Recently, I consciously increased the amount of leafy vegetables consumed in my household. One of the vegetables I focused on the Ewedu (Jew’s Mallow). This is because it is a vegetable that is accepted and loved and so I thought about ways to increase the consumption.
When I prepared the Ewedu, it was usually the traditional way; cooked with locust beans and dried shrimps, blended and served with tomato/pepper stew and the main carbs like Amala, Lafun, and so on. I realized that when I blended, the entire family could consume just about half a bunch of Ewedu and I would freeze the extra for another day.
So now, I use the Ewedu leaves whole as opposed to blending. This increased the quantity that we ate greatly.
I also experimented and I came up with the Ewedu and Efinrin soup. This has also increased the number of times we eat Ewedu and it has added some variety to our diet. This is a soup loved by everyone – Adult to baby – in the family and I thought to share with you.
Ewedu and Efinrin Soup
1 bunch Efinrin (African Basil; Scent leaves) N50 worth
1 bunch of Ewedu (Jew’s Mallows; Corchorus Olitorius) N150
3 cooking spoons Pepper blend
1 medium onion
1 Cooking spoon Palm oil
2 cups Beef stock (chicken stock) or water
Meat/chicken (amount you need) (precooked)
1 Piece Smoked fish (outer skinned removed)
3 Tablespoons Dried Shrimps (crayfish)
2 teaspoons Ogiri or Iru (Iru is traditionally used for Ewedu)
Salt to taste
Place your pot on the fire (medium heat), and add your palm oil.
Add your thinly chopped onions and 1 tablespoon of dried shrimps. After about one minute, add your pepper blend and leave to cook for 3-5 minutes.
Add your seasonings, meat, fish, dried shrimps, and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes. Add 2 cups of stock or water to the pot and bring to boil.
Adjust for taste.
Add your thinly chopped Efinrin and allow to cook for 2 minutes. Then add your roughly chopped Ewedu and stir. Ensure almost equal quantity of Efinrin and Ewedu.
Allow to simmer for 3 minutes and its ready.
Serve with your favorite swallow.
Please note: that the size of bunch of Efinrin and Ewedu might differ from market to market and I did not measure the leaves using cups so use your ‘native’ eyes to judge when adding the vegetables so that they are not too much. If you like it really ‘stewy’, you can add a little less vegetable.
Also, I added periwinkles to my soup but this is optional. I did not write this in the recipe.
You can also prepare it the way you prepare your Okra soup; only replacing the okra with the leafy vegetables.
This recipe is a work in progress and I would really love your feedback on it.
My goal remains to inspire you to eat better and live better.