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Cooking Tips

How To Prepare Bitter Leaves Soup

Bitter soup commonly called Ofe onugbu by the Igbos, is a very delicious soup that goes with eba, semovita, fufu etc

Bitter leaf soup takes the same process as the making of Oha soup. The soup could be cooked up to the point of adding the leaves then you divide it to add Oha to one and bitter leaf to the other.

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Bitter leaf soup is named after the leaf used in preparing it. Of course you don’t want to end up with a bitter soup, so wash all traces of bitterness from the leaves. It is more hygienic to wash the leaves yourself, it is a bit of time consuming but the result is worth the effort.

Read Also: How To Prepare Afang Soup

How To Prepare Bitter Leaves Soup
Bitter Leaves Soup – Photo Source: https://www.dealdey.com

Apart from its culinary purposes, the bitter leaf has some health benefits following it. one can chew the leaf raw, make vegetable smoothie with it by blending,  boil the leaves or stick, use it as antiseptic or make soup with it. Whichever way you use it, it will prove its potency.

Bitter leaf is a rich source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vit.B1 and Vit.B2.

Read Also: How To Prepare Banga Soup

What you never knew about about bitter leaf

a. It helps detoxify the body.

b. Bitter leaf juice is used by the local women in Guinea-Bissau to contract the uterus and after childbirth. It should not be taken during the first trimester of pregnancy or if trying to conceive, it might lead to miscarriage.

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c. Bitter leaf contains natural quinine. Regular intake of this bitter leaf juice fight against malaria

d. It speeds up metabolism and therefore a great remedy for weight loss.

e. It helps relieves fever and feverish conditions. Take the squeezed juice, 3 times daily until the symptoms disappear.

f. sIt enhances breast milk production in nursing mother

g. It yields the healing power of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD).

h. It helps reduce high sugar level in the blood, and also control diabetes.

i. It is a good treatment for ringworm, eczema and other diseases, just squeeze and  rub  it on the affected areas regularly, also and drink the fresh bitter leaf juice. This will clear them off in no time.

j. It acts as an energy booster.

k. it  stimulates bile and hydrochloric acid production,

l. Stimulates nervous and immune system function.

m. A good remedy for fatigue and exhaustion.

n. Bitter leaf is known to cure common cold and even pneumonia.

o. Are you suffering from insomnia? Then take 2 glasses of bitter leaf juice every night

p. It helps fight Arthritis or rheumatism in patients. It soothes swollen joints and eradicates the pain.

q. Chewing the tender stem or drinking the juice is a remedy for stomach aches

r. Gives a glowing skin

s. If the taste is unbearable for you, it can be mixed it with honey or pineapple

Read Also: How To Make Nigerian Egusi Soup

Ingredients for Nigerian Bitter Leaf Soup

a. 2kg of beef

b. Bitter leaf

c. Half cup of ground Crayfish

d. 3 Cubes Maggi or knorr seasoning

e. Ogiri

f. 2 Medium dry fish

g. 1 Large Stock fish head

h. 1 kg Palm Fruits

i. Salt and pepper to taste.

j. Cocoa-yams

Preparation Method 1

a. Wash the bitter leaves to remove all traces of bitterness and set aside soaked in water

b. Soak the dry and stock fish in warm water for a while.

c. Wash the cocoyams and place in a pot then wash the palm nuts and add to the pot

d. Add water then set pot over heat and allow to boil until cocoyams are tender

N.B: Cocoyams should go first in the pot because it takes more time to cook than the palmnut

e. When the cocoyams are well cooked, drain the water, peel the skin of the cocoyams and place in a mortar

f. Pound the cocoyams until there are no traces of lumps. While pounding ,always feels to check the texture

g. When the texture is okay, scoop it in a pot

h. Turn the palm nut in the mortar, pound gently to extract the juice or knead with your hands.

i. Wash palm nuts, and add to the pot of cocoyam and set over heat

j. Wash and debone the stock fish and dry fish and add to the pot

k. Wash the beef meat and add to the pot

l. Add the grinded crayfish and pepper. Cover the pot and allow to boil. Cook until cocoyam dissolves

m. When it is well cooked, add the ogiri and stir

n. Add salt to taste and maggi seasoning, stir , cover the and allow to cook for 10mins

o. Lastly add the bitter leaves, stir, taste, then cook for three to two minutes and you are done with the making of Nigerian Bitter Leaf Soup (Ofe Onugbu)

Serve with Eba, Fufu, Semo, Wheat or pounded yam

Read Also: Steps to Prepare Oha Soup

Method II

Ingredients for Bitter Leaves Soup

a. Washed and squeezed bitterleaf

b. 10 small corms of Cocoyam

c. 3 cooking spoons Red Palm Oil

d. Assorted Beef(best cut, shaki (cow tripe))

e. Assorted Fish (Dry Fish and Stock Fish)

f. Pepper, salt and ground crayfish (to taste)

g. 3 stock cubes

h. 1 teaspoon of Ogiri Igbo (traditional seasoning)

Direction for Bitter Leaves Soup

a. Make sure  the bitter leaves are well washed, such that there is no trace of bitterness left.  If  bitterness cannot be completely washed off , it can be boiled for 15 minutes and wash in cold water.

b. Wash and cook the cocoyam till soft and pound using a mortar until to a smooth paste

c. Boil the shaki (cow tripe), stock fish and dry fish till they are well done. How to know a done shaki is that the cuts will start curling on itself.

d. Wash the beef and add to the pot of shaki, stock fish and dry fish and continue cooking. When the meat is done, add 3 cubes of Maggi or Knorr and cook further for 5 minutes.

e. Add the pepper, ground crayfish, bitter leaves (if it has not been parboiled) and cook for 10 minutes.

f. Then add the cocoyam paste and the palm oil then go to step 5.

Note: If the bitter leaves were parboiled to remove the bitterness, then for step 3;add all the ingredients at this stage(pepper, ground crayfish, the cocoyam paste the bitter leaves and the palm oil)

Read Also: How To Prepare Edikang Ikong

g. Cover the pot; cook till all the cocoyam lumps have dissolved. If soup is too thick, you can add more water

h. Add salt to taste and the soup is ready

i. Serve with Garri (Eba), Semolina Fufu, Amala, Cassava Fufu or Pounded Yam.


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Lilian Umeoke

Lilian is a content writer at InfoGuideNigeria.com. InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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