How to prepare Edo Black Soup Delicacy.


Black soup is a popular and tasteful (Edo) Esan soup, it is quite delicious and easy to prepare. This turned out really delicious, I love it and I’m guessing you are gonna love it too.

I have been exploring foods by other Nigerian ethnic groups and today we are gonna be making the popular edo (esan) black soup.

It really doesn’t matter your language or ethnic group, if you try this soup and get it right, you are going to have the same experience as those that have been enjoying it for ages.

Most people complain about the dark color, it gets the color from the ground leaves.

Same leave you already probably know and use for other Nigerian soups. The difference is that we chose to grind it in this recipe. There are many benefits of eating this soup

What you find below is a delicious plate of black soup, the exact way it is made by Edo people, most people focus on the color and forget that it is really not all about the color. It is super tasty and offers several health benefits.

There are three basic leaves for making this delicious soup. While some argue extensively that only two are important, it is obvious that all the three are necessary. These leaves are actually ground together with the native Edo grinding stone or the electric blender.


Some people make black soup with just Bitter leaf and effirin (scent leaf) while others prefer it the exact way I prepared it. I really think this is a way better than every other combination

The ingredients List

2 cups of Washed bitter leaves
Half cup of sliced Scent leaves
2 cups of sliced uziza leaves
300g of roasted fish
1kg of assorted meat.
half cup of ground crayfish
Ground Pepper to taste
3 seasoning cubes.
7 pieces of stockfish ear
4 cups of palm fruit sauce.
Salt to taste.
Serving: 6

Here are some of the ingredients that I used while making this delicious black soup. I did grind the uziza leaves and scent leaves together as you can find below, while the bitter leaf was ground alone as you can see in the bottom-right plate.

What you find at the top-right is palm fruit sauce, then a combination of ground crayfish and red pepper at the top left and cleaned roasted fish at the top-middle.
making black soup

This soup is actually made with banga sauce (Palm fruit sauce) and not palm oil, just buy 4 cups of banga (palm fruit), boil for 15 minutes, pound with mortar and pestle, add water, filter to get the sauce, wash and filter to get 4 cups of thick banga sauce and set aside.

How to Cook Black Soup

Grind all the leaves together, these ground leaves act as the soup thickener and also gives it the black looking color, hence the name – black soup. You can blend to paste by adding a little water to ease up the movement of the blades. I ground the bitter leaves separately while the uziza and scent leaves were mixed together.

Wash and boil the meat with half a cup of onions, 1 seasoning cube and a pinch of salt. Cook for 30-45 minutes, until the meat becomes soft and easily chewable, you can add a little water to stop it from getting burned.

Add the dry fish (hot-water-washed), stockfish, crayfish, add the banga sauce and allow to cook for up to 15 minutes until the soupy mixture thickens.

This picture below gives you a visual illustration, you can see that the soup is already thick, thanks to the banga (palm fruit) sauce.
Omoebe esan

Add the ground leaves, stir, add 2 seasoning cubes, salt to taste, allow to simmer for another five minutes and you are done.
Making black soup

As usual, serve with eba, fufu amala or semo.

NOTE: If you have cow liver included, you don’t wanna cook it over 20 minutes. you can start parboiling it with the rest of the meat but you have to remove it after 20 minutes and add them later when the soup is almost done.

Black soup recipe

Black Soup Recipe

Chy Anegbu

Black soup, when combined with any one of the many Nigerian swallows, becomes a delicacy in Edo state Nigeria. This soup is indigenous to the Esan people in Edo state Nigeria but also loved and eaten by many Nigerians


  • 2 cups of Washed bitter leaves
  • Half cup Sliced Scent leaves
  • 2 cups of sliced uziza leaves
  • 300 g of roasted fish
  • 1 kg of assorted meat.
  • Half cup Ground crayfish
  • Ground Pepper to taste
  • 3 seasoning cubes.
  • 7 pieces of stockfish ear
  • 4 cups of palm fruit sauce.
  • Salt to taste.


  • Start by grinding the leaves – the bitter leaves should be ground separately, add the uziza and scent leaves should be ground together.
  • Season the meat and precook for 30-45 mins. (Use 1 seasoning cube and a pinch of salt). Cook the meat until it is soft and chewable.
  • Add the banga sauce, washed stockfish, dried fish and crayfish.
  • Allow cooking for 10-15 minutes, the soup should thicken.
  • Add the ground leaves, stir, add 2 seasoning cubes, salt to taste, allow to simmer for another five minutes and you are done.
  • Black soup is served with Nigerian swallow (eba, fufu, semo or pounded yam)


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