List of Igbo Soups in Nigeria (Top 10 Nigerian Soups)

The Igbos in Nigeria; are known for their richly made foods. One of which is their soups. Although could be similar, each soup differs based on the method of preparation, and ingredients used in cooking. There are a lot of soups in Igbo land, these soups can be peculiar to indigenous locals in various Eastern states in Nigeria. For the purpose of this article, “Ofe” will be used more often. “Ofe” in Igbo means Soup.

I bring to you 12 of the commonest and most indigenous soups of the Igbo people in Nigeria.
Read on.

List of Igbo soups in Nigeria

1. Ofe Egusi:

This is the most popular soup of the Igbos, although not peculiar to this tribe alone. What makes the difference between tribes is the method of preparation. It can be served at any occasion be it wedding, funeral etc. The ingredients used in making this soup include: grounded melon seeds also known as egusi, stock fish, meat or fish, dried fish, ugwu or bitter leaf depending on your choice of preference, achi, ofo, or ukpo as thickeners etc. It goes well with any swallow: garri or eba, pounded yam, semovita, wheat or corn flour, akpu or fufu etc. It can also be eaten be with rice.

List of Igbo Soups in Nigeria (Top 10 Nigerian Soups)
Egusi soup

2. Ofe Ede:

Also known as cocoyam soup. As the name implies, cocoyam is the major ingredient for making this soup. For some, its cooked as an individual soup; whereas for others, it is used to cook egusi or oha soup and used as a thickener instead. Cocoyam is usually pounded before being used to cook. Garnished with meat or fish, stock fish, crayfish, pepper, vegetables and seasoning cubes or ogiri, ofe ede can be eaten with pounded yam, akpu or fufu, garri etc.

Ofe ede (cocoyam soup)

3. Ofe Oha:

Also known as Ofe Ora, this is a popular soup by the Enugu people. The major ingredient for making this soup is oha leaves or vegetable, which is usually not sliced with a knife, rather it is shredded with the hands and used for cooking. Cocoyam, achi, ukpo or ofo can also be used to thicken the soup, alongside other ingredients. It can be served with any kind of swallow too.

Igbo soups
Ofe oha – an Igbo native soup

4. Ofe Akwu:

Also known as banga or palm nut soup. Preparation for this soup can be tasking as a lot of processes are involved in extracting oil from the palm nut. This oil serves as a substitute to palm oil. The palm nuts are typically boiled and then pounded to give off the oil, and then other basic ingredients such as crayfish, pepper, seasoning cubes, stock or dried fish are added. This soup can serve as both soup and stew for some, and can be eaten with rice. However, it can be eaten with swallows such as garri, fufu, pounded yam etc.

List of Igbo Soups in Nigeria (Top 10 Nigerian Soups)
Ofe Akwu
Credit: BBCigbo

5. Ofe Owerri:

This is a signature soup for the Owerri people. It’s a very expensive food made with a lot of “obstruction” as the people call it. These obstructions include assorted meat, snails, fish, ponmo, dried and stock fish, crayfish, shrimps, etc. Okazi leaf can also be shredded and included in the soup or any vegetable of your choice.

Ofe owerri

6. Ofe Nsala:

Also known as white soup, one thing that differentiates this soup from others is the non-inclusion of palm oil. This soup can be prepared and served to nursing mothers, however, it is mostly predominant among the Rivers and Onitsha people. For some, fresh catfish can be used to make this soup instead of the normal fish. Pounded yam is also used in making this soup as a form of thickener. Utazi leaves can also Ofe nsala goes well with any kind of swallow.

Ofe nsala (white soup)

7.Ofe Onugbo:

Also known as the bitter leaf soup, onugbo soup is a predominant soup for the Anambra and Enugu people. Bitter leaf, which is the major ingredient for making the soup, must be thoroughly washed to reduce the level of bitterness of the leaves. It goes well with any kind of swallow.

Igbo native soups
Butter leaf soup

8. Ofe Okazi:

The major ingredient for the preparation of this soup is the Okazi leaves. Some add ugwu leaves whilst making this soup, depending on preference. Can go just right with any kind of swallow, and thickened with either achi, ukpo, ede or ofo, alongside other basic ingredients like palm oil, crayfish, dried or stock fish, meat, fish etc.

List of Igbo Soups in Nigeria (Top 10 Nigerian Soups)
Ofe okazi

9. Ofe Achi:

Prepared mainly with achi, ofe achi can be spiced with basic ingredients and any kind of leaf. It also goes well with any kind of swallow.

Ofe achi

10. Ofe Utazi:

Made with utazi leaves, it can be mistaken for the bitter leaf soup-ofe onugbo due to its bitterness. Banga oil extract can also be used in making this soup. However, it is not a necessary ingredient, palm oil can still be used. It can be served with any swallow of your choice alongside meat, fish, stock or dried fish.

List of Igbo Soups in Nigeria (Top 10 Nigerian Soups)
Ofe utazi

11. Ogbono Soup:

This is also one of the common soups of the Igbo people. Made from grounded ogbono seeds, ogbono soup is one of the igbo soups that have won the hearts of many. Slimy in nature, it can be served with garri majorly, alongside dried or stock fish, and fish etc.

Ogbono soup

12. Okra soup:

Although not only peculiar to the Igbo people, it is the most affordable and easy to prepare soup in Igbo land. It can also be slimy in nature, and usually consumed mainly with garri (EBA).

List of Igbo Soups in Nigeria (Top 10 Nigerian Soups)
Okra soup


You can’t talk about the Igbo culture, without their foods and soups. To enjoy any of these soups, its best you eat with “your God-given cutlery”-hand; that way you get a mouth-watering, finger-licking, first-hand maximum satisfaction. Yes, I said that.
How are these soups prepared in your locality? Which is more prevalent at your end? Let us know in the comment section.


Stella-maris Achumba


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