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10 African Pepper Soup Variations

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Pepper soup is a kind of spicy soup that is popular in West Africa. It’s prepared with different types of meat, nutmeg, and chili as its primary ingredients. At times it’s prepared with a mix of various meat while at other times, it is restricted to a single type of meat. This is why there are recipes like goat meat pepper soup or cow tail pepper soup. You can serve this soup with rice, potatoes or bread. In Nigeria, this soup is widely served at leisure spots and pubs. This is because it pairs well with soft drinks or cold beer.

Where did pepper soup originate from?

It’s believed that this phenomenal soup was first made in West Africa and the Caribbean and carried all the way to Philadelphia by Africans who were abducted by their colonial masters to provide labor abroad, where it became the signature dish of the area. This soup was a specialty, sold by colonial black women in the streets of Philadelphia. What a way to spread the culture abroad, right?

Is pepper soup healthy?

Pepper soup is in fact very healthy and highly nutritious. It contains capsaicin that helps to reduce fever and cure cold. The meat in the soup is a good source of protein. Spicy foods are excellent for easing nasal congestion.

Why is my soup bitter?

Well, if you make the soup and it turns out to be bitter, no worries, it can be rectified with few easy steps. We bet you couldn’t guess. Firstly, your soup could be bitter because you probably put excess pepper spice blend into it, but that’s nothing that adding a little water can’t fix. Besides that, you could also add extra ingredients like catfish (if you were shooting for a catfish pepper soup), tomatoes, or tripe. See some of the recipes below for more details.

Does the spicy soup burn fat?

The spicy nature of the soup triggers the body to raise its temperature thereby burning a lot of fat. The burnt fat is removed from the body through sweat. Guess you now know why you always sweat after taking a bite off of spicy peppers. You can also include this soup in the diet of a person on a weight loss journey.

How many calories are in this soup?

In case you are a health freak, I mean, who isn’t concerned about their health? This soup is a super low-calorie meal. It contains approximately 60 calories per serving which is a bit low. The pepper in the soup increases the metabolic rate while the water content keeps you full. That way, you get to enjoy the food, obtain nutrients and lose weight in a single serving. You couldn’t get a better deal than that.

Does Pepper Soup Burn Belly Fat?

Yes, albeit indirectly! Pepe (as the Nigerian variation of this soup is usually called) causes you to eat less and drink more water. This way, you end up consuming fewer calories than, say, if you were eating something that is loaded with carbs. This is very good for reducing belly fat. Some nutritionists also claim that the soup raises the body temperature, causing a person to sweat. When this happens, some energy is lost, helping you lose a little bit of weight. However, it would take many plates of Pepe to contract the belly substantially.

African Pepper Soup Variations

10 African Pepper Soup Variations

10 African Pepper Soup Variations

#1. African Pepper Soup (Chicken) by African Bites

African pepper soup is a delightfully, intensely flavored soup that is served throughout West Africa, especially in Nigeria, Cameroon, and other neighboring African countries.

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Yields6 Servings
Prep Time10 minsCook Time45 minsTotal Time55 mins

The basic ingredients that you need in other to enjoy pepper soup are hot pepper, onions, garlic, ginger then the list goes on with ethnic spices that range from lemongrass to more universal spices like allspice, cumin, curry, fennel seeds. I kept this recipe simple, so anyone anywhere can try this soup. Use any protein of choice ( goat meat, chicken, fish,  beef, ovals.)

 3 3 1/2 pound 1.3-1.5 kg chicken cut in pieces
 1 medium onion sliced
 4 garlic clove
 2 tbsp chopped ginger
 1 tbsp paprika
 1 bay leaf
 2 green onion chopped whites and green parts
 35 tbsp parsley / basilany fresh herb
 12 Scotch bonnet or habanera pepper
 Salt and white pepper to taste
 ¼ cup Njansa optional

African Pepper soup

 

Ingredients

 3 3 1/2 pound 1.3-1.5 kg chicken cut in pieces
 1 medium onion sliced
 4 garlic clove
 2 tbsp chopped ginger
 1 tbsp paprika
 1 bay leaf
 2 green onion chopped whites and green parts
 35 tbsp parsley / basilany fresh herb
 12 Scotch bonnet or habanera pepper
 Salt and white pepper to taste
 ¼ cup Njansa optional
African Pepper Soup (Chicken) by African Bites

#2. Fish Pepper Soup by African Bites

Fish Pepper Soup – A quick and easy robustly flavored African Fish Soup.

It is that time of the year again, for those of us that observe the Lenten Season. During this period we Catholics are obligated to abstain from meat on Fridays until the Easter season. This is one of my go-to recipes that I make on Lenten Fridays – a really light yet intensely flavored peppery soup.

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Fish Pepper Soup by African Bites

Yields5 Servings
Prep Time10 minsCook Time25 minsTotal Time35 mins

A soup that is widely enjoyed in most West African Countries and I would say a soup that can lead to so many variations.

 2 2½ pound white firm fish cut in desired pieces
 4 garlic cloves minced
 1 or more hot pepper chopped or whole scotch bonnet, chili
 1 tbsp grated ginger
 1 bay leaf
 2 tbsp diced celery
 ½ tbsp onion diced
 1 tsp white pepper
 34 green onion chopped whites and green parts
 Salt to taste
 Ethnic spices listed aboveoptional

Fish Pepper Soup

Fish Pepper Soup by African Bites

Ingredients

 2 2½ pound white firm fish cut in desired pieces
 4 garlic cloves minced
 1 or more hot pepper chopped or whole scotch bonnet, chili
 1 tbsp grated ginger
 1 bay leaf
 2 tbsp diced celery
 ½ tbsp onion diced
 1 tsp white pepper
 34 green onion chopped whites and green parts
 Salt to taste
 Ethnic spices listed aboveoptional
Fish Pepper Soup by African Bites

#3. Goat Meat Pepper Soup by Lowcarb Africa

This goat meat pepper soup is a favorite Nigerian soup that is so nutritious and filling. It's heartwarming, ethnic flavors will cheer you up and soothe your soul!

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Goat Meat Pepper Soup by Lowcarb Africa

Yields8 Servings
Prep Time5 minsCook Time1 hr 20 minsTotal Time1 hr 25 mins

Goat meat pepper soup is a staple in most Nigerian households. You can whip up a big batch anytime for a light, satisfying meal. It is also very popular during parties and gatherings.

Goat meat pepper soup does take a while to prepare because goat meat is quite tough. But you can do it on the stovetop or even use a pressure cooker, like the instant pot, to save time. Whichever way you make it, it will be so worth it in the end, I promise you!

 2 lbs goat meat
 ½ onion
 10 cups water
 1 tbsp salt
 1 tsp thyme
 1 tsp bouillon

bowl of Nigerian goat meat pepper soup

Goat Meat Pepper Soup by Lowcarb Africa

Ingredients

 2 lbs goat meat
 ½ onion
 10 cups water
 1 tbsp salt
 1 tsp thyme
 1 tsp bouillon
Goat Meat Pepper Soup by Lowcarb Africa

#4. Nigerian Pepper Soup with Assorted Cow Meat by All Nigerian Foods

Pepper soup is one of the most delicious Nigerian foods. I want to talk about the assorted meat recipe I have come to learn, in the last few years that several recipes exist. This one, however, is made with assorted meat. You will learn about the ingredients/spices used for pepper soup also.

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Yields4 Servings
Prep Time20 minsCook Time1 hr 10 minsTotal Time1 hr 30 mins

We have different recipes in Nigeria that are made with different kinds of meat and fishes. The most popular is the goat meat recipe followed by the assorted cow/goat meat recipe (which includes shaki [cow tripe], pkomo, fresh meat, intestine, liver, and kidney), also we have the cow tail version, Catfish Pepper Soup which is fondly called ‘point and kill’.

Here is how I Make pepper soup with assorted cow meat. I have used the phrase ‘Assorted cow meat’ on several parts of this food blog. If you don’t understand what I mean, here is an explanation. – Assorted cow meat in Nigerian is simply different parts of a cow, it includes plain red beef, cow tripe, liver, kidney, intestine, etc.

ALSO READ: Moroccan Meatball and Vegetable Ragout by From A Chefs Kitchen

 1 kg assorted meat (goat or cow)
 Scent leaves(a handful)
 Sliced Utazi Leaves (optional)(a handful)
 3 tbsp ground crayfish (optional)
 1 cup sliced onions
 Salt and pepperto taste
 2 garlic cloves
 Half-finger of ginger.
 paprikateaspoon.

There are many brands of beef seasoning spices in Nigeria, you can use anyone. Try different ones with different foods then chose one of the brands and use for all your cooking.

Ingredients

 1 kg assorted meat (goat or cow)
 Scent leaves(a handful)
 Sliced Utazi Leaves (optional)(a handful)
 3 tbsp ground crayfish (optional)
 1 cup sliced onions
 Salt and pepperto taste
 2 garlic cloves
 Half-finger of ginger.
 paprikateaspoon.
Nigerian Pepper Soup with Assorted Cow Meat by All Nigerian Foods

#5. Nigerian Cat Fish Pepper Soup by All Nigerian Foods

Catfish pepper soup is one of Nigerian’s most popular evening recipes. I have been putting this away for a very long time because of the complexity of the recipe. I was hoping to create a recipe that you could easily follow or replicate.

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Cat Fish Peppersoup

Yields3 Servings
Prep Time10 minsCook Time25 minsTotal Time35 mins

Catfish pepper soup (point and kill) is the most popular fish pepper soup in Nigeria. We also have cow tail pepper soup, Goat Meat Pepper Soup, and several other recipes in Nigeria.

Below is the image of my favorite fish pepper soup (Point and Kill) as that is served in major restaurants and bars in Nigeria.

Ingredients for Catfish soup

Cat Fish Pepper soup

But Why Point and Kill

Well, catfish is the most popular fish in Nigeria partly because it can easily be domesticated and partly because it tastes nice in soups. In popular Nigerian bars, catfish are stocked in tanks or large bowls alive.

As a customer, you can choose the exact one you want, then they kill and prepare it for you.

 1.20 kg 1 medium-sized catfish
 Half cup of sliced onions.
 Scent leaves (a handful).
 Utazi leaves (very little).
 1 seasoning cube.
 Fresh pepper
 Salt to taste.

Ingredients

 1.20 kg 1 medium-sized catfish
 Half cup of sliced onions.
 Scent leaves (a handful).
 Utazi leaves (very little).
 1 seasoning cube.
 Fresh pepper
 Salt to taste.
Nigerian Cat Fish Pepper Soup by All Nigerian Foods

#6. Nigerian Assorted Meat Pepper Soup by Sisi Jemimah

Assorted Meat Pepper Soup is a popular Nigerian soup recipe. It is prepared with a wide variety of meats but typically a cow or goat parts. 

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Nigerian Pepper Soup- Assorted Meat Pepper Soup

Yields5 Servings
Prep Time20 minsCook Time1 hr 10 minsTotal Time1 hr 30 mins

Assorted Meat Pepper soup is popularly served at bars, restaurants, and parties and quite frankly, no party is ever complete with it on the menu. 

 600 g Assorted Meats
 Onion
 24 Scotch Bonnet thinly chopped
 3 Cloves Garlic
 ½ Inch Ginger Root
 1 tbsp Cayenne Pepper(Ata gun gun)
 3 tbsp Dry or fresh Efinrin/ Basil/ leaves OR Utazi Leaves
 1 tbsp Black Pepper
 Salt to taste

assorted meat pepper soup

Ingredients

 600 g Assorted Meats
 Onion
 24 Scotch Bonnet thinly chopped
 3 Cloves Garlic
 ½ Inch Ginger Root
 1 tbsp Cayenne Pepper(Ata gun gun)
 3 tbsp Dry or fresh Efinrin/ Basil/ leaves OR Utazi Leaves
 1 tbsp Black Pepper
 Salt to taste
Nigerian Assorted Meat Pepper Soup by Sisi Jemimah

#7. Egusi Pepper Soup by Aliyah’s Recipes & Tips

Egusi pepper soup is similar to the normal Nigerian pepper soup with the addition of egusi/melon which is the only difference between both recipes. Egusi pepper soup can be eaten as it is just like pepper soup or paired with “swallow” like poundo, eba and so on.

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Egusi Pepper Soup by Aliyah's Recipes & Tips

Yields4 Servings
Prep Time20 minsCook Time1 hrTotal Time1 hr 20 mins

To make this recipe you need to toast the melon(egusi) seeds then blend just as you would when you want to cook the normal egusi soup.

You can use any protein of your choice but I will recommend not to use just dried fish. Fresh fish, beef, cowskin, stockfish, cow leg are all good addition to dried fish for this recipe.

 1 cup Ground Egusi/melon (toasted and dry mill or blend with water)
 The protein of choice (I used beef, ponmo/cow skin)
 ¼ cup shredded dried fish (soaked in hot water and salt)
 5 pieces Ehuru /calabash nutmeg
 1 tbsp Uziza seed
 5 Habanero/rodo (adjust to your level tolerance; chopped)
 2 tsp pepper flakes and ground pepper/ata gigun (each)
 Seasoning powder/cube
 Salt to taste

Ingredients

 1 cup Ground Egusi/melon (toasted and dry mill or blend with water)
 The protein of choice (I used beef, ponmo/cow skin)
 ¼ cup shredded dried fish (soaked in hot water and salt)
 5 pieces Ehuru /calabash nutmeg
 1 tbsp Uziza seed
 5 Habanero/rodo (adjust to your level tolerance; chopped)
 2 tsp pepper flakes and ground pepper/ata gigun (each)
 Seasoning powder/cube
 Salt to taste
Egusi Pepper Soup by Aliyah’s Recipes & Tips

#8. Cat Fish and Seafood Pepper Soup (Ghana meets Nigeria) by Nigerian Lazy Chef

Ghana meets Nigeria in the form of a soup. I would call this a more modern version of pepper soup. Each African country have their own version of the pepper soup or light soup recipe. Since I enjoy the Ghanaian and Nigerian version, I thought to myself why not fuse both and see the effects. I have to say I was quite pleased with this soup.

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I am really happy to share this recipe with you. It is easy, it tastes good, and you will keeping going back for more, so make sure to make it a large pot.

As we move ahead, I would share my recipes for the Nigerian pepper soup.

Cat Fish and Seafood Pepper Soup(Ghana meets Nigeria) by

Yields1 Serving
Prep Time15 minsCook Time15 minsTotal Time30 mins

 1.60 lbs catfish(cleaned and gutted)
 1 lb fresh prawns
 1 lb mussels and seafood mix
 2 plum tomatoes
 1 small red bell pepper
 1 small green bell pepper(optional)
 6 habanero peppers or ata-rodo(reduce or increase according to heat tolerance)
 2 small carrots
 1 knob of ginger ie about an inch
 1 garlic clove(optional)
 A handful of chopped Basil leaves or scent leaves
 ½ tsp dry grinded pepper
 1 Maggi crayfish. Any bouillon works
 1 tbsp dry grinded crayfish
 Uyayak pod
 1 tbsp utazi(optional)
 salt to taste
 4 tbsp pepper soup spice powderadd more if you wish
 1 tbsp vegetable oil(optional)

Ingredients

 1.60 lbs catfish(cleaned and gutted)
 1 lb fresh prawns
 1 lb mussels and seafood mix
 2 plum tomatoes
 1 small red bell pepper
 1 small green bell pepper(optional)
 6 habanero peppers or ata-rodo(reduce or increase according to heat tolerance)
 2 small carrots
 1 knob of ginger ie about an inch
 1 garlic clove(optional)
 A handful of chopped Basil leaves or scent leaves
 ½ tsp dry grinded pepper
 1 Maggi crayfish. Any bouillon works
 1 tbsp dry grinded crayfish
 Uyayak pod
 1 tbsp utazi(optional)
 salt to taste
 4 tbsp pepper soup spice powderadd more if you wish
 1 tbsp vegetable oil(optional)
Cat Fish and Seafood Pepper Soup(Ghana meets Nigeria) by Nigerian Lazy Chef

#9. Oyster & Cremini Mushrooms Pepper Soup by Afro Vitality Eats

Simple Mushroom pepper soup, the perfect ” Soup of the day”. Pepper Soup is a light, broth-like usually spicy soup and packed with loads of flavor. Enjoyed in west African countries like Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, and more. 

Today I stumbled upon some beautiful Cremini and oyster mushrooms at our local market and decided to go the Vegan route.

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Mushroom Pepper Soup

Yields4 Servings
Prep Time10 minsCook Time25 minsTotal Time35 mins

Here is your chance for a quick, easy soup while you work on other things. Hope you get to try my easy Mushroom pepper soup and enjoy the wonderful flavors as we did.

Cremin mushrooms

 ¾ lb cremini/ oyster mushrooms
 3 cups water
 4 Njangsa seeds
 1 large basil leave
 1 small sprig Parsley
 ¼ small onion
 3 garlic cloves
 ½ inch cube ginger
 2 medium habanero peppers Adjust heat level accordingly
 salt to taste
 1 tbsp canola oil optional

Ingredients

 ¾ lb cremini/ oyster mushrooms
 3 cups water
 4 Njangsa seeds
 1 large basil leave
 1 small sprig Parsley
 ¼ small onion
 3 garlic cloves
 ½ inch cube ginger
 2 medium habanero peppers Adjust heat level accordingly
 salt to taste
 1 tbsp canola oil optional
Oyster & Cremini Mushrooms Pepper Soup by AfroVitality Eats

#10. Chicken Pepper Soup by Epicurious

Peppersoup is a popular Nigerian favorite and can be prepared with chicken, fish, goat, mutton, game, or organ meats. It should be fiery hot with spices. Traditional spices can be hard to find in the United States. Below you'll find an alternative invented by homesick Nigerians. 

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PHOTO BY JOSEPH DE LEO, FOOD STYLING BY PEARL JONES

Yields6 Servings
Prep Time20 minsCook Time1 hrTotal Time1 hr 20 mins

Peppersoup Spice Mixture:
 1 tbsp anise seeds
 1 tbsp cumin seeds
 1 tbsp ground ginger
 1 tbsp fennel seeds
 1 tsp whole cloves
Chicken Peppersoup:
 1 (3-pound) chicken, cut into serving pieces
 ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
 4 cups water
 1 onionminced
 2 cloves garlicminced
 2 tbsp bird chilesor to taste
 Salt, to taste
 2 tbsp dried smoked shrimpminced
 2 tbsp fresh mintchopped
 Mint sprigsfor garnish

Ingredients

Peppersoup Spice Mixture:
 1 tbsp anise seeds
 1 tbsp cumin seeds
 1 tbsp ground ginger
 1 tbsp fennel seeds
 1 tsp whole cloves
Chicken Peppersoup:
 1 (3-pound) chicken, cut into serving pieces
 ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
 4 cups water
 1 onionminced
 2 cloves garlicminced
 2 tbsp bird chilesor to taste
 Salt, to taste
 2 tbsp dried smoked shrimpminced
 2 tbsp fresh mintchopped
 Mint sprigsfor garnish
Chicken Pepper Soup by Epicurious

Conclusion

This spicy soup is primarily liquid and best served hot. There are no limitations in the type of meat to use. Feel free to experiment in your kitchen with different types of meat and even share your recipe with us if it turns out well. Thankfully, you don’t need any special occasion to prepare pepper soup. You can have it wherever and whenever you want. Why not try them out and leave a comment on your favorite recipe. We look forward to reading from you.

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