Nigerian – Assorted Spinach Soup

Nigerian – Assorted Spinach Soup

  • 🧑‍🍳 Very Hard
  • Prep: 30mins
  • 🥘 Cook: 40mins
  • 🍴 Serves 8

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Efo riro is a classic Nigerian dish. It’s normally eaten as a heavy lunch or as dinner. Get this recipe right and your guests would be left smacking their lips and licking their fingers.

Assorted Spinach Soup with Iyan (Pounded Yam)

Assorted Spinach Soup Ingredients

Main Ingredients
  • ½ litre Sunflower oil
  • ½ litre Palm oil
  • 4 onions, peeled and quartered
  • 4 lantern peppers, washed
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 knorr cubes
  • 3 tbsp of crayfish, ground
  • 2 tbsp of iru (locust beans), washed
  • 4 tbsp of dried and smoked prawns, washed
  • 4.5kg of Spinach, washed, steamed and drained of excess water
  • 2kg of Kale, washed
  • 5kg of goat meat, cooked
  • 2kg of cow’s foot, cooked
  • 2kg of tripe, cooked
Sauce Ingredients
  • 10 sweet long red peppers, washed
  • 2 bulbs of garlic, washed and halved
  • 2 tomatoes, washed

Other Recommendations: Use Efo Shoko Leaves as an alternative if you have it available in your local market. Efo Shoko (sometimes called Lagos Spinach or Nigerian Spinach) is a type of Celosia eaten in soups, stews, and side dishes in parts of Nigeria and is the original leaf used in this traditional dish.

Assorted Spinach Soup Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven at 200˚C for 20 mins.
  2. Start by combining your sauce ingredients in a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Allow to chargrilled for 20 mins until the top becomes brown and the garlic is soft as paste. Set aside to cool.
  3. Whilst the peppers are in the oven, add the palm oil in a deep pot and set under medium heat. When the palm oil changes colour from red to a darker colour and becomes more runny like vegetable oil (bleaching process), add the sunflower oil. After 2 mins, add the onions and fry for 3 mins.
  4. Once the onion becomes softer and looks caramelised, add all the seasonings listed and set away from heat.
  5. Take the peppers from step one, include the scotch bonnet and blend. Do not make a fine paste. Should still be able to see bits of pepper. 
  6. Now, bring step 4 back on medium heat. Add your pepper paste from step 5 to the deep pot of fried onions (step 4). Mix both thoroughly together. Simmer for 5 mins.
  7. Add your meat ingredients to the deep pot of stew. Cooked together under medium heat for 20 mins. Continually turn the sauce and mix from the base to avoid burning the peppers.
  8. Add your greens to the deep pot, mix together and cook for 10 mins. Once done, take the pot off heat and set aside to cool for 10 mins before serving.

Serving: My usual plate normally contains a portion of efo riro and fufu ©

💡Using a food processor would cut your prep time by half. As an avid believer in not staying too long in the kitchen, I regularly use my Ninja 3 in 1 food processor. Other brands include Magimix, Kitchen Aid or Kenwood.

💡This dish is quite time consuming, for a typical work week / school week meal, it’s not the ideal dish to make. You’re probably better off making it on special occasions or on the weekend. Prepare as much as you can before cooking so that the actual soup making event is more of a pick, add and mix activity rather than trying to make everything from scratch on the same day.

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