When Last did you Cook Emergency Soup (Ndele Soup or Ofe Ndele)?

When last did you prepare Emergency soup? It is a popular and old kitchen delicacy. The soup can be used to serve garri or cassava (Akpu). It is known as Ofe Ndele or Ndele in the Igbo dialect.

emergency soup. Image credit: Google

*Emergency Soup. (Image credit: Google) 

Necessity they say is the mother of all inventions. This post is about emergency soup aka “ofe Ndele“.


Necessity gave birth to this soup. Why did I say so? I said so because the soup is part of my kitchen. The soup has been part of the kitchen of every mother that has raised children in their numbers.

If the soup is a human, it will be conferred a title in my native dialect and it will be given “Ozoigbo ndu“. Meaning, the savior of Igbo life. It is true. The soup has really saved many stomachs in our growing up days.

Emergency soup as the name implies comes up to solve emergency food needs in the family. It does not have special ingredients. The presence of Crayfish, oil, dry fish, salt, and pepper is enough to prepare the soup. It is a two-minute soup.

Emergency soup is a soup mothers prepare when there is nothing left in the house to eat. Or, when there is a pressing need to eat swallow and there is no soup available. When a family returns from a journey at night and there is nothing to feed the family that night with, Emergency soup (Ofe Ndele) becomes the last resort.


In most occasions, the soup is prepared and eaten up immediately. Some allow it to last the following day. But my mother never did. The essence of the soup is to have something to put in the stomach till the next day when foodstuffs are available for the big soup or when it is convenient to make bigger soup. As long there is Garri or any other swallow, emergency soup is a goal.

Emergency soup can be made with, Okro, fresh or dry. It can be made with Utazi or Ogbonno. It can be made with any vegetable and very importantly, Ogiri is the master of them all. In my family, no ogiri (fermented melon), no emergency soup.

Simple steps to make Emergency Soup:

  • Put little water in a pot. Add dry or smoked fished if there is any.
  • Put the pot on the fire.
  • Pound enough crayfish, pepper and ogiri (fermented melon) and put in the boiling pot.
  • Slice any available vegetables if there any.
  • Pour a little red oil.
  • Stir and bring down.

Your emergency soup is ready. Note: Emergency soup is made best in the mortar.

How do you make yours in your home? Your contribution to this topic matters a lot.


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