Delicious Bitter Leaf Soup Recipe: A Flavorful Delight!

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Are you looking for a delicious and nutritious dish to add to your recipe repertoire? Look no further! The bitter leaf soup recipe is here to tantalize your taste buds and provide a host of health benefits. This traditional African dish is packed with flavor and features the unique bitter taste of the bitter leaf, which adds a distinct twist to the soup. In this article, we will take you through the steps of mastering this delectable dish, so you can impress your friends and family with your culinary skills. Let’s dive right in and explore the wonders of the bitter leaf soup recipe!

Delicious Bitter Leaf Soup Recipe: A Flavorful Delight!

Bitter Leaf Soup Recipe

Bitter leaf soup is a delicious and nutritious Nigerian dish that is made from the bitter leaf plant. It is a popular delicacy in many parts of Nigeria and is known for its unique taste and flavor. This article will provide you with a detailed and engaging overview of the bitter leaf soup recipe, including its ingredients, preparation method, variations, and health benefits.


To make a flavorful pot of bitter leaf soup, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups of washed bitter leaves
  • 500g of assorted meat (beef, cow skin, offal, etc.)
  • 2 medium-sized stockfish
  • 2 tablespoons of ground crayfish
  • 2 cooking spoons of red palm oil
  • 2 tablespoons of ground pepper (optional)
  • 2 seasoning cubes
  • 1 medium-sized onion
  • Salt to taste

Preparation Method

Now that you have gathered all the required ingredients, let’s dive into the step-by-step preparation process:

  1. Start by thoroughly washing the bitter leaves to remove any bitterness. You can achieve this by soaking the leaves in salted water for about 10 minutes and then rinsing them thoroughly.
  2. Place the assorted meat in a pot, add water, chopped onions, seasoning cubes, and salt. Allow it to cook until tender.
  3. While the meat is cooking, soak the stockfish in hot water to soften it. Once done, cut it into small pieces.
  4. When the assorted meat is tender, add the stockfish, ground crayfish, and palm oil to the pot. Stir well and allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the washed bitter leaves and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. This will allow the flavors to blend together.
  6. If desired, you can add ground pepper for an extra kick of spiciness.
  7. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if needed. Add more salt or seasoning cubes according to your preference.
  8. Simmer the soup for an additional 5 minutes, and your delicious bitter leaf soup is ready to be served.


Bitter leaf soup can be prepared in various ways to suit different preferences. Here are a few popular variations:

Ofe Onugbu (Igbo Bitter Leaf Soup)

Ofe Onugbu is a traditional Igbo version of bitter leaf soup. It is typically prepared using cocoyam or egusi (melon) as a thickener. The bitter leaves are washed, shredded, and added to the cooked meat and fish. The soup is then simmered with palm oil, crayfish, and other seasonings until it reaches a thick and flavorful consistency.

Ofe Ewuro (Yoruba Bitter Leaf Soup)

In Yoruba cuisine, Ofe Ewuro is the name for bitter leaf soup. It is often cooked with an emphasis on preserving the slightly bitter taste of the leaves. The bitter leaves are washed and parboiled to reduce the bitterness, then added to a pot of cooked meats and fish. Palm oil, crayfish, and other seasonings are added to enhance the flavor. This version of bitter leaf soup is usually served with pounded yam or eba, a Nigerian staple made from cassava.

Health Benefits

Bitter leaf soup not only satisfies your taste buds but also offers several health benefits. Here are a few reasons why you should consider adding bitter leaf soup to your diet:

  • Rich in nutrients: Bitter leaf is loaded with essential nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and E, calcium, potassium, and iron. These nutrients contribute to overall good health and well-being.
  • Antioxidant properties: Bitter leaf contains antioxidants that help protect the body against damage from harmful molecules known as free radicals. Antioxidants also promote healthy skin and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Boosts the immune system: The vitamins and minerals present in bitter leaf soup help strengthen the immune system, making your body more resilient to infections and diseases.
  • Aids digestion: Bitter leaf is known for its digestive benefits. It can help improve digestion, relieve constipation, and reduce bloating and discomfort.
  • Promotes weight loss: Bitter leaf soup is low in calories and high in fiber, making it an excellent addition to a weight loss diet. It helps you feel full for longer, reducing the chances of overeating.

In conclusion, bitter leaf soup is a delicious and nutritious Nigerian dish that offers a wide range of health benefits. With its unique taste and versatility, it is a must-try for anyone looking to explore Nigerian cuisine. So why not give this recipe a try and savor the flavors of this traditional delicacy?


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the basic ingredients for bitter leaf soup?

The basic ingredients for bitter leaf soup include bitter leaves, assorted meats (such as beef, goat meat, or fish), crayfish, palm oil, onions, peppers, stockfish, and seasonings like salt and seasoning cubes.

How do I prepare the bitter leaves for the soup?

To prepare the bitter leaves for the soup, follow these steps:

  1. Wash the bitter leaves thoroughly to reduce the bitterness.
  2. Boil the leaves in water for about 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the water and repeat the boiling process.
  4. After the second boiling, rinse the leaves in cold water.
  5. Squeeze out excess water and chop the leaves into smaller pieces.

Can I substitute bitter leaves with any other ingredient?

Yes, if you cannot find bitter leaves, you can substitute with spinach or kale. However, note that the taste of the soup will be slightly different.

How long does it take to cook bitter leaf soup?

The cooking time for bitter leaf soup can vary depending on the quantity of ingredients and the chosen method. On average, it takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to cook.

What are some popular variations of bitter leaf soup?

Some popular variations of bitter leaf soup include adding ugu (pumpkin) leaves for extra flavor and nutrients, or incorporating ogiri or iru (local Nigerian seasonings) to enhance the taste.

Can I freeze bitter leaf soup?

Yes, you can freeze bitter leaf soup. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer it into airtight containers or freezer bags. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Final Thoughts

Bitter leaf soup is a traditional Nigerian dish that is both delicious and nutritious. Packed with a variety of flavors and textures, this recipe offers a delightful dining experience. To prepare bitter leaf soup, start by thoroughly washing and cooking the bitter leaves to reduce their bitterness. Next, combine the cooked leaves with an assortment of ingredients such as meat or fish, crayfish, palm oil, and spices to create a flavorful broth. Simmer the soup until all the ingredients are well-combined and serve with your choice of accompaniments. This bitter leaf soup recipe is a must-try for those seeking a taste of authentic Nigerian cuisine.

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