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Owo soup is the traditional soup of the Benin people of Nigeria. It does not require the use of vegetables like most Nigerian soups. Here’s what you would need to prepare it, and how.


  • Meat (cow meat, chicken, turkey, snail, etc)
  • Garri
  • Periwinkle (optional)
  • Dry pepper
  • Smoked/Dry fish
  • White native salt
  • Starch
  • Crayfish
  • Seasoning cubes
  • Palm oil
  • Potash


Cooking directions

  • Wash and debone your dry/smoked fish properly to remove the sand and guts.
  • Wash the periwinkles properly with clean lukewarm water to get rid of the dirt and mud, then boil them for about 5 minutes this is to further clean the shells. Drain the water after five minutes and poke out the meat from within the shell.
  • Wash and season your meat.
  • When the meat is well cooked, remove it from the pot, leaving just the stock. Add about 1.5ltrs water to the stock and let it heat up for 3 minutes.
  • Add 2 full cooking spoons of native palm oil and allow to cook for few minutes.
  • In a bowl, sieve in about 3 handfuls of yellow garri and water. Add this into the pot while stirring with a spatula, keep stirring this till it looks almost creamy.
  • At this point add your meat, dried pepper, crayfish and periwinkles and leave to cook for a few minutes.
  • In a small bowl, add 2 teaspoons of salt, mix with native salt (grey in colour), palm oil, 2 cups of warm water and blend into a light paste.
  • Reduce the heat and pour in this mixture into the pot bit by bit all the while stirring slowly with your wooden spatula to avoid lumps forming.
  • Let the soup boil still on low heat for about 10 minutes. At this stage, you have to be watching the soup because the potash may start to foam.
  • Put off the heat but don’t cover the pot immediately.
  • Serve with unripe plantain, boiled yam or garri.

Enjoy ?


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This article was first published on 29th June 2018


Amara Adanna Ogbonna is a Christian, foodie, and lover of arts. She spends most of her time on Facebook.

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