This is one of those soups that spark up a debate in Nigerian homes. On one side, you have people who swear by ugu (pumpkin leaves), on another, you have people who swear by onugbu (bitter leaf), on yet another side, you have people who like it either way.
I belong in the last category. If I happen to have onugbu, I use it, if I have ugu, I use it, heck, I’ve even used spinach just because, and I loved it.
Today, I present to you the bitter leaf version. My mum wants me to add a disclaimer : She has never made this soup without bush meat (antelope, grass cutter), and she doesn’t know where I got the ‘beef idea’ from. So she has washed her hands off this version. LOL.
It’s hard to find bushmeat here, but if you have access to it, please use it! My mum’s right, there’s a whole different groove to be had when you use dry bushmeat.
- 1kg of beef, cubed
- 400g of dried cod (okporoko), washed
- 400g of cowskin (pomo/kanda), chopped
- 3/4 cup of peanut butter (grind your own)
- Small handful of washed bitterleaf (don’t wash the life out, leave a little bitterness)
- Blend of 6 yellow peppers, 1 cup of dried crayfish and 2 cups of water
- 1 double stock cube
- 3 teaspoons of salt
- 3 tablespoons of oil
- Put the meat and cod into a pot. Add the blended pepper, 1 stock cube, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook over medium heat till meat is done.
- While the meat is cooking, boil the cowskin with 3 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt, for about 10 minutes. Drain.
- When the beef is cooked, add 2 cups of water and the palm oil to it and bring to a boil. Add remaining stock cube and salt. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Put the peanut butter in a bowl, and add 4 tablespoons of stock to it. Mix it till it becomes a light paste, and add the paste to the pot. Stir, and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Scatter the leaves over the soup, stir gently, cook for 3 minutes, and serve.
- You’ll enjoy this with fufu, or over rice.