Pepper soup has its origin traced to the English-speaking parts of West Africa including Ghana, Sierra Leone, Nigeria as well as Liberia. It is a unique type of soup that is usually prepared with the use of assorted meats as well as chili peppers and nutmeg as the primary ingredient. It is a spicy soup which has a light watery texture. Some West Africans believe that the soup can serve as medicine to cure some sicknesses while other West Africans consider the soup to be just an ordinary delicacy. The soup when combined with a cold bottle of beer or perhaps soft drink goes very well. It can also be served as an appetizer at official gatherings and it is popularly served in pubs. In Nigeria however, pepper soup is also served at recreational or leisure spots or as a type of beginners dish. It is however interesting to note that pepper soup cubes, that is a premixed blend of spices used in pepper soup are manufactured by a company in Nigeria.
Nigerian pepper soup
The Nigerian pepper soup is typical watery, light, yet spicy soup. Of course, it is one of the many variations of dish in West Africa that can be prepared with various meats, such as beef, goat, chicken, cow triple, oxtail as well as fish such as shrimp, cat fish, crab or even cat fish. Additional ingredients to make the dish more delicious may include tomatoes, sweet peppers, onion, cloves, garlic, green onions, ginger, lime juice as well as cinnamon. Sometimes, fufu which is a food prepared from boiled and then pounded cassava or other tubers is sometimes used as a key ingredient to help thicken the soup and give it the creamy texture. Pepper soup can be eaten as a main dish and can also be served with side dishes such as rice, boiled tubers or other carbohydrates such as eba. Not only that, it can as well be served atop these ingredients.
Although some West Africans believe however that pepper soup prepared with chicken has more benefits in terms of medicinal qualities and can be served as a remedy to improve the health conditions of ill people. Not only that, pepper soup is also sometimes consumed by new mothers. This is because it is believed by some to assist in the secretion of breast milk. It is also consumed most times after wedding celebrations as it is said to serve as a means to restore health.
Nigerian Pepper soup With Assorted Meat
Nigerian Pepper soup comes in varieties and they are named just according to what is being used to prepare it. Below are some of the varieties:
1. Assorted meat/ beef pepper soup
2. Chicken pepper soup
3. Catfish pepper soup
4. Goat meat pepper soup
5. Cow foot pepper soup
A lot of people go to exclusive bars and restaurants and pay heavily just to eat pepper soup. Now this is simply because the Nigerian pepper soup recipe is believed to be prepared with secret ingredients that only the restaurant cooks know about. Yes, it is agreed that the pepper soup has some unique ingredients which gives this recipe its delicious aroma and taste and is truly the being kept a secret. But the main purpose of this article is to expose all Nigerian food recipes and cooking secrets by giving you a clear direction on how to prepare them just so that you can prepare them right inside your own kitchen whenever you want to and without having to go to these exclusive bars and restaurants.
Ingredients necessary for making Nigerian pepper soup
1. 1kg assorted beef or chicken or cow foot
2. 4 seeds “Ehu” or “Ariwo” or calabash nutmeg
3. Chilli pepper
4. 2 teaspoons crushed dry uziza (if you wish to add)
5. 2 medium sized onions
6. Salt to taste
7. 3 stock cubes
8. 1 teaspoon of thyme
Note that you will be needing a spice or coffee grinder for grinding the ehu seeds.
If you are preparing chicken pepper soup, it is preferable to use whole chicken rather than drumsticks. This is simply because the different parts of the chicken will bring variety to the pepper soup therefore giving it a better taste as well as looks. So therefore, wash and cut up the whole chicken and set aside.
If you wish to prepare assorted beef / meat pepper soup, buy different parts of offal, beef which of course can include shaki (cow triple), round-about, liver as well as kidney. Now you are to wash the offal thoroughly most especially the round-about which should be turned inside out during the washing. Cut these into medium sized pieces, this is it should be just big enough to be chewed at a go.
If you wish to prepare cow foot pepper soup, all you need to do is to wash and cut the cow foot into medium sized pieces. In this case, just like the assorted beef pepper soup, make sure that the pieces are just big enough to be chewed at a go.
Now, I’ll be giving you the directions on how to prepare the secret ingredient.
1. With the use of a clean frying pan, roast the Ehu seeds. Be sure to stir constantly until you can perceive it. Worry less as you will automatically know when it is alright to take it off. This is because it has a distinctive aroma. Another way to know when it is alright is to take one of the seeds and try to remove the outer membrane. Now if the membrane comes off easily, then this simply means that the Ehu is done.
2. Once it is done, peel off the membrane from all the Ehu seeds and grind with a dry mill.
3. Cut the onions into small tiny bits.
4. Rub the dry uziza with your fingers so as to break them into tiny pieces.
This cooking direction as described below only gives details on how to prepare chicken pepper soup. If you wish to prepare goat meat pepper soup, assorted beef pepper soup or cow foot pepper soup, all you need to do is to substitute chicken with goat meat, beef, cow foot or offal respectively.
1. First, place the pieces of chicken in a clean pot and pour enough water to cover the contents of the pot. Once this is done, add your stock cubes as well as thyme and onions and cook till done.
Note that when you are cooking assorted beef pepper soup, it is important to cook the shaki (cow triple) for sometime before adding the other beef parts. This is because shaki is tough and will take longer cook than the other beef parts.
You are already aware that the cow foot is a tough part of meat so therefore when you are cooking your cow foot pepper soup, it is necessary that you use a pressure cooker if you have one. Reason being that it will save you some gas or electricity.
2. At this stage, you will begin to notice that some of the water has dried. You are to add more water to bring it to the level of the contents of the pot.
3. Once that is done, add your ground Ehu, dry uziza, as well as chilli pepper and salt to taste. It is important that you are aware that Ehu has some spicy taste so therefore you should add your chilli pepper with great care. Even though it is called pepper soup as the name implies, you still want to be able to taste and enjoy the delicious recipe itself. You can only do this by being careful about the quantity of proper you add as too much chilli pepper will ruin the taste.
4. Cover the pot and leave it to boil for nothing less than 5 minutes.
Your delicious pepper soup is ready to be served!
Pepper soup is much more delicious and enjoyable when served hot. Hence, your pepper soup should always be served hot. You can eat your pepper soup alone or otherwise with a chilled drink by the side. Not only that, it is also interesting to note that you can as well eat your pepper soup with Agidi, boiled yam or even white rice.
Nutritional contents of Nigerian pepper soup
10. Vitamin A
11. Vitamin C
12. Vitamin E
Vitamin K benefits
20. Zinc et cetera.
The nutritional content of the Nigerian pepper soup is very high and so, it is therefore richly endowed with a lot of health benefits which can only be obtained by consuming the dish.
Health benefits of Nigerian pepper soup
1. One major health benefit of Nigerian pepper soup is that it controls the heart rate
Consumption of the Nigerian pepper soup is said to contol the heart rate. An irregular heartbeat might be a sign of a dangerous heart disease. The potassium content in the Nigerian pepper soup however helps to control the heart rate as well as assist the heart to work more stable so as to pump blood and oxygen throughout the body system.
2. Another important health benefit of Nigerian pepper soup is that the dish is said to aid the control of blood pressure
It is very important that the blood pressure should always be in a normal working position. If the blood pressure gets too low due to any reason, it might lead to dizziness, blurred eyes or even lethargy but if the blood pressure becomes high it will focus on harder heart performance so heart becomes unhealthy. Therefore, in order for the blood pressure to be controlled, there is the need for a compound called potassium which is present in the Nigerian pepper soup.
3. And yet another important health benefit of the Nigerian pepper soup is that the dish aids the prevention of cancer
Cancer can be prevented by consuming pepper soup. This is because it helps to repair damaged cells in the body.
4. And yet another important health benefit of the Nigerian pepper soup is that it helps to maintain a healthy skin
Eating the Nigerian pepper soup helps to benefit your skin by maintaining it properly. It as well prevents the occurrence of vitiligo. Vitiligo is a disease that affects the skin which tends to result in the production of abnormal skin pigmentation.
5. Another important health benefit of the Nigerian pepper soup is that the dish helps the respiratory system
According to research carried out by scholars, the Nigerian pepper soup is said to be a dish that is used as a medicine to relieve a cough and colds. In other words, it is said to have some medicinal qualities. So therefore, since the dish is richly endowed with quality amount of pepper, it tends to give the food its warm effects on the body. This therefore helps the respiratory system to become more relieved.
6. Another important health benefit of the Nigerian pepper soup is that the dish helps you lose weight
Since pepper is one of the major ingredients used in the preparation of the Nigerian pepper soup, it can is very okay yo include it in your diet plan. The sensation of spicy flavor which comes out from pepper can burn excess fat in the body. This is so because the spicy flavor will trigger a hot body temperature so that indirectly fat burned and expelled through sweat.
Important things to note:
Basically, it is an undeniable fact that the Nigerian pepper soup is richly endowed with many health benefits for the body. But the body also needs other essential nutrients from other varieties of food such as fruits and vegetables. Also, it is important to exercise regularly as this is good for you.