opening the pot.
- Add locust beans (iru) to the bleached oil and fry for about 2 minutes. Add your boiled, blended pepper mix.
- Add boiled meat
- Add seasoning cubes, meat stock, and salt to taste. Please leave it to cook for 10 minutes.
- Add ground crayfish and boiled eggs. Leave it for additional 5 minutes.
- Obe Dudu is ready. Serve it with rice, yam, or even swallow
6. Obe Koro-Owu
This Koro-Owu soup is a special soup that originated in Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria. Koowu is made from cotton seeds and is mainly eaten by the people in Ondo State.
The cotton seed has numerous health benefits for you. The soup is highly nutritious and easy to cook too.
How to cook Obe Koro-owu
Cotton seeds- 3 cups
Crayfish- ½ cup
Sliced scent leaves- 1 cup
Scotch bonnet pepper- 50g
Onions- 1 medium size
Shrimps- 1 cup
Smoked Fish- 500g
Ponmo (cow skin)- 100g
Palm oil- 1tbsp
Seasoning cubes- 2
Salt to taste.
- Soak the cotton seed overnight or boil the seed for a few minutes to remove the dirt attached to the cotton seed. Sieve the dirt away and wash it well until the water runs clean. Set aside.
- Wash your meat and Ponmo properly. Bring to a boil and season it properly. set aside
- Blend the cotton seeds with water. Sieve it to remove any excess dirt or cotton wool attached to the seed. Discard the trash, and boil the extract till you can no longer see any foam in it. Set it aside.
- Blend the tomato, scotch bonnet, onion,w, and crayfish until smooth. Set aside.
- Add your blended pepper mixture to the boiled cotton seed, and leave to boil for 15-20 minutes.
- Add your stock fish and diced Ponmo, and add about a tablespoon of palm oil (Don’t put too much palm oil; the seed has lots of oil in it. Please leave it to boil for about 5 minutes.
- Add sliced scent leaves, shrimps, periwinkle, smoked fish, salt, and seasoning cubes. Taste it to know if there is any need to add more salt. Please leave it to boil for an additional 3 minutes.
- Koro-Owu soup is ready. Serve and enjoy with any swallow of your choice.
7. Obe Ajo
Ajo means turmeric. Obe Ajo has its main ingredient as turmeric, which is why they call it turmeric soup. Obe Ajo is mainly eaten by the Akure people in Ondo State, Nigeria.
This Obe Ajo is known for its bright yellow color and rich flavor. It is a delicious and healthy soup you will love. It is made with a blend of spices, including turmeric, known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Turmeric is highly medicinal with many positive side effects, so this soup is unbeatable.
How to cook Obe Ajo
Meat (goat meat, beef, chicken, or fish)- 500g
Onion- 1 (chopped)
Fresh ginger- 2 tbsp (grated)
Garlic cloves- 2 (minced)
Ground turmeric – 2 tsp
Cayenne pepper- 1/2 tsp
Scotch bonnet peppers- 50g (grated)
Palm oil- 2-3 tbsp
Meat stock or water- 4 cups
Salt to taste
Seasoning cubes- 2
- Rinse the meat and cut them into bite-sized pieces.
- Boil the meat with one seasoning cube, minced ginger, grated garlic, turmeric, onion, and salt (everything in a bit so that you can use the remaining for the soup) for 20-25 minutes until tender.
- Heat the palm oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and grated ginger to the pot and sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is soft.
- Add the ground turmeric, scotch bonnet pepper, and cayenne pepper to the pot and combine.
- Pour in the water or meat stock, add your boiled meat, and stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Adjust the seasoning with salt, seasoning cube, and pepper to taste.
- Remove the pot from heat and serve hot. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.
Obe Ajo is typically served with white rice, pounded yam, or fufu. Enjoy!
In summary, Yoruba soups are a rich and flavorful aspect of Nigerian cuisine. Whether cooked with or without vegetables. These soups are typically made from a combination of different meats, fish, and spices, but they will still be delicious and nutritious if you don’t use vegetables. While vegetables are a common ingredient in many Yoruba soups, plenty of delicious options can still be enjoyed without them.
Are you familiar with these soups? What other soup do you know that can be made without vegetables? Please, share in the comment section.