Ewedu - Ooyo (Jute Leaves) Soup

My post today is about one of my favourite soups, and since finding out more about the nutritional benefits of the vegetable from which the soup is made, it has featured even more in my diet! Read more about Ewedu leaves hereIf you don't know much about this vegetable, especially its nutritional benefits you must read this post.

Ewedu or Ooyo soup, as called by the Yoruba people of Nigeria, is a rich, lush dark green mucilaginous soup eaten typically with yam flour foofoo (aka amala).

Prepping & Cooking Ewedu Leaves
To cook ewedu, the leaves must first be carefully picked leaving behind the though stalk and stem of the jute plant. These leaves are then thoroughly washed to remove all traces of soil or bugs. The leaves can then be cooked in the traditional way or by applying some modern techniques...

Traditional Method: the washed leaves are boiled in some water with added condiments, typically ijabe. The ijabe also help to create bubbles in the soup, a desirable property the resulting soup must have. Boiled or smoked mackerel fish may also be added to the soup at the last stage before serving,
locust beans, melon seed paste and ground crayfish, boiled until soft the leaves are then torn into small micro pieces using the traditional whisk called

Modern method: many modern methods have been applied to cooking ewedu soup. A lot of improvisation have been applied due to the unavailability of ingredients or equipment in particular the traditional whisk; ijabe.
  • A: the washed leaves are chopped (minced) into micro bits using a chopping board and the boiled with the other condiments. This method does not require the use of the ijabe, but is really crucial to ensure that the leaves are finely chopped.
  • B: the washed leaves are blended in a food processor with some water and this blend is then cooked with the other condiments. This method is really effective as  the leaves are well blended into the desirable micro pieces.
  • C: the washed leaves are first cooked with the other condiments and the transferred into a food processor and blended into fine pieces. A hand held blender can also be used to brake the leaves into the micro pieces.

Ewedu soup is a bit of an acquired taste, for some, especially because of its mucilaginous texture. But I promise you, if well prepared, this soup offers a unique taste and exotic flavours which are better experienced than described. In addition, ewedu soup is fully loaded with powerful anti-oxidant vitamins and minerals, which can significantly improve you general well being, now why would anyone want to pass that over?.....

Did you know: Queen Cleopatra of Egypt used these leaves as her youth enhancing treatment, anti-ageing elixir because the leaves are so rich in many anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals. In Egypt today, jute leaves are still quite popular, where they are cooked and eaten as a rather thin, green soup..... molokhiya soup, served with bread or rice.

Cook some today. You can eat it on its own with added seafood of choice or serve some with amala or pounded yam as shown in the pictures.

What you need
  • Two bunches of ewedu leaves
  • 2-3 table spoons of ground dried crayfish
  • 1-2 table spoons of locust beans (optional)
  • 2-3 table spoons of melon seed paste (made by adding warm water to ground melon seeds) - optional
  • 1 bouillon cube (or some vegetable stock)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Small kaun stone (trona)

What to do 
  1. Pick the tender leaves, ensuring the stalks are not picked. Wash leaves thoroughly to remove traces of soil. 
  2. Put half a cup of water into a blender and add the ewedu leaves a handful at a time, blending using the pulser mode. Because I want to end up with a relatively thick soup, the leaves have to be blended with the minimal quantity of water as possible. 
  3. So continue to add the leaves a handful at a time until all leaves have been blended. also blend the locust beans with the leaves. 
  4. Pulse blend until the leaves become blended into small micro pieces.  
  5. In a pot heat up half a cup of water, dissolve the kaun and bouillon cube. Then add the blended leaves and stir well. Commence cooking under moderate heat. 
  6. If using, scoop small dollops of the melon seed paste into the pot along with the leaves. 
  7. Allow the soup to bubble through and cook for about 10 minutes stirring continuously to avoid it bubbling over. Sprinkle the ground crayfish over the bubbling soup and stir. 
  8. Add some salt to taste. Cook for another 5 minutes. 
  9. Soup is best served with red pepper sauce/assorted meat stew and amala, or pounded yam.



Post a Comment


Follow Us