Ugu Soup (Ofe Ugu, A Nigerian Soup)

This Nigerian soup recipe is one of those recipes that aren’t popular anymore, and I wonder why, seeing that the soup is so delicious. It has become a go-to soup in my house after discovering it by accident. In fact, if not for my mother and mother-in-law, I would have thought I created this recipe.

how to cook ugu soup

Ugu Soup

Some time ago, I was going to make some soups for the freezer. To save on cooking time, I always make about 4 soups to stock my freezer for some time. That day, I had made Oha soup, Egusi soup, and Ogbono. I realized I had made a mistake with the ingredients I bought.

When I was going to the market, I had it in mind to make Bitterleaf soup, but I forgot to buy the bitter leaves. So, after making the above soups, I discovered I had pounded cocoyam for the bitterleaf soup, but no leaves. And I had loads of ugu (pumpkin leaves) left over.

I just said, you know what? I’m going to add this ugu to the cocoyam thickened stock, and whatever happens, at least HACE and I would take it as an experiment gone wrong. Fast forward to when I tasted the dish when it was ready. It was fantastic! I was now feeling like superman for coming up with a very good recipe. Even HACE was singing my praises.

Up until yesterday, after making this again to post on the blog. I put a picture of it on my BBM and, almost immediately, my mom and mom-in-law sent me messages. They were both like “long time no see this soup. How did you remember it? Who gave you the recipe?” My big head just got deflated fast. can you imagine? So this soup wasn’t my creation?! *sobbing*

Anyway, here we are. Ofe Ugu turns out to be one of those Nigerian soup recipes that people don’t make so much anymore. One of those recipes Grandma made (not my Grandma, but somebody’s Grandma, somewhere. lol) It’s a really nice soup to have in your inventory, and a very welcome change from when you’re tired of the run-of-the-mill soups at your disposal. I will teach you how to cook ugu soup now!


Ugu Soup (Ofe Ugu, A Nigerian Soup)


  • 1kg of beef or goat, cut into chunks
  • 300g of dried fish, washed and torn into bite size pieces
  • 300g of stockfish, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups of shelled periwinkles
  • 4 medium bunches of ugu/pumpkin leaves, chopped or shredded
  • 4 yellow pepper/ose nsukka, ground
  • 1 teaspoon of ground dried cameroon pepper
  • 1/2 cup of palm oil
  • 1 wrap of ogili (fermented oil bean paste)
  • 10 cocoyams, boiled and pounded
  • 2 tablespoons of ground dried crayfish
  • 2 stock cubes
  • salt, to taste


Boil the meat with some salt and stock cubes in a large pot. When the meat is a bit soft, add the dried fish and stock fish. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the palm oil, crayfish, yellow pepper, and cameroon pepper. Stir well. Bring to the boil.

Add the cocoyam paste by tablespoonfuls, and add the ogili. (don’t be scared, the lumps of cocoyam paste will melt into the soup)

After about 10 minutes, the soup will be thickened. Taste for salt.

Add the chopped ugu leaves, stir, and remove from your stove.

You can add snails, ponmo, dried prawns to this soup. The choice is yours. Ideally, this soup is to be enjoyed once. If you want to freeze this, like me, that’s fine too. What I do is when warming the soup, I add in some freshly sliced ugu to rejuvenate it.


Hi, my name is Chidinma. I’ve been happily married for 4+ years (actually almost 6 years now), and my husband and I have been trying to have our own children for almost all the time we’ve been married, with no success…yet. We haven’t lost hope (far from it), and we believe it will happen very soon.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 3 comments
Muma - May 5, 2016

lol, its an old soup though i think its forr anambras , i love the soup wella, deema try adding uzuza leaves next time to see how that one tastes

crowncare - January 20, 2017

Hello dear, its good to learn a new trick to making the soup. thanks i’ve been enjoying reading your post so far

Lilian - April 25, 2017

Lovely soup


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