It does sound a tad scary, hey…Pepper
and Soup. However it isn’t (and shouldn’t be!).
Peppersoup is simply a light soup with a kick to it, so
while it may be similar to any other chicken or onion
soup, its uniqueness is in the spices used. Peppersoup
is predominantly African and is quite a versatile dish.
While at it’s core, it is supposed to be spicy and hot, it
can be made as fiery or as mild as the pallette desires
(or as one can stomach, literally).The soup is
traditionally made with meat or fish as ‘obstacles’ in an
otherwise smooth transition of warmth from plate to
mouth. However, this does not stop it from being a
vegetarian dish, sans obstacles:-).
If non vegetarian, any type of meat or fish would
suffice. A few varieties include Chicken, Goatmeat,
Cow Foot and Assorted Beef Pepper Soup. For fish,
the most commonly used is Catfish. Pepper Soup is
best served hot. It can be eaten alone, or better still,
downed with a chilled drink by its side to complement
the heat and spice. It can actually be eaten with
anything ranging from a few bread rolls to heavier
stuff like say plain boiled rice, yam, plantains or
So here goes
The key Ingredients are:
1kg Chicken or Goat meat or Cat fish or Cow Foot
or Assorted Beef
6 seeds of Calabash Nutmeg or in its absence, 2
table spoons of ‘peppersoup spice or seasoning
Chilli Pepper (per threshold:-))
Dry or fresh Uziza leaves, or 2 teaspoons of Uziza
2 medium onions
Salt (to taste)
2 Stock cubes
If using Chicken, it is preferable to use a whole
chicken instead of drumsticks. The different parts
of the chicken will bring a variety of flavours to
the pepper soup.
For Assorted Beef Pepper Soup, buy different
parts of a cow – the shoulder for example, offals
(shaki, intestines, liver and kidney). Wash the
offals thoroughly especially the intestines which
should be turned inside out during the washing.
Cut these into medium pieces, just big enough to
be chewed in one go. Ideally, start cooking the
shaki a few minutes before the other parts of the
cow as it is tougher and may take longer to cook.
For Cow Foot Pepper Soup, just wash and cut the
cow foot into medium pieces. In this case also,
make the pieces just big enough that it can be
chewed in one go.
Dry grind the Calabash nutmeg
Cut the onions into tiny pieces.
Rub the dry uziza with your fingers to break them
into tiny pieces or chop the fresh leaves
Place the pieces of meat or fish chicken in a pot
and put in enough water to cover the contents of
the pot. Add the stock cubes, thyme and onions
and allow to simmer till done.
Put in the ground nutmeg, dry uziza, chilli pepper
and salt to taste. The calabash nutmeg is a bit
spicy so this should be taken into account while
putting any chilli in. It might not be as enjoyable if
it is too hot.
At this point, some more water will be required to
create the light soup sauce
Cover the pot and leave to simmer for 5 minutes
and voila! Your Nigerian peppersoup is ready!
Try out this recipe over the coming winter weeks
and see how warm both your heart and belly feel!
Ps all ingredients available at www.shopzuta.com