Pepper soup is a popular Nigerian soup recipe. It is such a versatile recipe as it can be prepared with different types of meat and fish. Thus there is the Chicken Pepper Soup, the Catfish Pepper Soup, the Goat Meat Pepper Soup, the Cow Leg Pepper Soup and the Assorted Beef Pepper Soup.
• Chicken | Goat Meat | Cow Leg | Assorted Beef – 1 kg
• Ehu or Ariwo or Calabash Nutmeg – 4 seeds
• Chilli Pepper (to taste)
• Dry Uziza – 2 teaspoons (optional)
• Onions – 2 medium bulbs
• Crayfish – 2 tablespoons of ground Crayfish
• Salt – to taste
• Seasoning – 3 Maggi / Knorr cubes & 1 teaspoon of Thyme
• Spice grinder for grinding Ehu seeds
• Chopping board
1. If preparing Chicken pepper Soup, it is preferable to use whole chicken instead of drumsticks. The different parts of the chicken will bring variety to the pepper soup. So wash and cut up the whole chicken and set aside.
2. If you want to prepare Assorted Beef Pepper Soup then you should buy different parts of beef – best cut, offal (shaki, round-about, liver and kidney). Wash the offal thoroughly especially the round-about which should be turned inside out during the washing. Cut these into medium pieces, just big enough to be chewed in one go.
3. For Goat Meat Pepper Soup and Cow Leg Pepper Soup, just wash and cut the goat meat or cow leg into medium pieces. In this case also, make the pieces just big enough that it can be chewed in one go.
4. Now it is time to prepare the ‘secret’ ingredient. Using an old frying pan, roast the Ehu seeds (stirring constantly) till you can smell it. Don’t worry you will know when it is OK to take it off because it has a distinctive aroma. Another way to know that it is OK is to take one of the seeds and try to remove the outer membrane. If the membrane comes off easily, then the Ehu is done.
5. Peel off the membrane from all the Ehu seeds and grind with a dry mill.
6. Cut the onions into tiny pieces.
7. Rub the dry uziza with your fingers to break them into tiny pieces. This cooking direction describes Chicken Pepper Soup. To prepare Goat Meat Pepper Soup, Cow Leg Pepper Soup or Assorted Beef Pepper Soup just substitute chicken with goat meat, cow leg or beef and offal respectively.
8. Place the pieces of chicken in a pot and pour enough water to cover the contents of the pot. Add the stock cubes, thyme and onions and cook till done. Note: When cooking Assorted Beef Pepper Soup, you should cook the shaki for sometime before adding the other beef parts. Shaki is tough and will take longer to cook than the other beef parts. Cow leg is a tough meat part so when cooking Cow Leg Pepper Soup, you should use a pressure cooker if you have one. This will save you some gas or electricity.
9. By now, you will notice that some of the water has dried. Add more water to bring it to the level of the contents of the pot.
10. Add the ground Ehu, crayfish, dry uziza, chilli pepper and salt to taste. Ehu has some spicy taste so you should add chilli pepper with care. Even though it is called pepper soup, you still want to be able to taste and enjoy the recipe itself. Too much chilli pepper will ruin it for you.
11. Cover the pot and leave to boil for 5 minutes and the pepper soup is ready. Pepper Soup should always be served hot. It can be eaten alone with a chilled drink by the side.