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Nothing hits the spot quite like a hot bowl of Nigerian pepper soup! Not sure how to make it? Don’t worry, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know.

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Nigerian pepper soup

Nigerian pepper soup is one of the popular meat dishes in Nigeria. The perfect blend of peppers, meats, and vegetables makes it a unique and flavorful experience.

Like many other Nigerian foods, pepper soup is a feel-good meal that brings people together, this is why it is a staple in many Nigerian restaurants.

And at Nigerian ceremonies, pepper soup is stepped down with a cold glass of beer or palm wine.

Besides its delicious taste, it is also believed to have medicinal properties. I remember drinking this soup when I wasn’t feeling very well as a child.

What Is Nigerian Pepper Soup?

Nigerian pepper soup is a delicious and spicy watery soup popular in West African countries.

It’s made with a blend of meats and vegetables, cooked in a flavorful broth that can be served both hot (preferable) or cold.

As its name implies, it originates in Nigeria and is enjoyed in other West African countries like Ghana, Liberia, Gambia, and Sierra Leone.

It is very peppery with an interesting outburst of flavors. If you have a low heat tolerance, be sure to reduce the number of peppers you add to the soup.

Nigerian Pepper Soup Recipe

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Mouth-Watering: Pepper soup is a delicious and unique dish with a complex flavor profile. It’s spicy yet savory, sweet yet tangy — a unique blend of tastes that’ll tantalize your tastebuds.
  • Easy to Prepare: Nigerian pepper soup is easy to make and can be served as an appetizer or a main course.
  • Budget Friendly – You don’t have to break the bank to enjoy this special Nigerian delicacy.
  • Highly Customizable – Today’s recipe I’m sharing is goat meat pepper soup. You can replace the meat to make chicken pepper soup, catfish pepper soup, assorted meat pepper soup, and cow foot pepper soup with the same recipe.

So if you’re looking for something different to add to your kitchen repertoire, Nigerian pepper soup is the way to go!

What Does Nigerian Pepper Soup Taste Like?

Nigerian pepper soup has a complex flavor profile that balances spicy and savory flavors with sweet and tangy ones.

It’s spicy because of the peppers used, but also has a hint of sweetness from the tomatoes.

But the taste of pepper soup goes beyond that. The different Nigerian pepper soup proteins add their unique umami taste.

nigerian goat pepper soup

Is Nigerian Pepper Soup Healthy?

Yes, Nigerian pepper soup is a healthy dish! It’s made from various ingredients such as peppers, onions, and other spices – all of which are packed with nutrients.

Vegetables provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber, while the proteins and fats in meat help to keep you full for longer.

Plus, it’s low in calories but still offers plenty of flavors, making it delicious and nutritious!

If you want something a little different and heartier, you should check out this Ultimate Minestrone Soup.

Perfect for vegetarians, this delicious Italian-inspired soup is packed with flavorful herbs and vegetables.

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Is Pepper Soup Spicy?

Absolutely yes, pepper soup is spicy.

The peppers in Nigerian pepper soup make it a spicy dish. I remember serving this to a friend who loves spicy dishes.

He literally froze in his seat after the first sip of this soup. In my head, I kept saying, “don’t cough, don’t cough.”

When he finally spoke, he said, “this soup is so good. I wasn’t expecting the heat to hit me like that!”?

What Are The Benefits Of Nigerian Pepper Soup?

Nigerian pepper soup is a nutritious and flavorful dish with various health benefits. Here are some of them:

  • Rich in Vitamins: Nigerian pepper soup is rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K due to the vegetables it contains. It is also packed with antioxidants which help boost the immune system.
  • Heart Healthy: The onions in the soup are excellent sources of lycopene, an antioxidant that helps protect against heart disease.
  • Low Calorie & Low Fat: The ingredients used to make this dish are naturally low in calories and fat, making it a great option for those looking to lose or maintain their weight.
nigerian pepper soup with goat meat

Nigerian Pepper Soup Ingredients

  • Goat Meat – Goat meat is the star ingredient of this pepper soup. It is a healthier form of red meat. It is also many Nigerians’ favorite type of meat in pepper soup because of its delicious gamey flavor.
  • Pepper Soup Spice – This is a spice blend of African chili peppers, black pepper, alligator pepper, calabash nutmeg, scent leaves, ginger, garlic, clove, fennel seeds, garden mint leaves, udah (Negro pepper), uziza (Benin pepper), paprika powder, coriander seed, carrot powder, and ulima seeds.
  • Bay Leaf – This aromatic leaf has a subtle minty flavor and bitter taste that add depth to this African soup. One or two large pieces of bay leaves are enough for the preparation.
  • Habanero Peppers – Red habanero pepper is one of the hottest varieties of chili pepper. The blended form of it is added to make this soup spicy.
  • Fresh Ginger – Fresh ginger should be ground with hot habanero peppers. It has a unique flavor that boosts the soup’s aroma and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Crayfish Powder – True that an African soup is never complete without the light aroma of seafood. The aroma of this ground crayfish typically improves the soup’s taste.
  • Onion– Onions also boost the aroma of this soup. Whether you use green onions, spring onions, red onions, or white onions, they must be grated evenly with a small hole grater to prevent large chunks in the soup.
  • Salt
  • Seasoning – Add seasoning cube or powder to taste.
  • Water – Nigerian pepper soup is made of water.
nigerian pepper soup ingredients

Tools Needed To Prepare Nigerian Pepper Soup

Ingredient Additions & Substitutions For Nigerian Pepper Soup

Bay Leaf

Bay leaf can be substituted with other minty-flavored herbs like lemon grass leaf or lime leaf. A stalk of lemon grass is enough for this recipe, or two fresh pieces of lime leaf.

If are unable to get lemon grass or lime leaf as a substitution, you can use shredded holy basil leaves, African scent leaves, or bitter leaves.

These shredded leaves are added as dressing after the whole cooking process.

Habanero Pepper

Fresh habanero pepper can be substituted with other varieties of fresh hot pepper like cayenne pepper or scotch bonnet pepper.

You can also use ground dry pepper like chili powder or ground black peppercorns.

Pepper Soup Spice

You can make the pepper soup spice blend at home instead of getting the ready-made version.

Here’s how:

  • 6 seeds of erhe (calabash nutmeg)
  • 2 seeds of gbafilo (Chrysobalanus icaco)
  • 2 seeds of umilo (regular nutmeg)
  • 8 urheri pods (Selim or ethiopian pepper)
  • Half a tablespoon of alligator pepper seeds
  • Half tablespoon of uziza seeds (ashanti pepper)

Grind all the ingredients together in the spice grinder. Your pepper soup spice is ready.

Goat Meat

Goat meat can be substituted with another protein of choice. For seafood pepper soup, substitute goat meat with catfishtilapia fishoyster, and so on.

For meaty pepper soup, you can substitute goat meat with chickenturkey, cow tripe, assorted beef, and so on.

Fresh Ginger

Fresh ginger can be substituted with dry ginger powder.

How to Make Nigerian Goat Meat Pepper Soup (Step-by-Step)

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs goat meat
  • 3 tbs crayfish
  • 1 onion (chopped/blended)
  • 1 small bulb of ginger (chopped/blended)
  • 1-2 scotch bonnet (whole and blended)
  • 3 tbs pepper soup spice
  • 2 tsp Seasoning powder
  • 1-2 bat leaf
  • Salt to tast
  • 4-6 cups of water
  • 2 tsp uziza leaves (optional)
  • 1 tsp chili flakes (optional)

Instructions

STEP 1: Properly clean the goat meat. Rinse it thoroughly under cold running water to remove any dirt and debris.

how to make pepper soup

STEP 2: Add cleaned goat meat to cooking pot. You can precook goat meat in a pressure cooker to make it tender and reduce cook time.

how to cook pepper soup

STEP 3: Add salt and seasoning. Add the optional bay leaf in this step.

african pepper soup

STEP 4: Add some habanero pepper and cook covered on low to medium heat for about 30 minutes or until mostly tender. This will allow the meat and ingredients to release their flavor.

how to make goat pepper soup

STEP 5: Next, add the blended habanero pepper, crayfish, and pepper soup spice to the pot.

how to make Nigerian African pepper soup
how to make Nigerian African pepper soup
how to make Nigerian pepper soup
how to make Nigerian pepper soup

STEP 6: Stir and allow to simmer on low-medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the meat is tender.

STEP 7: Serve hot with your favorite side like boiled yam, plantain, or rice.

What To Serve With Nigerian Pepper Soup

You can enjoy it as an appetizer, main dish, or side dish. Here are a few examples:

  • Serve as is as an appetizer
  • White rice
  • Boiled yam
  • Boiled potatoes
  • Boiled plantain
  • Chilled drinks like beer, palm wine, wine, etc.

Tips About Making Nigerian Pepper Soup

  • Properly clean the meat before cooking the pepper soup. Rinse the meat in cold water, ensuring that meat flaps are exposed and properly rinsed.
  • If you want to fasten the process of cooking this pepper soup, you can use a pressure cooker for cooking the meat. My favorite is this Instant Pot pressure cooker.
  • Whether you use a pressure cooker or not, make sure that the meat is not too tender in step 1 before proceeding with the preparation. This is to avoid the meat being too soft and less enjoyable.
  • The cooking process only requires medium-low heat. High heat can make the pepper soup water dry off quickly (it’s called soup for a reason).
  • If you have a low heat tolerance, make sure to reduce the number of peppers you use for this pepper soup recipe. And, if you want more hotness, you can also increase the quantity you use in this recipe.
  • Cut the meat into cutlets instead of large chunks to fasten the cooking process.
African Pepper Soup with Goat Meat

How To Store Nigerian Pepper Soup

To store Nigerian pepper soup, pour it into an airtight container and put it in a fridge or freezer.

Pepper soup will last for a week in the fridge and three months in the freezer.

When you are ready to eat it again, pour it into a pot and warm it on medium heat till it is hot enough to enjoy again.

Alternatively, you can reheat the soup in a microwave. You might need to add some more water to balance out the flavor.

Can Pepper Soup Help You Lose Weight?

Yes, Nigerian pepper soup can help you lose weight. Because the ingredients used to make it are naturally low in calories and fat, it is a great choice for those looking to shed some pounds.

Is Nigerian Pepper Soup Seasoning Bitter?

No, not really. It typically contains a mix of herbs and spices that add flavor and piquancy to the dish.

nigerian pepper soup with goat meat

Why Is My Pepper Soup Bitter?

Your pepper soup may be bitter if you’ve added too many spices or herbs in the seasoning. It can also be caused by over-cooking, which leads to an overly concentrated flavor or adding ingredients at temperatures that are too high.

Is Uziza Leaf Good For Pepper Soup?

Yes, uziza leaf is an excellent addition to pepper soup. It adds a distinctive flavor and aroma that brings out the best in the dish. Shredded uziza leaves can also be used instead of scent leaves or bitter leaves.

FAQ About Nigerian Pepper Soup

Which cow parts can I use for Nigerian pepper soup?

You can use cow foot, cow tripe (the insides), cow head, and cow tail for pepper soup.

What is Nigerian pepper soup made of?

The main ingredients of Nigerian pepper soup are protein, peppers, and pepper soup spice.

What is the most popular soup in Nigeria?

The most popular Nigerian soup is egusi soup. It is made of pumpkin seeds and is mostly eaten by people in Southern Nigeria.

What is the cheapest soup to make in Nigeria?

Okra soup (ila alasepo) is the cheapest Nigerian soup. With just the pods, pepper, smoked fish, salt and Maggi, you will get a delicious pot of okra that pair well with eba (garri).

Nigerian pepper soup

Nigerian Pepper Soup

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Nothing hits the spot quite like a hot bowl of Nigerian pepper soup! Not sure how to make it? Don't worry, I'll walk you through everything you need to know.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs goat meat
  • 3 tbs crayfish
  • 1 onion (chopped/blended)
  • 1 small bulb of ginger (chopped/blended)
  • 1-2 scotch bonnet (whole and blended)
  • 3 tbs pepper soup spice
  • 2 tsp Seasoning powder
  • 1-2 bat leaf
  • Salt to tast
  • 4-6 cups of water
  • 2 tsp uziza leaves (optional)
  • 1 tsp chili flakes (optional)

Instructions

  1. Properly clean the goat meat. Rinse it thoroughly under cold running water to remove any dirt and debris.
  2. Add cleaned goat meat to cooking pot. You can precook goat meat in pressure cooker to make it tender and reduce cook time.
  3. Add salt and seasoning. Add the optional bay leaf in this step.
  4. Add some habanero pepper and cook covered on low to medium heat for about 30 minutes or until mostly tender. This will allow the meat and ingredients to release their flavor.
  5. Next, add the blended habanero pepper, crayfish, and pepper soup spice to the pot.
  6. Stir and allow to simmer on low-medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the meat is tender.
  7. Serve hot with your favorite side like boiled yam, plantain, or rice.

Notes

  • Adjust the heat of the soup to your taste. It’s totally ok to use a very small amount of pepper. Some people may argue that then you’re drinking broth with a sprinkle of pepper soup seasoning. Do what makes you happy!
  • It’s totally ok to skip adding leaves altogether. My mother made pepper soup with and without any leaves and the result was almost always delicious.
  • Feel free to use ginger powder instead of fresh ginger.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 910Total Fat: 65gSaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 37gCholesterol: 158mgSodium: 1753mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 72g

* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for the most accurate results.

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Conclusion

As someone who loves cooking and tasting new dishes, Nigerian pepper soup is a must-try!

Not only is it flavorful and hearty, but it’s also packed with essential nutrients. Its unique combination of spices, herbs, and meat makes it a one-of-a-kind dish everyone should try.

If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to some of your favorite dishes, why not try Nigerian pepper soup?

Humor me: What did the Nigerian pepper soup say when it was asked to join a party?

“Sure, I’ll spice things up!”?

Nigerian Pepper Soup Recipe

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