I have liked Egusi soup for as long as I remember. Edikang ikong on the other hand didn’t become a favourite until I was a teenager. According to my mum, I would pick out all the vegetable and fish until there was just a little liquid left of the soup, before I would put a morsel of the meal in my mouth. Then once I hit my teens and started cooking family meals, everything changed and I couldn’t get enough of the soup. It is still a regular in my own home today.
Between taking on more kitchen duties and finding new favourites dishes, I started to learn more about how to cook a wider variety of soups. And between the Naija heat and perennial power issues, I learned which soup type stays fresh when preserved well and which ones don’t. If you are trying to figure what common Nigerian soups you can cook in bulk, this list should give you a fair idea of how to plan and prepare your meals.
Surprise! Egusi soup notoriously goes bad easily, but it can actually be preserved for long periods and still taste good if handled and frozen with care.
Banga tends to last long and can even taste better with time. However, it’s still important to handle it with care and freeze properly though.
If you don’t add any vegetables to your ogbono soup, it can stay preserved and fresh, especially if it’s also well refrigerated.
I personally don’t like eating Afang beyond the first day. But it does last rather long for a vegetable soup. It’s best consumed fresh though.
Maybe it’s the bitter leaf, but onugbu (bitter leaf soup) tends to stay fresh when preserved. As long as it’s warmed overnight or well refrigerated.
This medicinal Edo soup made from blended greens tends to keep almost as well as Banga soup. That’s if you can get past the appearance though.
Just like afang, efo riro keeps well preserved for a vegetable soup, perhaps because of the type of vegetables used. It’s still better consumed fresh as well.
Soups not tostock
Everybody knows that Egusi doesn’t last long without extra care. If you don’t have a stable source of electricity, don’t stock up on this well loved soup.
Oha leaves already require special handling before the soup is even cooked, and they are no different once put in the soup. They tend to shrink, so it’s better eaten fresh.
This favourite doesn’t keep very well, unfortunately. The vegetables tend to ‘cook’ further when refrigerated or warmed, making the soup limp and stale.
Ofe nsala is not as sensitive as Egusi, but it doesn’t keep well unless well frozen. Even at that, it’s best consumed within a few days.
I’m not sure why, but this soup doesn’t keep very well. Whatever the reason though, ewedu soup is rather easy to make, so try to eat it fresh.
Okra soup may not sour as easily as Egusi does, but it doesn’t last very long either. After all, it’s a vegetable and naturally, it tastes better when eaten fresh.
I hope this helps to make your meal planning and prepping a little easier. The general rule of thumb is, handle all soups with care and try to eat vegetable soups as fresh as possible. Feel free to share your own soup experience.
Happy planning and cooking. Happy eating!