Edo Black Soup

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Edo black soup is a harmonious blend of herbs and vegetables, creating a dish that nourishes you with every mouthful. Paired with hot fufu or pounded yam, Edo Black Soup offers a taste experience that is both heartwarming and invigorating.

The Origins and Essence of Edo Black Soup

Edo Black Soup, a staple among the Esan people, is renowned for its distinctive dark color and rich flavor. This soup is not just about its taste; it’s a reflection of the culture and tradition of the Edo people.

What is Black Soup Made Of?

The Essential Leaves

There are three basic leaves essential for making Edo Black Soup: Bitter leaf, Scent leaf (Effirin), and Uziza leaf. Some people argue that only two of these leaves are necessary, but I find that using all three provides a richer and more balanced flavor. These leaves are ground together using either a native Edo grinding stone or an electric blender. While some prefer the traditional method, others, like myself, use a blender for convenience.

Edo Black Soup

The Benefits of the Ingredients

The ingredients in Edo Black Soup are not only delicious but also packed with health benefits. Bitter leaf is known for its medicinal properties, aiding in digestion and boosting the immune system. Scent leaf, with its aromatic fragrance, is rich in vitamins and minerals that promote overall well-being. Uziza leaf adds a spicy kick to the soup and has anti-inflammatory properties.

The Cooking Process: Traditional vs. Modern

Using a Grinding Stone

When using a grinding stone, there is no need to add water to blend the vegetables. Simply chop them up and grind until smooth. This method retains the natural flavors and nutrients of the vegetables, resulting in a more robust taste. The texture is also noticeably different, giving the soup a thicker consistency.

Using a Blender

For those who do not have a grinding stone, a blender will work just fine. However, it’s important to use very little water to achieve the desired texture. This soup is not meant to be loose, so be careful not to add too much liquid. Blending the vegetables can be quick and convenient, especially for those with busy schedules.

The Unique Flavor of Edo Black Soup

One of the remarkable aspects of Edo Black Soup is the minimal use of palm oil. This makes it an excellent choice for those on a diet who want to reduce their calorie and fat intake without sacrificing flavor. The little amount of palm oil used is enough to enhance the taste without overpowering the natural flavors of the vegetables.

How to Enjoy Edo Black Soup

Black Soup is best enjoyed with fufu or pounded yam. The combination of the hearty soup and the starchy accompaniment creates a balanced and satisfying meal.

Edo Black Soup 3

Health Benefits of Edo Black Soup

Nutrient-Rich Ingredients

The vegetables used in Black Soup are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Bitter leaf, for example, contains vitamins A, C, and E, which are essential for maintaining healthy skin and a strong immune system. Scent leaf is known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties, while Uziza leaf helps with digestion and inflammation.

Low-Calorie Option

With its minimal use of palm oil, Edo Black Soup is a great option for those looking to reduce their calorie intake. The soup is filling and satisfying, making it an excellent choice for weight management.

Promotes Digestive Health

The combination of Bitter leaf and Uziza leaf in the soup aids in digestion and helps prevent constipation. The high fiber content in these leaves promotes healthy bowel movements and supports overall digestive health.

Variations of Black Soup

While the traditional recipe calls for Bitter leaf, Scent leaf, and Uziza leaf, there are variations of Black Soup that use different combinations of leaves. Some people prefer to make the soup with just Bitter leaf and Scent leaf, while others add additional herbs and spices for extra flavor. Experimenting with different ingredients can lead to new and exciting variations of this beloved dish.

Cooking Tips for the Perfect Black Soup

Choosing the Right Leaves

When selecting leaves for your Black Soup, make sure they are fresh and vibrant. The quality of the leaves will greatly affect the flavor of the soup. If possible, buy the leaves from a local market where they are likely to be fresher.

Blending vs. Grinding

As mentioned earlier, the method you choose to blend the vegetables will impact the texture and flavor of the soup. While a blender is convenient, using a grinding stone will give you a more authentic and robust flavor. If you’re using a blender, be sure to use very little water to maintain the desired consistency.

Cooking Time

Black Soup should be cooked on low heat to allow the flavors to meld together. Rushing the cooking process can result in a less flavorful soup. Take your time and let the soup simmer gently for the best results. Enjoy!

0DD2AFAA 3233 4FB5 982B 91573C68B5ED Taiwo Oladapo

Edo Black Soup

Avatar photoTaiwo Oladapo
Edo Black Soup, a staple among the Esan people, is renowned for its distinctive dark color and rich flavor.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Nigerian
Servings 4 people


  • 2 cup washed bitter leaves
  • ½ cup  sliced Scent leaves
  • 2 cup sliced uziza leaves
  • 300 g roasted fish
  • 1 kg assorted meat
  • ½ cup ground crayfish
  • Ground Pepper to taste
  • 2 seasoning cubes
  • 7 pieces of stockfish
  • 4 cups palm fruit sauce
  • Salt to taste


  • Grind all the leaves together, these ground leaves act as the soup thickener and also gives it the black-looking color, hence the name – black soup.
  • You can blend to paste by adding a little water to ease up the movement of the blades.
  • Wash and boil the meat with half a cup of onions, 1 seasoning cube and a pinch of salt. Cook for 30-45 minutes, until the meat becomes soft and easily chewable, you can add a little water to stop it from getting burnt.
  • Add the dry fish (hot-water-washed), stockfish, crayfish, add the banga sauce and allow to cook for up to 15 minutes until the soupy mixture thickens.
  • Add the ground leaves, stir, add 2 seasoning cubes, salt to taste, and allow to simmer for another five minutes and you are done.
  • If you have cow liver included, you can start parboiling it with the rest of the meat but you have to remove it after 20 minutes and add them later when the soup is almost done.
Keyword Black soup, Edo black soup
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