Who doesn’t love Ogbono soup. If you don’t then ahhh you are missing out on a delicious delicacy
What is Ogbono. Ogbono, also known as Apon is gotten from the wild or bush mango. It is then dried and grinded into a smooth powder. According to some research these bush mangoes help in controlling hunger, lowers cholesterol and heps to control diabetis
Anyway, we love this soup in my home. It was the first thing my baby girl tasted as a baby. I was a new mom and at 5 months, she was in my arms playing while I was trying to eat, she mistakenly dipped her finger into my soup and straight into her mouth and that was it. Everytime I made Ogbono, I would leave out the pepper and she just let her lick the soup with me. Luckily I had the seal of approval from my mid wife. Each kid was different for me. My son ate baby food until he was about 1. When I say baby food I mean like the mashy stuff. I used to mash his meats, potatoes, rice, vegetables etc. Now, he eats Nigerian food with both hands. In fact, it is a beautiful sight.
Ogbono soup reminds me of my mother and how she used to make it with all sorts of vegetables. I have a memory of her bending over a pot of ogbono soup, trying to make sure it tasted right.
One thing though, once you make a decision to cook this soup, one has to becareful as over seasoning can easily occur. This soup has it’s own unique taste as is the same with most Nigerian soups and sauces. If you are not sure of if you have enough salt in your soup, just add some crayfish :)…A little crayfish goes a long way. Also, any vegetable can be used for this soup. I prefer water leaves, but you may use Ugu ie pumpkin leaves or onugbu ie bitter leaves. If you cannot find water leaves, you may use water cress leaves(which is what I used). I got the watercress tip from Atim of Afrolems . Please do check out what she is cooking. She is quite excellent. Another tip is to cook this soup uncovered. According to an old wives tale, the covering of the pot affects the soup’s viscosity. I have never tried cooking it covered, so I wouldn’t know if it is true lol 🙂
Anyway, here is an easy Ogbono recipe for you
- For meats!
- one small boiler hen cut into small sizes
- ½tbsp of dry grinded chili pepper or red pepper flakes
- 1 maggi crayfish or any bouillon
- salt to taste
- One tbsp of crayfish
- 10tbsps of grinded ogbono
- 1small boiler hen
- 1small smoked chicken
- 3-4 medium sized pieces of smoked turkey
- 2 large pieces of dry fish or 6 small pieces
- 1-2tbsps of dry grinded pepper or chili flakes
- 80mls of palm oil
- 2tbsps of crayfish
- 1disc of dawadawa(optional)
- One half of knorr or any bouillon cube(optional)
- 3-4 cups water leaf or water cress leaves
- 2tbsp of uziza leaves or spicy curry leaves
- salt to taste
- Cut and wash the raw chicken into a pot and season with salt, the whole cube of maggi crayfish, a tbsp of crayfish powder and the dry pepper. Do not add any water. Let the meat cook in it's own juices until it dries up a bit; then add some water and check for seasonings, Add some more salt if needed and let the meat cook until tender
- In another pot boil the smoked chicken and turkey until tender. Throw away the water in which you cooked them then cut into desired sizes. I always remove my turkey meat from the bones and toss the skin(the boiling and removing of the skin helps reduce the salt content of the smoked meats)
- In a dry mill blend the dawadawa and set aside
- wash and drain the fish of any impurities(soak in hot water if tough)
- wash, drain and shred the water leaves with your fingers
- Meanwhile, in an empty pot, pour in the palm oil and let it melt. Remove the oil from the heat; then pour in your grinded ogbono along with a tbsp or two of water and stir in one direction.
- Add the smoked meats into the pot of cooked meats along with the melted ogbono and dawadawa and stir
- add the grinded dry pepper and the crayfish. Taste for seasonings and add salt if needed. Do not cover the pot in order not to loose viscosity(old wives tale, but it works). If the soup seems too thick please add a bit of water. Let the soup come to a simmer for about 10minutes; then add the dry fish and uziza leaves. Check for seasonings. Add salt, crayfish or the bouillon if needed. Cook for a minute; then stir in the water leaves and set aside. The heat from the soup will soften the leaves. Serve with any solid of your choice. I had mine with bulgur swallow