The Nigerian peppersoup as far as I know is the only soup that Nigerians literally drink; unlike our other soups (e.g. egusi, okra, ogbono, etc.) which are much thicker and primarily eaten with side dishes like eba,fufu, pounded yam etc. I love peppersoup! Most of you would agree that peppersoup is a lifesaver when you are sick and have no appetite. Let’s not forget, that for those of us who have to face the Canadian winter; there’s nothing as relaxing as a hot peppery bowl of peppersoup on a chilly winter day. Mehn, it does wonders for a stuffy nose!
There is so much versatility in the preparation of peppersoup; which largely depends on the region you come from in Nigeria or more especially the method your mother taught you. Some people use ingredients like palm oil, crayfish etc. Others eat the soup with side dishes like rice, plantain, eko etc, I grew up in a home where pepersoup was made without a side dish though in my present years I have began to try out new methods…I recently had goat meat peppersoup with rice and it was really good.
Also the combinations of and quantity of spices used to make the peppersoup spice also varies from tribe to tribe. I have a friend from Delta State, and I was surprised to find out that people from her tribe (Uhrobo) only use 2 types of spice to make their peppersoup spice; Infact they make dryfish peppersoup, and there I was thinking that you could only make peppersoup with beef, chicken, or fish….There is no right or wrong way when it comes to making pepprsoup; as long as it tastes like peppersoup, you should be fine.
I never took the time to ask my mother what spices make up the peppersoup spice, so now that I am on my own and living outside Nigeria I am suffering from ignorance. Whenever I travel home to Nigeria, my mother goes to the market, buys the spices, and has them ground dry. All I do, is take my nicely packaged peppersoup spice along with me in luggage (Thank God for mothers). I plan to find out the names ( both local and English) of the different spices used to make the peppersoup spice and blog about that in a future post, but for now I am glad to have my dry blend of peppersoup spice in my pantry. Ok, now I remember that nutmeg and cloves are some of the spices used in making the peppersoup spice (If you are familiar with the taste and aroma of peppersoup, you would know that as well)
I see that I have spent so much time writing this post…a sign of my undying love for peppersoup:) So enjoy my own recipe on the Nigerian peppersoup.
Recipe level: Easy
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Meal type: Soup, Appetizer,Main dish, Side Dish
Meal time: Anytime
- 2 fingers of unripe plantain, peeled and chopped into chunks
- I pound of beef (you can make any combination of your sort, depending on preference)
- 1-2 teaspoons peppersoup spice ( quantity based on preference)
- 2 seasoning cubes e.g. maggi or knorr
- A handful of fresh Scent leaves /Basil, chopped
- 1 tablespoon red onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
- a chunk of ginger, crushed or minced
- Salt, to taste
- Hot pepper, dry or fresh (quantity based on your preference)
Please note that for the Nigerian peppersoup, you can use any meat or fish of your choice so the name of the peppersoup changes depending on the meat you use e.g goat meat peppersoup, assorted meat pepprsoup etc.
- Wash the beef thoroughly and place in a medium sized saucepan
- Season the beef with all the spices except the scent leaf/basil
- Pour in some water and boil till the meat is tender/ready. Add the chunks of unripe plantain and boil for about 10 minutes. Add the scent leaves/basil leaves and simmer for about 2 minutes.