I have been looking for eons for the perfect peppersoup recipe. I must admit that when my Mom used to make it when I was younger, I had no interest whatsoever in following her lead. I didn’t want to be around that hot pot of torture! Ok ok, I’m being a little dramatic but lets just say that if pepper soup was being made it was up to the adults to take care of it including its consumption!
However, ever since I have delved more in the authentic cuisine of my culture I have found the supreme satisfaction that can be found in a hot savory bowl of pepper soup. I reunited with pepper soup while working in a Nigerian restaurant in Brooklyn during my years of learning. Every day swarms of people came by just for a fix of that soup and I never understood it…but then one day I took my first sip and it was like allll the memories I had of home came flooding back. Nothing can replicate that taste…it was truly Nigeria’s own. So I began on my hunt for a good recipe…and along the way I’ve learned many trick and secrets from using peppermint to bring out the flavor to using smoked meat to give it a more intriguing taste.
I will share with you a recipe I found for the spice mixture that gives the peppersoup its unique taste. I found this recipe in “The Africa Cookbook” by Jessica B. Harris (1998) who had compiled quite an array of authentic recipes from around the continent through her travels and personal connections. From the research I have done, I confirm that her lists of spices are as authentic as it gets. It contains equal amounts the following ground ingredients: atariko, uda, gbafilo, ground ginger, uyayak and rigije. To further the authentic flavor when making the soup it is best to add dried crayfish and fresh mint leaves.
Here is my recipe for PepperSoup below! Try it and let me know what you think!
3.5 lbs of cut up goat meat or fowl
1 tbsp ground red pepper
1 large onion chopped
1/3 cup of chopped mint leaves
1/3 cup of ground dry crayfish or shrimp
2 tbsp of Peppersoup Mixture
4pts of water
1 garlic clove crushed
1 Scotch Bonnett pepper thinly sliced or blended with water.
Clean and cut meat into small bite size pieces. Add onion, red pepper, salt, and peppersoup spices. Boil in a large covered pot with plenty water for about 1 hour. Reduce heat and cook for another hour unitl meat becomes tender to desired texture. Add more water, the mint leaves, the sliced pepper and the crayfish or shrimp powder. Cook and simmer for an additonal 20 minutes. Serve warm and enjoy!