Afia Efere (white soup)
My love affair with white soup started when I met my friend Flo in college, she made me a bowl of Efere with amazing chicken and I was sold forever. Fast forward to now, I am married to an Ibibio man and this is a staple in our home. Afia Efere translate directly to white soup, it’s so named due to the peculiar white color of the soup. The color is due to the thickener use (pounded yam) and the absence of palm oil which is prevalent in Nigerian Soups.
The beauty of this soup is in it simplicity; on the simplest level, efere is a earthy broth usually made from goat meat or fresh fish and seasoned with Uyayak pod (aidan fruit ), crayfish powder and Uda pod (negro pepper). Efere is also very similar to Ofe Nsala from Easter Nigeria, however, nsala contains Utazi and ogiri and doesn’t contain uda or uyayak.
Whatever your tribe or origin, this soup should be on your roster, it’s deliciously simple and fragrant and pairs excellently well with pounded yam.
- Uyayak Pod (Aidan Fruit) – 1 inch
- Uda pods- 2 (seeds removed and discarded)
- Goat meat, smoked fish and or chicken (precooked) ~600g
- 2 cubes Maggi
- ¼ cup crayfish powder
- Salt – to taste
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper (hot pepper – ata Rodo) (optional)
- Pounded yam paste (1/4 cup) (substitute 1/2 cup yam powder)*
*To make pounded yam paste – boil 200g of yam in some water until yam is very soft. Remove yam pieces from water and place in a mortal or food processor. process until a smooth paste forms.
- Place the uyayk and uda pod on an oven tray – toast at 525f for 5 minutes or until just smoky
- In a large pot – combine goat meat, chicken, pepper, blended crayfish, salt, maggi, uyayak, uda and smoked fish. Add enough water to just cover the ingredients. Stir to combine. Set on high heat and bring to a rolling boil. reduce heat to medium-low and leave to simmer for 25 – 30 minutes
- If using yam powder – combine with enough water to form a smooth paste
- Add in yam or pounded yam into the broth. Stir well until paste is loose and thorough combined with the broth. Simmer uncovered for another 4 – 5 minutes
Remove and discard Uyayk and uda pods to serve. Enjoy with pounded yam