List Of Soups In The Southwest (Yoruba) Nigeria

 Do you want to know more about Yoruba traditional soups?  This blog post is for you.

The list is endless, but for this blog post, we will review 20 soups among the southwestern people in Nigeria.

The Southwest Nigerian soups are unique in taste and always very delicious, and if there is anything I love about it, it is the enticing and delicious looks they have. Super reddish with a generous amount of palm oil and red peppers. Yeah, I always love the look; making me want to eat more of it.

I have heard so many times that Yoruba people (southwest) in Nigeria don’t have soups and that the only thing they have is Omi obe (watery stew) and Efo-Riro (Spinach stew). That’s an ordinary soup Yorubas prepare, but that does not mean they don’t have other soups. 

The Yoruba language has seven (7) sub-ethnic groups with different dialects and cultures and sometimes has different native soups. However, there are common soups among the Yorubas, which is why you will always see them cook them at any of the Yoruba events.

Here are the 20 soups in southwestern Nigeria

  1. Ewedu soup
  2. Egusi ijebu
  3. Ayamase
  4. Marugbo
  5. Ila Alesepo
  6. Efo-riro
  7. Efo Elegede
  8. Obe koowu
  9. Obe iru
  10. Gbegiri
  11. Obe Ajo
  12. Efo elegusi
  13. Obe Ata
  14. Isapa
  15. Obe Amunututu
  16. Obe Ebolo
  17. Worowo
  18. Obe Arowo jeja
  19. Efo Gbagba
  20. Obe Ota

1. Ewedu soup

You can’t be talking about Yoruba soups and not mention Ewedu soup. Ewedu is one of the most popular Yoruba soups known. The soup is nutritious and has a special taste.

The Ewedu soup is a slimy green soup, also a native soup that is common among the Yoruba people in Nigeria. It is commonly used as a side dish or can be cooked with other nutritious ingredients and condiments to make a soup on its own.

Source: My active kitchen

Cooking & Eating Ewedu

You can cook it plain and serve it alongside Gbegiri (beans stew) to enhance the taste of your fish or meat stew so that it will be fit to eat with any solid meal like Amala, Pounded yam, Wheat, Eba, or Fufu.  

2. Egusi Ijebu

Cooking the egusi without vegetables is called Egusi Ijebu.

This soup is famous among Ijebus, but some other Yorubas also cook this delicious meal.

Cooking 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. 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 very healthy food rich in protein, fats, minerals, and vitamins.

Egusi Ijebu

Check also: How to cook Egusi Ijebu with Ewedu

3. Ayamase (Ofada Sauce)

Ayamase is a stew that is commonly used as a sauce for Ofada rice. The stew is also called Ofada stew or designer stew and originated in Southwestern Nigeria. This stew tastes great, and you will enjoy it most with your Ofada rice, but you can as well eat it with your yam and potatoes, which are also a good combination.

Source: My Diaspora Kitchen

Cooking Ayamase

The difference between this Ayamase stew and the regular stew (Ata-dindin) is the use of green peppers only. Just green peppers, a combination of green bell peppers, green chili peppers, and green habanero peppers, are used for this stew. 

What also makes this Ayamase special is the local ingredients like iru (locust bean) that are added with a protein food (preferably assorted meat) and some other mouth-watering ingredients.

4. Marugbo

This is a black soup from Ondo State. The soup is medicinal and nutritious; no wonder they give it to women who have just been put to bed.

Source: 9jafoodie

Cooking Marugbo

What distinguishes Marugbo soup from other vegetable soups is that the Marugbo leaves are often dried before using for the soup. Two vegetables are used to prepare the Marugbo soup and are dried before use.

The Marugbo leaf is the main vegetable, while other vegetables like Efinrin, Akintola, Lapalapa, Epojebu, Ekikan, Iteji, or Iseketu are used as secondary vegetables. Check this soup out and give it a try.

5. Ila Alasepo

This particular Yoruba soup was always a go-to soup for me when I was in school. Ila Alasepo is easy and doesn’t require many ingredients and time to prepare.

The main ingredient is the Ila (Okra), while other ingredients like habanero pepper, red bell pepper, chili pepper, onions, meat, fish, and palm oil are used.

Source: Nigerian foodies

Cooking Ila Alasepo

To cook it, make a stew base with your fish, meat, and Ponmo as protein sources, and add your Ila (Okra) when your soup is almost ready. You can enjoy this delicious soup with Eba, Amala, and Pounded Yam.

Also Read: Okra soup -Things you don’t know

6. Efo-Riro

Efo-Riro (spinach stew) is the most common soup among the Yorubas, so you will always see the soup at any party. It always stands out and has an inviting taste, especially when you add enough Iru (locust beans) to the soup.

Source: Sisi Jemimah

Cooking Efo Riro

Efo riro can be cooked with any vegetable, but the most common is the spinach leaf. You can also combine two or more vegetables, depending on your preference. Add some meat, dried fish, crayfish, and Ponmo to this soup; the taste will be on another level.

7. Efo Elegede

Efo Elegede is another type of vegetable called Squash that is common to people of Ondo and Ekiti States. The Elegede leaf is used to make a delicious soup.

Cooking Efo Elegede

Elegede is best cooked with little water; you can add dried fish and snail to give it the absolute taste. Cooking time and process is just like Efo-Riro. This soup is best eaten with any white swallow, like Pounded Yam, Fufu, or Semo.

8. Obe Koro-Owu

This Koro-owu or Koowu soup, known as cotton seed soup, is mostly eaten by the Owo people in Ondo State, Nigeria. Koowu is a special soup that is made from cotton seeds.

Is this soup nutritious? Yes, very nutritious. The seed from cotton has numerous health benefits, and this can be utilized by having a dish from it. Trust me, you will enjoy it, and cooking is quite easy.

Source: IQ food platter

9. Obe Iru

This stew will do the magic if you are looking for the best sauce for your rice and yam. Obe Iru (Locust beans stew) is like cooking a regular stew, but add lots of Iru this time. Just as the name implies, Obe Iru has the main ingredient as Iru, and other ingredients are; palm oil, assorted meat, bell peppers, scotch bonnets, onion, assorted meats, etc. dried prawns, stockfish, stock fish trimmings, Ponmo (cow skin).

Source: Besthomediet

10. Gbegiri (Beans Soup)

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 special soup is cooked with peeled beans. The beans are peeled and then cooked with ingredients like palm oil, grounded crayfish, assorted meat, grounded pepper, or fresh pepper are used. You can use it to eat your swallow like this or pair it up with buka stew and Ewedu ( this is the regular way). 


11. Obe Ajo

Ajo is known as turmeric. Obe Ajo is a turmeric soup mostly eaten by the Akure people in Ondo State, Nigeria. It is very medicinal. A great soup that is good for the body and brain.

12. Efo Elegusi

Efo elegusi is one of my favorite Yoruba soups. I don’t think a week will pass in my house that my Mother won’t cook one Egusi recipe for us, most especially the Egusi Ijebu. With the way we ate Egusi back then, we were supposed to get tired of it, but we didn’t; instead, we were alternating Efo Elegusi with Ijebu Egusi just to mix things up. But for me, my favorite of the Egusi recipes is Efo Elegusi. This soup is delicious and can be taken with any swallow, it can also pair well with your rice and yam.

Source: Eatwellabi

13 Omi Obe

This soup is also a very common soup among the Yorubas. It is usually paired with Ewedu to eat Amala, Eba, or pounded yam. It is sold in most local food restaurants, and you will always see it at any Yoruba party. The difference between the soup and the regular stew is that the consistency is a little watery and very smooth, unlike the stew, that which the pepper mixture is usually rough when blended, and the consistency is thick.

Source: Tiana cusine

14.  Obe Isapa

This soup is also wonderful from western Nigeria; the Egbas mostly eat it in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria. 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.

15. Obe Amunututu 

The first time I heard about this vegetable, I was surprised by the name; it is funny, but with the name, you will know that this soup is very medicinal. It is commonly cooked with Egusi. A type of Spinach that is super rich in minerals and vitamins; no wonder they always recommend this soup for pregnant women as it is rich in folate and vitamins.

16. Obe Ebolo

Ebolo is a type of vegetable that is also common among the Yorubas. These Ebolo leaves are highly nutritious, and even though it has a low production all throughout the year, some people from Western Nigeria still benefit from the nutrients. The vegetable is very tender when cooked, so it is important to add it as the last thing to your stew base and ensure you don’t cook it for too long before removing it from the heat. You can enjoy it with any swallow of choice.

17. Obe Worowo

Worowo is another wonderful delicacy common among the Ekiti people in Western Nigeria. The process of cooking this vegetable soup is like Efo-Riro (Spinach stew); the only difference is the vegetable. You can as well cook your Wororo leaves with Egusi. This vegetable is very medicinal and also very tasty. 

18 Obe Arowojeja 

Arowo Jeja is also a type of vegetable that is common in Western Nigeria. This Arowojeja is a Spinach leaf and is popularly called Tete. The Ondo people in western Nigeria are the ones that call this vegetable Arowojeja. Arowojeje or Tete are commonly used to cook Efo-riro ( Spinach stew).

19. Efo Gbagba

This soup is simply prepared by using leaves of African Garden egg leaves. It can also be called Efo Igbo. The green garden egg leaves are used and not the white garden egg leaves. You can cook it using the Efo-Riro method or by using the Efo-Elegusi method. 

20. Obe Ota 

Ota is called Raw soup. I have not tasted this soup before but heard it is a traditional soup common in Ogun state, Nigeria. It is a raw soup that is prepared with roughly mixed peppers, onions, and vegetable oil. Fried or grilled fish can be used as a protein food in this soup and can be paired with any type of swallow, yam, or potatoes.

Which of the Yoruba soups have you heard about or cooked before? Leave a comment. Thank you for reading.


  1. wow, this is so interesting very nice, but u miss out obe Ilasa, obe Eku, Obe Isapa.
    my question is between Igbo and Yoruba which one has the most soup.
    thank you

    • Thank you very much! Obe isapa is there, but I will update the post with others.
      Every tribe and ethnic group in Nigeria has unique foods, so I can’t say who is doing the most. But Igbos are trying when it comes to native soups.

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