Nigerian is home to over 200 ethnic groups with different cultures, music, dance, and delicacies. Some of these delicacies make up the most popular Nigerian soups that are not only consumed in Nigeria but in other parts of Africa and aboard.
The popular Nigerian soups are made with lots of vegetables, herbs, spices, and many other ingredients that make them nutrient-dense. This means you can get a lot of health benefits by eating these soups regularly.
Common Nigerian Soups
In this post, we are going to highlight the most popular Nigerian soups, their ingredients, and their health benefits.
Egusi soup could be the most popular Nigerian soup. It is accepted and eaten by almost all ethnic groups due to its enjoyable taste and easy preparation. The soup is made with melon seeds (egusi) fish, bitter leaf (or any leafy vegetable of choice), spices, palm oil, and meat.
Egusi soup is packed with a lot of nutrients due to the number of vegetables used in preparing the soup. These vegetables are a rich source of vitamins and minerals needed for the proper functioning of the body.
Egusi soup contains antioxidant properties that protect the cells of the body from damage due to the oxidation process in the body. It contains vitamin E which promotes skin health and prevents aging.
The vitamin A content of the soup promote eye health and prevent eye diseases that could occur due to the deficiency of vitamin A.
Edikaikong means vegetable. The soup is very popular among the Efik people of Cross River State in Nigeria. It is also popular among other ethnic groups in the country as it is one of the tastiest soup delicacies in Nigeria.
Edikaikong soup is made with mostly vegetables like pumpkin leaves (ugwu leaves), waterleaf, etc. Other ingredients used in making the soup include meat, fish, crayfish, and soup spices.
Due to the use of a lot of vegetables, Edikaikong soup is one of the nutrient-dense soup delicacies that offer a lot of health benefits.
This soup contains a lot of vitamins and minerals. Through these nutrients, it is able to prevent anemia, maintain bone health, form and increase muscle mass, and maintain the health of the nervous system.
A plate of hot delicious ogbono soup and a bowl of eba are good enough to get anyone going for a whole day. This soup is so loved by many Nigerians as it easily fills the stomach quickly and offers a good number of health benefits.
Ogbono soup is a stretchy soup can draw lines on your clothing if you’re don’t eat it carefully. The soup is prepared with Ogbono seeds (African bush mango), fish, crayfish, vegetables, spices, palm oil, ogiri or okpei or ground dawadawa, and salt.
Ogbono soup provides a lot of health benefits. The Ogbono seeds alone can improve heart health, aid in weight loss, act as a pain reliever, enhance the immune system, and control blood sugar levels.
The seeds are able to offer these benefits as they are a rich source of vitamins and minerals.
Okra (Okro) Soup
Okra Soup is one of the lovely soup delicacies consumed by almost all ethnic groups in Nigeria. The main ingredient of the soup is the okra fruit which offers a lot of benefits. To prepare this soup, you’ll need okra fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, palm oil, spices, and herbs.
The Okra seed alone offers a lot of health benefits due to the abundance of nutrients; when mixed with other vegetables, spices, and herbs, it becomes one of the most beneficial soup delicacies in Nigeria.
The soup is a rich source of minerals which aid in reducing stress and lowering cholesterol. The soluble fiber in the soup can help improve heart health, prevent constipation and aid in weight loss.
Okra soup is also a source of vitamins like vitamin A which can help improve eyesight and vitamin C which boosts the immune system.
The popular Calabar soup has become a delicacy for many ethnic groups in Nigeria. Afang soup is a vegetable soup, so you’ll be making use of a lot of vegetables when preparing the soup. The soup is prepared with waterleaf, Afang (ukazi) leaves, fish, palm oil, meat, crayfish, spices, and herbs.
Afang soup is a rich source of vitamins and minerals necessary for the proper functioning of the body. The soup offers the same benefits as other vegetable soup in Nigeria as it uses similar ingredients, however, the cooking process is different.
The Afang leaves (ukazi leaves) are a rich source of protein which acts as an alternative energy source for the body. Other nutrients like Leucine control blood sugar while amino acids like glutamine and glutamic acid aid in proper brain function.
Banga Soup is consumed mostly in the Niger Delta region in Nigeria. However, the soup is indigenous to the ethnic groups of Delta State in Nigeria. The process of preparing banga soup takes longer than that of many other Nigerian soup delicacies, however, the hardwork is rewarded with a sweet-tasting and highly nutritious dish.
Banga soup is prepared with palm fruits, periwinkles, salt, meat, crayfish, leafy vegetables, spices, and herbs. Some local ingredients used in preparing the soup include Ataiko, Irugege, and Oburunbebe stick (Banga stick).
Banga soup is nutrient-dense due to the use of a large number of vegetables and spices in preparing the soup. It contains vitamins like vitamin K and A which aid in blood clotting, building healthy bones, promoting skin health, boosting the immune system and improving eye health.
It is also a rich source of minerals like magnesium which boosts metabolism, reduces insulin resistance and lowers blood pressure.
Peppersoup is a light soup mostly known for its peppery taste. The soup is prepared with meat, fish, herbs, and spices and it is usually taken without any swallow.
The use of herbs, spices, vegetables in making pepper soup makes it an excellent source of a lot of vitamins and minerals. You can get vitamins A, C, E, and K from this soup and minerals like calcium, sodium, and copper.