Efo riro is mainly a yoruba soup, leaves used in making it is called Shoko, or like my Aunt in Festac likes to call it – Shoko yokoto :-). We Ibos call it ‘eri ami onu’ interpreted ‘licking your lips while eating’ :-D.
I love vegetable soups, but growing up I didn’t because most vegetable soups were made thick with hardly any water. I had problems swallowing, I preferred fluid soups such as Nsala 😀 my favourite actually, Egusi, Okra, Ogbono, bitter leaf soup was a struggle too because of the many leaves in it so I preferred the liquid part of the soup.
Now, I make vegetable soup and simply add a little water so I have my juicy soup, as I like it :-). Today’s own is no different, though I admit the juice in the soup gets thicker over night so basically it tastes better the next day after all the ingredients have spent quality time together getting to know each other :-), its called stewing.
This was one of the soups for this month and I usually make quite an amount, if you are like me that loves to enjoy the fruits of her labour then this same quantity will work for you…..I mean, who makes soup everyday? :-|.
Here’s what you need.
Ingredients: 4 litre soup
5 huge bunches of Shoko leaf (when cut before blanching it fills 1 1/2 custard bucket)
15-20 pieces of goat meat
8 pieces of Shombo pepper (chilli)
10 pieces Tatashe
4 small tomatoes (just for its juice)
1/4 cup Iru (fermented locust beans-yoruba version)
1 small ball Okpei (Ibo version fermented locust beans)
1 cup crayfish
Handful water snails
4 big pieces of Pomo
2 fleshy pieces of Stock fish
2 Atarodo (red scotch bonnets)
3 Ose Nsukka ( fresh Cameroon pepper)
2 cooking spoons palm oil
2 Maggi crayfish cubes
2 Maggi cubes
1/2 teaspoon ground Cameroon pepper
Salt to taste
Wash the goat meat thoroughly with salt, place in a pot and season with ground Cameroon pepper, 2 maggi cubes and a pinch of salt. Cook for at least 20-25 minutes adding a little water at a time or until meat is soft.
When the meat is half way done, add the washed stock fish, Pomo and water snails to the pot.
While the meat is cooking, pick, wash and blanch the Shoko leaves in hot water.
Once you remove the leaves from hot water, run under cold water to stop the cooking, cut into thin slices, set aside.
Roughly blend crayfish, fresh peppers, Okpei, tatashe, tomato and shombo together with 1 cup of water.
Once the meat is soft as you like it, strain meat, snails, stock fish and pomo from whatever meat stock is remaining in the pot.
Break up the stock fish into small chewable pieces.
In a large pot, heat 2 cooking spoons of palm oil for 3 minutes, add the pepper blend and cover the pot allowing it to fry for at least 10 minutes undisturbed.
Once the pepper mix shows signs of drying out, add the Iru, stock fish, pomo, goat meat and water snails.
Season with 2 cubes of Maggi crayfish, stir properly to incorporate ingredients. Cover the pot and allow to boil for 8-10 minutes.
Stir in the vegetables and allow to boil for 5 minutes. Check for salt.
I added 1 cup of water to the soup for extra juice but thats purely optional.
Bon a petit!
Sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour because the soup should last for at least 2 weeks.
**Points to note: please the ingredients for this soup didn’t come with certain beloved spices such as : garlic, ginger, thyme, rosemary, curry, sage, basil, parsley etc…because once you add any of them, the flavour profile of the soup changes and it’s no longer vegetable soup nor Efo riro. 🙂 just saying.