Today I made Efo Riro which is one of my favorite vegetable soups. "Efo riro" is a Yoruba word which simply means "Vegetable soup" and it’s enjoyed by many. This is because it’s really versatile and could be eaten with meals such as Rice, Yam and any type of Swallow. When I got to the market to buy the ingredients for cooking this meal, I actually got so confused when it came to choosing which Leaf to use for the soup.There were Various options Such as Shokoyokoto, Efo tete “Green Amaranth” popularly Known as green e.t.c (View leafy vegetables). It’s almost the same as Edikaikong Soup but with a huge difference probably due to the method of preparation and Ingredients used. Then the Iru……Sweet lord!!!, this made this dish simply irresistible. No wonder the whole pot of soup got finished before I could say Jack Robinson!!!
Nigerian Vegetable Soup "Efo riro" Recipe
•Prep time: 15mins
•Cook time: 1 hr 10 minutes
•Total time: 1 hr 25minutes
• 1 medium sized Stock Fish "Panla" a.ka. Okporoko
• 3 Smoked Fish
• 3 Red onion (Dice two, leave 1 whole to blend with the pepper puree)
• 5 Cooking Spoons Palmoil
• 3 Heaped tbsp. Locust beans (Iru)
• 1 cooking spoon Crayfish, Ground
• 4 Seasoning cubes, Crushed
• 1 tsp. Curry powder
• ½ tsp. Thyme
• Salt to taste
• 3 bunches of Shoko yokoto leaves or Green (Efo tete) - Chopped
For soup stock any type of meat such as Goat meat, Cow Intestines "Roundabout", Tripe a.k.a Sharki , Cow Liver, Smoked Cow skin "Pomo", Chicken, Cow meat and Fish Can be used but for this I used only Smoked Fish, Stock fish ( Panla / okporoko) and Cow Beef (Red meat). So here goes…………….
Step 1: Soak the Stock fish in hot water for 10 mins and rinse with cold water. Shred it with your fingers and set aside
Step 2: Remove the bones from the smoked fish, wash and set aside.
Step 4: Chop the shoko leaves with a knife and place in a bowl. Add about ½ teaspoon of salt, pour boiling water over it and place a lid over the bowl. Allow to rest for 15-20mins. Rinse out the shoko and squeeze out all excess water.
Preparation of the pepper puree
Step 1 : Thoroughly Wash the scotch bonnets (Ata rodo), Red bell pepper a.k.a Tatashey (Remove the seeds cos it’s usually bitter), Chilies, 1 Red Onion (optional).
Step 2: Place in a grinding machine and blend. Pour the blend in a small pot and cook till there’s no liquid left. Turn off the burner and set aside.
The main soup preparation
Step 1: In an empty pot, add 5 Cooking spoons of palm oil and leave to heat for about 2mins.
Step 2: Add the chopped onion, Pepper puree and Iru (Locust beans) – Stir fry for 4 mins.
( errrmm!!! Ensure your kitchen is aerated :D)
Step 3: Gently add the soup stock including the meat and fish, 2 seasoning cubes, Crayfish and leave for 6 mins.
Step 4: Add the chopped Shoko or spinach leaves and stir to incorporate the mixture. Leave to cook for 8 mins. Turn off the burner and leave the pot open to let out steam.
Serve with any form of Swallow, Yam or rice.