Watch this video recipe of Assorted Meat Pepper Soup!
Growing up, one of my mum's favourite appetizers to serve alongside other main meals especially during festival periods is pepper soup. In fact, pepper soup happens to be one of her favourite soups especially the spicy ones. Any kind of pepper soup suffices for her --- be it the goat meat pepper soup, beef pepper soup, chicken pepper soup, turkey pepper soup, fresh fish pepper soup, catfish pepper soup, the list goes on and on. Interestingly, I grew up to also realize that this distinctive soup is such a fantastic soup that anybody, irrespective of your culture or origin will love to feast on. I say so, simply because I love pepper soup and I can't recall coming across anyone that does not like or enjoy this palatable soup. Although I can make an exception only if the pepper soup has been cooked inappropriately thereby leading to its tastelessness. If you know of anyone who does not like pepper soup, please direct the person to this page. I can assure you that the person's perception of pepper soup will definitely change for good after trying out this recipe. Pepper soup can be cooked to be very spicy (with excessive pepper), mild or even without any chilli but I enjoy mine mild. I don't mind it spicy though, but not to the extent that my tongue gets burnt off----LOL.
Peradventure this is the first time you are getting to hear about this recipe and wondering what peppersoup is all about, relax, cos you have landed on the right page.
What is pepper soup? Pepper Soup is simply a hot or spicy broth containing either small cuts of meat or big chunks of fish. Pepper soup is a kind of soup delicacy whereby meat or fish is cooked with an ample amount of water with some special spices, stock and condiments for a distinctive taste. It is a popular African soup, which suggests why it is also referred to as an African pepper soup. It is also a popular Nigerian recipe, which suggests why it is also referred to as a Nigerian pepper Soup. Pepper soup is notable for its signature flavour and aroma that makes it irresistible when someone is close to its proximity. I can assure you that you will love this soup the very moment you have a taste of it. Pepper soup is a popular appetiser commonly served during festivals, parties, occasions, events, eateries and restaurants. Ideally, pepper soups are cooked in such a way that the accompanying meat broth or fish broth isn't allowed to dry up while cooking. The broth, which is usually served hot is scooped alongside the meat or fish while eating the pepper soup. In fact, it is the meat broth or fish broth that makes pepper soup what it is.
As the name "pepper soup" suggests, you probably will assume that this soup is filled with excessive pepper. If you are allergic to pepper and you already think that this soup is not for you, relax, cos I have good news for you. The good news I have for you is that you shouldn't be hard on yourself when it comes to the pepper aspect - simply add the quantity of pepper your tastebud can accommodate and you are good to go. Life is good and nothing should complicate it for you, including pepper ---- winks. Your heat tolerance level determines the quantity of peppers to include in the pepper soup, so adjust accordingly. You are free to choose how spicy you want your pepper soup to be (none, low, medium or hot). Whatever is your choice, just go for it. This recipe isn't rigid when it comes to the pepper aspect, however, its rigidity sets in when it comes to the choice of the spice mix. For your pepper soup to be authentic, at least one or more of spices like uziza, uda, aridan must be present in the soup. Again, it might also interest you to know that the meat must be cut into small pieces (small chunks) if you are cooking either a meat pepper soup, chicken pepper soup or turkey pepper soup. However, if it is a fish pepper soup then the fish can be cut into bigger chunks. Cutting the meat into smaller pieces makes it easier for someone to scoop them with a spoon while eating.
Due to the medicinal contents of most of the spices (uziza, uda, African nutmeg, aridan) and herbs (utazi leaves or Gongronema latifolium) used for cooking pepper soup, it is often considered as an effective remedy for cleansing the bowels and intestines. Besides, pepper soup helps to clear the breathing pathway for people suffering from chest congestion as a result of cold and fever. The aromatic and savoury taste of pepper soup is such that will always keep attracting you to the soup over and over again. You can also choose the consistency of the pepper soup -- either light or thick. I enjoy both the light soupy and thick pepper soup depending on my mood and the weather condition. If the weather is cold, then I want my pepper soup to be served light and hot. However, thick and mild pepper soup can suffice for me during the hot season.
Normally, I would have used fresh utazi and fresh uziza leaves for cooking my pepper soup. But unfortunately, I do not have these hence the reason I substituted them with the dried scent leaves. Interestingly, this recipe can also serve you if you want to either cook chicken pepper soup, fish pepper soup or even lamb pepper soup. Just so you know that onions are the invisible part of pepper soup delicacy. Unlike your regular way of cooking meat where slices or chops of onions are thrown into the meat pot, the onions for cooking pepper soups must be finely chopped, blended or grated before finding their ways into the pot. That way, they don't stick out their eyes staring at you.
Most importantly, pepper soup is pretty easy to cook in as much as you have the required ingredients. Pepper soup can be served alone and eaten as it is or it can be served alongside other main meals such as agidi (cornflour pudding), rice, yam. Give this recipe a try and you will be glad you did.