Nigerian vegetable soup, or edikaikong soup, is a traditional Nigerian soup made with assorted meats, seafood and vegetables and served with one of Nigeria’s standard side dishes for soups and stews: ugi. Ugu is the name for the fluted pumpkin leaf, which is grown in Nigeria and other tropical African countries. The ugu leaf is also called ikong ubong and is sold in dried form in African food stores.
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Wash the assorted meats well under running water, and place the meats in a large soup or stew pot. Meats used in Nigerian vegetable soup include oxtail, beef, trip, goat and chicken.
Add the medium onion and stock to the pot. Add the ground chillies or hot pepper to taste, if you desire, and cook the mixture over a medium heat for 30 minutes.
Rinse the prepackaged snails and periwinkles well in cool, running water.
Rinse the smoked dried fish well under running water, and place them in salt water for about 5 minutes to loosen dirt and kill insects. Rinse with cold water.
Clean the other seafood ingredients by washing them under running water.
Add the seafood ingredients to the pot, and cook on the stove over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add more stock to the pot if necessary.
Rinse the ugu and waterleaf well, and use a knife to cut the leaves into thin strips.
Add the ugu leaves and the waterleaf to the pot, stir to mix thoroughly, and allow the ingredients to simmer for 15 minutes.
Add the crayfish, stir to mix the ingredients, and simmer for 10 minutes. If desired, add salt to taste and a few tablespoons of palm oil to the pot.
Remove the pot from the heat, and serve.