Recipe To Prepare Atama Soup With Waterleaf

Atama soup is a traditional Igbo dish. It is a very tasty meal with amazing flavor, nice aroma, and can be made with different vegetables, waterleaf, and even extract from palm fruit.Atama Soup

This soup can be a little spicy, but being a vegetable meal it is absolutely healthy, nutritious, tasty and original. You can use different ingredients and make this soup taste special every day. Would you like to learn how to prepare atama soup with waterleaf? Follow the simple recipe below for a mouth-watering dish.

How to prepare Atama soup with waterleaf

Tip: Since the soups main ingredient is atama, you can preserve fresh leaves for future use by slicing them and drying in the sunlight. They can be kept in a box or bag until you decide to cook this famous Nigerian vegetable soup.


  • Atama leaves (fresh or dry) – 1 good-sized leaf
  • Meat (cow, goat etc.) – 500 grams
  • Crabs or shrimps or snails – to your taste
  • Smoked fish – 1 piece
  • Stockfish (anything) – 1 piece
  • Crayfish – 1 cup
  • Palm fruit – 3 cup
  • Pepper (ground) – to your taste
  • Spices (your choice) – to your taste
  • Winkles – 2 cup
  • Waterleaf – to your taste
  • Seasoning cube – 4 pieces
  • Salt – how you like it
  • Cowskin (pomo or kpomo) – 1 piece

Atama soup Cooking steps

Step 1. Wash your atama leaves, cut them into small pieces, put into a bowl and cover with warm water. Carefully drain all the liquid and taste it. If you feel bitterness, repeat the rinsing part a couple of times.

Step 2. Make palm fruit juice for atama soup with waterleaf

Take your palm fruit. Wash it and place into a pot. Cover it with water and place on the stove. You have to boil it for 12-15 minutes. Make it soft, remove the seeds. You need 2-3 cups of water. Boil it separately and add inside a clean bowl and place your fruit (without seeds) inside. Use a spoon to mix and squish everything. You will have to make sure fruit is sieved in a separate bowl. This is how you can get some palm juice. You will be using it later with your delicious soup.

Step 3. Add winkles into atama soup with waterleaf

Take your winkles and cut them at tails. Add into another bowl and cover with salty water (you can also add a piece of lime). Do the same thing with crabs and kpomo if you are planning to add them to your meat and vegetable soup later on.

Step 4. Prepare Atama soup with waterleaf

Start with meat. It has to be thoroughly washed with water and seasoned with enough salt, seasoning cubes, pepper, and spices. Take a pot, pour in water and place this meat along with stockfish. Cook this mixture for approximately 15 minutes.

Step 5. Meanwhile, you can prepare your smoke fish. Wash it, remove all the insides and bones. Do not cook it just yet.

Step 6. Now let us return to your meat for atama soup that has been cooking for 15 minutes already, as stated in Step 4. Place crabs, kpomo to the pot with meat and let everything cook for another 15 minutes.

Step 7. Next, pour your palm juice inside this pot with meat. You need to add also your smoke fish and periwinkles inside this juicy mixture, letting it cook for 15 minutes more.

Step 8. Make sure the soup isn’t thick (add more water, if needed) and also add a waterleaf now.

Step 9. You are getting to the final stages of cooking this Nigerian vegetable soup, so put the rest of seasoning cubes, pepper and a bit of salt (if needed) into the pot. Keep it on low heat for approximately 5 minutes.

Step 10. Put prepared atama leaf (from step 1) into the pot allowing it boiling for 2-3 minutes. Gently stir it for another 2-3 minutes. Taste your atama soup and turn off the heat on the stove. Serve your amazing atama soup with waterleaf and have a delicious dinner.