HomeTopicalFoodVegetable Soup Recipes: How To Cook the Nigerian Efo Riro

Vegetable Soup Recipes: How To Cook the Nigerian Efo Riro

Looking for a healthy and delicious way to warm up on a chilly day? A vegetable soup recipe might just be the answer!

One particularly flavorful and nutritious soup is Eforiro, a traditional Nigerian dish made with a variety of vegetables and often served with fufu or another starchy side. 

See This:

Vegetable soup recipe
Vegetable Soup served with Eba

Vegetable soup is a delicious and healthy dish that can be enjoyed any time of the year. It is a versatile recipe that can be customized to include any combination of vegetables, making it a great way to use leftover produce or get various nutrients in one meal. 

Vegetable soup is also easy to make and can be prepared in large batches, making it a convenient option for meal prep or feeding a crowd. In this article, we will share a simple and flavorful recipe for vegetable soup, along with tips for customizing it to suit your taste preferences.

Types of Vegetable

There are many different types of vegetable soups around the world, each with its own unique set of ingredients and flavours.

For example, the Yoruba vegetable soup, known as Efo Riro, is a traditional Nigerian soup with leafy greens such as spinach or kale, cooked in a tomato-based sauce and seasoned with spices like spices cumin and paprika. It often includes meat or fish and can be served with rice, yams, or other starchy foods.

On the other hand, the Igbo vegetable soup, known as Edikang Ikong, is a traditional Nigerian soup made with a combination of leafy greens like waterleaf and pumpkin leaves, along with other vegetables like tomatoes, onions, and peppers. It is typically cooked with a blend of spices and seasonings and often includes smoked fish or meat.

Overall, vegetable soup’s ingredients and preparation methods can vary widely depending on cultural traditions, regional ingredients, and personal preferences.

Ingredients for vegetable soup (Eforiro)

To make Efo Riro soup, you will need the following ingredients:

Assorted vegetables (efo tete or spinach)or any other leafy greens of your choice)

Meat or fish (beef, goat meat, or fish such as smoked fish or dried fish)


Palm oil 


Fresh peppers (scotch bonnet or habanero)

Seasoning cubes or powder (such as Maggi or Knorr)


Locust beans 

Crayfish (optional)

Stock or water

Preparing the vegetables for Efo Riro

Preparing the vegetables is an essential part of making Efo Riro soup. Here are the steps to follow:

Wash the vegetables

Rinse the vegetables thoroughly under cold water to remove any dirt or debris. You can use any leafy greens you prefer, such as spinach, kale, or collard greens.

Chop the vegetables

Use a sharp knife to chop the vegetables into small pieces. You can also use a food processor to chop them quickly and uniformly.

Prepare the pepper and onions

Peel and chop the onions and pepper (habanero or scotch bonnet) into small pieces.

Blend the tomatoes: In a blender, blend the fresh or canned tomatoes until they are smooth.

Cook the meat or fish

If you are using meat or fish in your Efo Riro soup, cook it in a separate pot until it is tender and fully cooked. You can use chicken, beef, goat meat, or fish, depending on your preference.

Prepare the stock

If you are using meat, fish or vegetable stock, prepare it in a separate pot.

Cooking the vegetable Soup

In a large pot, heat up some palm oil and saute the onions and pepper until the onions are translucent.

Pour the blended tomatoes and pepper into the pot with the sauteed onions and peppers. Stir well and let it cook for a few minutes until it thickens.

If you are using meat or fish, add it to the pot along with any stock you prepared earlier. Stir well and let it cook for a few minutes until the flavours combine.

Add salt, bouillon cubes, and any other seasonings you prefer. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.

Add the chopped vegetables to the pot and stir well. Cover the pot and let it cook for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

If the soup is too thick, you can add a little water or stock to thin it out. If it’s too thin, you can let it cook for a few more minutes until it thickens.

Once the soup is ready, serve it hot with a side of rice or fufu. Garnish with fresh herbs such as parsley or cilantro if desired.

Vegetable Soup (Efo Riro) Serving Variation

Serve with rice

Efo Riro soup pairs well with rice, whether it’s white rice or jollof rice (a West African spiced rice dish).

Serve with fufu

Fufu is a starchy side dish made from cassava, yam, or plantains. It is commonly served with Efo Riro soup in Nigeria and other West African countries.

Serve with plantains

Fried or grilled plantains make a great side dish for Efo Riro soup. The sweetness of the plantains pairs well with the savoury flavours of the soup.

Serve with yam

Boiled or fried yam is another great side dish to serve with Efo Riro soup. It adds a hearty and filling component to the meal.

The choice of side dish to serve with your Efo Riro soup is entirely up to you. Try different combinations to find the one that you enjoy the most.


Assorted vegetable soup
Vegetable soup cooked with beef, ponmo and shaki

How to make Igbo Vegetable Soup (Edikang Ikong)

500 Grams of Assorted Meats (Mixture of beef, goat meat, cow leg, Ponmo, Shaki)

3-4 cups Water Leaves washed and thinly sliced

1.5 Cups Ugu Leaves washed and thinly sliced

3-5 Pieces Yellow Scotch bonnet (Ata todo)

2 Cooking spoons of Palm Oil

1 Medium Size Smoked/Dried fish

2 Medium size pieces of Stockfish

1/2 Cup Raw King Prawns

3 Heaped Tablespoons of Ground Crayfish

Bouillon Cube

Salt to Taste

Preparing and Cooking the Vegetable Soup

Blend your yellow peppers and set aside. 

Soak your smoked/dry fish in hot water and clean it to get rid of the dirt. Set aside.

Wash your meats thoroughly and transfer them into a cooking pot. 

Place the pot on low heat, and add the Boullion cube(s) and salt to taste. Steam the meats for 15-20 minutes. This is so the meats release their own juices. Add little water but remember to check every now and then so they don’t burn.

Add the  blended yellow Ata Rodo and cook on medium heat till tender

When the meats are half cooked, add the Stockfish and cook till it softens.

When it softens, take out the stockfish and shed in smaller pieces, add it back into the pot, also shred the smoked fish and add.

Cook the king prawns for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, add the palm oil and the blended pepper and leave to simmer for five minutes.

Now add the washed water leaves, stir thoroughly, cook on low heat, and leave to cook thoroughly for 3-5 minutes.

Add the crayfish for some flavour and cook for a minute 

Add the washed Ugwu leaves and stir thoroughly 

Taste the soup for any additional seasoning, but you won’t need it if your broth is well-seasoned.

And your vegetable soup is ready to be served.

Health Benefits of Vegetable Soup

Promotes healthy skin and hair

For healthy skin and hair, vitamins A and C are required in the body system. Hence, consuming Ugu regularly provides you with healthy hair and skin.

Boosts blood production

Vegetable soup is recommended for patients who suffer from a shortage of blood. Traditional healers have often used the leaves to increase blood production. Because of the presence of iron and other nutritional components, it contributes to boosting blood in the body system.

Improves digestive health

Vegetable soup is a healthy Nigerian food that is good for the digestive system. They are fibre-rich, promoting healthy digestion and supporting good bowel movement.

Helps Prevent Osteoporosis

Spinach has calcium, manganese, and vitamin K, which are important for healthy bones. Your body is always getting rid of and rebuilding bone tissue.

Cuts Risk of Iron Deficiency Anemia

Spinach is a vegetarian source of iron, a mineral you need to help red blood cells bring oxygen to different areas of your body.


What are the 7 steps to making soup?

Start cooking the cow tripe on high heat with little water. 

When the cow tripe is almost done, add meat, chopped onions, salt and seasoning cube and continue cooking.

In another pot, pour the palm oil and heat it. Once hot, add the remaining onions and fry for 2 minutes.

Then add locust beans and fry for a minute. Now pour your blended pepper mixture, and stir together. Add salt, seasoning cube and crayfish. Allow to cook for about 20 minutes.

Once the oil is floating at the top, add smoked fish, ponmo, and meats. Stir and taste for salt.

Add the vegetables to the sauce and stir very well. Cover the pot and allow to cook for about 4 minutes. After some minutes, take the pot off the heat.

Your Efo riro is ready.

What is Nigerian vegetable soup made of?

Vegetable soup is made with a generous amount of fresh leafy vegetables, goat meat, shrimps, palm oil, and other ingredients of great nutritional value. This delicious soup tastes so good and has a load of health benefits.

What is the main ingredient in soup?

Soup is a primarily liquid food, generally served warm or hot (but may be cool or cold), made by combining meat or vegetable ingredients with stock, milk, or water.

How do you add flavour to vegetables?

Efo riro is cooked on a handful of components that come together to create layered and complex flavours and textures. This particular recipe incorporates tender cubes of beef chuck roast, but you can use fresh seafood like fish or prawns, sautéed mushrooms, or smoked proteins like catfish, chicken, or turkey instead.