Black soup often referred to as Omoebe is lauded for its medicinal capabilities. Originating from Edo state, it earned its name because of the oxidisation of some of the vegetables. The oxidisation causes the vegetables to darken which is where the soup got its name.
The iron content from the ugwu (pumpkin leaves), the hypertension reduction property of the bitter leaves and the scent leaves for its anti inflammatory properties make this soup a great addition to your diet.
When I had asked my Benin friend for her favourite dish was, she immediately started raving about this black soup. She shared all the benefits that I have listed above. She promised that if I make it, it would become my favourite soup. I would say if you have never had it before, the texture takes some getting used to.
Traditionally, a stone is used to grind the vegetables to a smoother texture. However, if you do not have a grinding stone, you can use a food processor or a blender with a bit of water. That helps to achieve the texture to some degree. Another point to note is if you are using fresh bitter leaves, you may need to wash it multiple times to get rid of a lot of the bitter taste. Some people use baking soda to wash the bitter leaves or edible potash as that helps as well.
Recipe for Nigerian Black Soup
1 bunch of Bitter Leaf
1 bunch of Scent leaf (Efirin) – Substitute Basil
Half a bunch of Ugwu (Pumpkin Leaves)
1/2 kg of Beef
1/2 kg of Shaki(Tripe)
Half a kg of Pomo (Cow Skin)
1 cup of Crayfish pieces
3 pieces of Stock fish
1 piece of dry fish
3 cooking spoons of Palm nut cream
1 tablespoon of crayfish powder
3 scotch bonnet peppers
2 yellow peppers
1/2 bulb of Onions
Take out a pot, wash, season and bring to boil the beef, shaki, pomo, stockfish with onions, scotch bonnet peppers and seasoning cubes.
Using a blender or with a grinding stone, wash your vegetables and blend the vegetables till smooth.
Check meats for those that are soft and take out of the pot and allow the others to soften before returning the others to the pot.
Add the palm-nut cream, crayfish powder, crayfish pieces and smoked fish(broken into pieces) and taste for seasoning.
Allow the soup simmer for an additional four minutes on low heat and add the grounded vegetables with the chopped yellow pepper.
Let the soup simmer for an additional two minutes and serve hot with any swallow of your choice.