Weekend Recipe | Waterleaf Soup

 Weekend Recipe | Waterleaf Soup

I was with friends and their husbands the other day and the subject of Nigerian favorite foods came up and you could see the way the men were flexing muscles, raising their voices to vote for ‘swallow’ and soup. I am still trying to understand the psychology of this love for swallows. By the way, some women also prefer this type of food to anything else. But one thing I do know for sure is that many women are permanently seeking out new and interesting offerings in the soup department to delight their ‘oga at the top’…
Waterleaf is everywhere and is a relatively cheap vegetable particularly when the rainy season is around the corner.I find it quite a bland vegetable and so needs to be paired with some other vegetable with some character.This is where bitter leaf does a good job of balancing this taste. If you like pepper like I do this is one soup that requires pepper.
Vegetable soup always provides an opportunity to include lots of vitamins in the diet. When I squeeze out bitter leaf juice I do drink it up …plenty iron and vitamin E in there. It’s quite bitter though, this is for ‘he women’
So get ready to have another delightful Nigerian soup with your swallow. Enjoy!

Cooking tip: Ensure to cook the meat stock till it dries out so that the soup is not too watery, water leaf brings with it a lot of water.

8 pieces Beef
4 pieces Cow leg
Handful dry Prawns
Handful smoked Fish
5 handfuls Waterleaf( chopped)
1  ball Bitter leaf ( washed)
2 tablespoons ground Crayfish
Dry Pepper to taste
2 cooking spoons Palm oil
Seasoning to taste
Salt to taste


  1. Season and stem your meats till cooked.
  2. Add the fish, prawns, and crayfish and cook till the meat stock dries up
  3. Taste soup and correct seasonings and add the oil and cook for about 3 minutes
  4. Add the bitter leaf and water leaf and cook for about 3 minutes. Avoid stirring the pot
  5. When you add the water leaf initially so the soup does not become slimy. Allow the leaves to blanch before you stir.
  6. Serve with any swallow of choice.

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