Nigerian soups are good for our babies, toddlers and kids as a healthy, nutritious and yummy food, but you just have to make theirs different from ours because of salt, pepper, bones and all (lol). I have discovered that my little one prefers eating soups that draw and most mums i’ve interacted with also experience same with their toddlers. So, it is okro soup or ogbono soup that is a kids favourite with eba, pounded yam, oatmeal or any ‘swallow’ of choice.
I make ogbono soup sometimes as a base soup so i can use it to combine other soups and stews for my little one to accept…ogbono-oha combination, ogbono-stew combination, ogbono-egusi combination, ogbono-okro etc. Nothing stops you being creative with your kid’s food as far as you can invent a combination that will be accepted and enjoyed.
I made this ogbono soup with meatballs so that it will be suitable to give babies from 8+ months. Meatballs are made with ground or minced meat and therefore easier for them to chew before transiting to regular meat. You can choose to use the vegetable meatballs to make this soup in order to get additional nutrients into their plate or just follow the recipe below.
Meatball Ogbono Soup Recipe
- ½ cup ground ogbono
- 400g minced meat
- 1 egg white
- 1 medium size mackerel fish fillet (You can use whole mackerel but be careful of bones when feeding your child)
- 1 cooking spoon palm oil
- 2 tbsps ground crayfish
- 2 tbsps ground dry fish
- 1 small okpei
- 1 big onion (minced, grated or chopped thinly)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced, crushed or ground)
- ½ of a seasoning cube (i used this in place of salt)
- A small bunch washed shredded green vegetable (ugu, kale or spinach)
- 4-5 cups water
- Put minced meat in a bowl. Add egg white, half of the onion, garlic, seasoning cube and a tablespoon of crayfish. Mix together very well, mould into balls and set aside.
- Pour oil in a clean dry pot and put on the cooker to heat. Add the remaining minced onions to fry for a few seconds, add the meatballs and allow to fry in the oil for about a minute until well coated in the oil.
- Add 3-4 cups of water and cover to boil. Once the stock starts boiling, stir in the ground ogbono and leave pot open to cook for about 15 to 20 minutes till meatballs are cooked.
- Add the ground fish, crayfish, okpei and mackerel fish fillets. Stir and add more water if you want it less viscous, then allow to cook for another 5-7 minutes.
- Stir in the vegetables and remove from heat to retain freshness and nutrients.
- Serve with eba, fufu or even allow your toddler eat the meatballs and soup alone.