Post Image

Food consumption is a life sustaining activity. Amongst the Yoruba of southwestern Nigeria, food is not just a part of their everyday life, it is also an integral part of their religious and ceremonial affairs. Indeed, it is said that the mark of the Yoruba traditional religion is the sharing of their foods with their divinities. The Yoruba know how to enjoy life; they are meat lovers and party lovers too.

Read more about Nigerian Foods

Up for discussion on our food history segment today is Ewedu Soup. Ewedu soup is a popular Nigerian soup that is indigenous to the Yoruba. As can be deduced from the name of the soup, ewedu is the only vegetable used in the preparation of this soup. Ewedu leaves belong to a plant of the corchorus specie. It is also called jute leaves or molokhai. These leaves have the ability to draw like ogbono. They are allegedly medicinal too. Ewedu leaves are said to be used for anti-inflammatory treatment. They are also rich in calcium, iron, phosphorus and potassium.

Ewedu leaves are traditionally mashed with a broom which the Yoruba call ijabe. Ijabe is a small broom with very sharp tips. In these days of stress-free cooking, ijabe has been replaced by the wonderful device, blender. The blender not only purees the leaves better, it also gives one a broom free puree. Besides, it also saves one the arm work associated with ijabe.

Sign up to the Connect Nigeria daily newsletter

Ewedu soup is highly nutritious. It is also believed to aid weight loss so, members of the fitfam club get in here. This soup can also be used in weaning babies. As has already been mentioned, the typical elasticity of this soup derives from the ewedu leaves. However, it is worthy of note that some ewedu leaves, just like some ogbono seeds, do not produce the elasticity that they are known for. When this happens, edible potash comes to the rescue. Adding a little quantity of the potash to ewedu soup, saves it from being a flat, green soup by providing it with the elasticity it requires.

Other ingredients for making this soup includes locust bean which the Yoruba call iru, crayfish, pepper, salt, and seasoning cubes. Ewedu soup is usually paired with stew and assorted meat. It is traditionally served with amala.


Ann Allen, “Food and Culture, Continuity and Change in the Yoruba of West Africa and their Diaspora,”

All Nigerian Foods

Dooney’s Kitchen

Funke Koleosho’s Food Blog

Featured image source: 9jafoodie

Got something you want to read about on our platform? Contact us via

You might also like:
This article was first published on 11th December 2019


Udevi, Obiamaka Angela holds a Master of Arts degree in History & International Studies. She's a freelance writer with a passion for food and healthy living. She can be contacted through her email address,

Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *