Efo riro (Vegetable soup)

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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





Stock fish

Stock fish


Pomo- cut in pieces

Pomo- cut in pieces


Water snails


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.


Shoko leaves blanched in hot water for 5 minutes

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.

Azu :-).

**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.


  1. ifeanyi says:

    Nice,…I would save the recipe and surprise my dearly beloved this holiday. Just can’t wait.
    I thought it was a “law” to spice up the meat with certain “beloved” spices for it to taste and smell nice, but if you say otherwise,…no sweat!
    I’m up for the challenge.
    Thanks Azu

    • Lol! You are welcome Ifeanyi and I’m glad you are taking up the challenge of not using rosemary and thyme to spice the meat!I’m sure your loved ones will appreciate the effort! Enjoy!:-)

  2. […] Efo riro (Vegetable soup) (clarascornerng.wordpress.com) […]

  3. […] in them which is why most soups are named after the dominant vegetable for example: Oha soup , Efo riro , Egusi soup , Edikaikong , Okra soup etc. That is to say the soup will come out fantastic […]

  4. […] sure the leaves stay long and chewy is part of what makes the soup Ofe Onugbu. Well, except for Efo riro , Edikaikong and Afang, I prefer light sprinkles of veggies in soups that have sauce as their […]

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