Edikang Ikong soup or simply Vegetable Soup is native to the Efiks, people from Akwa Ibom and Cross River states of Nigeria. It is a general notion that the Edikang Ikong soup is very nutritious and this is very much so. Prepared with a generous quantity of pumpkin leaves and water leaves, this Nigerian soup recipe is nourishing in every sense of the word.
It is common for Nigerians to request this soup recipe after a bout of illness as we trust it to replenish whatever was lost during the sickness. But you don’t need to be in a state of convalescence to enjoy this wholesome Nigerian recipe.
Ugu Leaves (subsitute Spinach) — 2 Heads (2 standard Packages of Spinach)
Waterleaf — 2 Heads
Crayfish — 1 Cup
(Dried Fish — 1 Medium
Giant Snails (escargo) — 4
Beef or Goat Meat — 1.5lbs
Kpomo* — 1 lb
Palm Oil — 1.5 cups
Onions — 1 Whole Large
Pepper — 6 to 10 fresh hot or to taste
Seasoning — 1 or 2 cubes of beef stock
Salt — about 2 teaspoons (use discretion
If necessary wash the ugu leaves. Pluck the leaves from the stem. Discard the stems. Collate and chop the leaves into thin (1/4 inch) slices. Set aside. Do same with waterleaves.
Blend crayfish into coase powder using electric grinder.
If African giant snails are available prepare them by cleaning the meat by rubbing with lemon or soaking and massaging in vinegar until all slime is gone and meat is gritty to the touch. Canned escargo is a poor substitute for African giant snails. another substitute for snail may be scallops or any other sea mullusk. However, if any of these are not available, this part of the recipe may be omitted altogether.
Break up the dried fish in a bowl pour in boiling water, add about 2 spoon heaps of salt. Wash the fish in the hot salt water to remove sand and other dirt. Remove fish from salt water and set aside.
Grind peppers to a paste. Set aside.
*Traditionally, kpomo or hide of beef, is also added when preparing Edikaikong soup
What you do (The Cooking)
In a medium sized covered pot, bring all meats (beef, kpomo) but not snails to steam without adding water.
Add beef stock seasoning, 1/4 cup of water and salt, and cook till meat is tender (5 to 15 minutes).
Add waterleaves to meat and beef stock. Stir.
Add the crayfish, stir and let boil until most liquid in the pot evaporates.
Add the snails at this stage so that it will cook just right. Over-cooked snails are leathery, cooked just right, the snails are crunchy and easy to chew.
Add pepper and salt. Stir.
Add the ugu or spinach, stir and allow to boil over (about one minute).
Add the palm oil, stir and let boil for five more minutes.
Turn off heat and serve. Should be able to feed four adults.
African soups are mostly used to eat solid foods e.g pounded yam, fufu or eba..