Best Kale Soup Recipe: Nigerian Kale Soup

Kale soup is an adapted version of Nigeria’s vegetable soup, Efo-riro. It is another local name for Nigerian vegetable soup.

Kale leaves is used in place of efo-tete or fluted pumpkin (ugu) leaves to make this popular Nigerian Efo riro (Yoruba name) soup. Kale is Efo Igbo or igba in Yoruba.

Another Kale’s name is borecole, this green vegetable can be cooked or eaten raw. It belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables just like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts.

Kale Farming In Nigeria

Kale (Brassica oleracea) is grown mostly for its edible green leaves. Depending on the type, a kale plant has green or purple leaves and the central leaves do not form a head.

Kale is known to be close to wild cabbage and it is also called Leaf Cabbage. The good news today is that kale has made an appearance in Nigeria.

It is considered as one of the promising herbs for the 2019 neutriceutical market in Nigeria.

You can simply recognize it by its curly leaves, always arranged like a bouquet without a head.  Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables and a nutritional powerhouse. It is rich in the type of antioxidants for preventing various cancers. It also has cholesterol-lowering effects which protect against heart disease.

Although you can steam young green kale leaves, or even eat them raw however, fully grown green kale leaves needs boiling to make it tender.

Kale contain enough vitamins and minerals that boiling does not alter or make much less nourishing. Actually, soft kale is easier to assimilate, and its nutritional contents are quick to absorb.

How do you soften Kale for cooking?

To soften your kale, you need to follow the following steps:

Step 1

Firstly, get rid of all faded leaves and strong stems. Wash the kale leaves in a large bowl. Shake the leaves in water to remove sand and bugs. Drain in a strainer.

Step 2

Secondly, roll up the kale leaves and chop/shred them diagonally into slices 1/2-inch thick. Sprinkle a little salt.

Step 3

Then, put a small part of the kale on your palm and gently massage using both hands until it releases water. Keep on till all the kale leaves are softer.

Step 4

Now, your kale leaf for making soup or stew.

Kale Soup / Efo Riro Recipe – How to Make Efo Riro

To cook efo riro soup, you need the following:


  • 1 bunch of fresh Kale (substitute with efo tete/ugu/spinach/water leaf)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato puree
  • ½ onions diced
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Seasoning cube (Optional)
  • 1 teaspoon curry
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Cameroon pepper
  • Salt to taste


  1. Firstly, add the olive oil in a medium-sized pan
  2. Secondly, put the diced onions once hot and saute for 5 minutes or until transparent. Add the tomato puree and fry.
  3. Thirdly and most importantly, fry the tomato puree in the oil to get out the sour taste.
  4. Also add all your seasoning (curry, thyme, seasoning cube, Cameroon pepper, and salt) stir till thoroughly combined.
  5. After that, add the chicken stock and stir into the rest of the mixture.
  6. Finally, add the kale you have cut and cook for about 2 minutes. Stir until thoroughly combined.

Serve with your favorite side dish: rice, dodo (plantain), pounded yam, fufu, and even sausage


Bon Appétit.

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