Bitterleaf soup
AeetesQ, African Food

Bitterleaf soup and 5 other health benefits and ways to use bitter leaf.

Bitterleaf soup is a staple in Nigerian homes, not only for its delicious taste but also because it pairs well with several swallows, specifically pounded yam and semolina. It is used for its health benefits and medicinal capabilities.

How to wash the bitter leaf

Bitter leaf has a bitter taste. Washing bitter leaf helps reduce the bitterness of bitterleaf, leaving just enough bitter taste and a more balanced flavour palette in any dish. Although in other cases, we take the juice extracted from washing bitter for its medical capabilities, for example, managing diabetes. This first step in scrubbing bitter leave is rinsing in water to remove dust and dirt from the leaves.

We can wash bitter leaf in several ways using mainly salt and water.

  • If you need to wash bitterleaf for soup, the bitter leaf can simply be salted and boiled for a few minutes to reduce its bitterness.

The best way to wash Bitterleaf for medicine is

  1. Peal other leaves from the vein and stalk
  2. rub between the palm and watch its extract (or lather) turn from dark green to white
  3. We can use a blender for convenience, although using your hands can give better results.
  4. We can drink the extract for medical while the leftover chaff can be added to soups or preserved by drying.

Bitter leaf soup and other African soups are bitterleaf pairs well.

The bitter, then sweet taste of bitter leaf comes through when added to any meal. Besides this bittersweet taste, the unique flavour of bitter leaf is a staple in Nigerian meals, especially:

Popular okra soup served with garri on a white plate.
  • Egusi Soup: Bitter leaf can balance out and enhance the overly sweet taste of Egusi (Melon). Most people often add a handful of bitter leaves with pumpkin (Ugu leave) a leaf. Sometimes, Black peppercorn leaves and/or seeds are added for a kick in the aroma of any African dish.

Bitter leaf soup and other African soups are bitterleaf pairs well.

The bitter, then sweet taste of bitter leaf comes through when added to any meal. Besides this bittersweet taste, the unique flavour of bitter leaf is a staple in Nigerian meals, especially:

Bitterleaf soup and 5 other health benefits and ways to use bitter leaf.
Top view (Flat lay) of Nigerian food, Oha soup with beef served with garri on a white plate.
  • Egusi Soup: Bitter leaf can balance out and enhance the overly sweet taste of Egusi (Melon). Most people often add a handful of bitter leaves with pumpkin (Ugu leave) a leaf. Sometimes, Black peppercorn leaves and/or seeds are added for a kick in the aroma of any African dish.
  • Okra Soup: We often serve Okra soup without vegetables, although for added nutritional benefits and flavour, we can add a range of vegetables to okra soup, including bitter leaf, pumpkin leaves and spinach.
  • Vegetable soup: vegetable soup is a staple Nigerian soup made with assorted meat, such as stockfish, dry fish, cow skin (Kpomo)and beef prepared with a variety of African vegetables, including water leaf, pumpkin, spinach, scent leaf and basically every vegetable within range. However, note that, while making vegetable soup, you must add each vegetable according to how fast or slow they cook. For instance, bitter leaf takes more time to cook. Therefore, it is added first, and waterleaf quick; therefore, it is added last.

Step by step on how to prepare bitterleaf soup

Wash bitter leaves, boil in hot water and rewash in cold water. Strain out the water and keep it aside and focus on making your stock. The richness in proteins and vitamins is one reason Bitterleaf soup benefits the body. Some Bitterleaf soup ingredients include:

Ingredients for Bitterleaf soup
A spread of assorted meat
  • Bitter leaf
  • Cocoa yam or other thickeners
  • Beef
  • Fish
  • Pepper
  • Crayfish
  • okpehie (locust beans)

how to cook Nigerian bitterleaf soup

Begin by preparing the stock for your soup.. check out our next post

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