Pepper soup is a traditional Nigerian dish known for its rich, spicy, and flavorful broth. It is a popular soup that is enjoyed by many people in Nigeria (Edo, Ijaw, Yoruba, Igbo, Urhobo, Isoko, etc) and other parts of West Africa. The soup is typically made with a variety of ingredients, but the key component is the spicy pepper that gives the soup its name and distinctive taste (some might combine up to 3 varieties of pepper for flavor).
The base of pepper soup is usually made by simmering meat or fish in water or broth along with a combination of aromatic spices and herbs. Commonly used meats include goat meat, chicken, beef, or fish (Cat fish), while some variations may include offal like tripe, Abodi, Shaki, liver, Kpomo, or cow feet for added flavor. The choice of meat can vary depending on personal preference or regional variations.
The defining characteristic of pepper soup is the use of hot peppers, such as habanero or scotch bonnet peppers, which are known for their fiery heat. These peppers are blended or chopped and added to the soup, giving it a spicy kick. Other spices and seasonings like garlic, ginger, onions, and a variety of local herbs may also be included to enhance the flavor.
Pepper soup is typically served hot and is enjoyed as a standalone dish or accompanied by other Nigerian staples like Agidi, Moi Moi, boiled yam, plantains, or rice. It is often believed to have various health benefits, particularly in relieving congestion and aiding digestion due to the warming and aromatic qualities of the soup.
Overall, pepper soup is a beloved Nigerian dish known for its intense spiciness and rich flavors. It is a comforting and satisfying meal that is enjoyed across different regions and occasions, adding a burst of heat and flavor to the dining experience.
Types of Pepper soup
In this section we’re going to highlight the various types of pepper soup that you might find in Nigeria and other west African cities like Accra, Cotonou, Cameroon, etc
Let us see how to prepare some of these pepper soups mentioned above! We will begin with goat meat pepper soup
How to Prepare a Quick Goat Meat Pepper Soup
Before we begin, I’d like to make it clear that there are several ways to make Nigerian Goat meat pepper soup and this depends on your tribe and culture. I am Urhobo from Delta state. This is one of the major states within the south-south region of the country, Nigeria and i am going to describe how to make your favorite Goat meat Pepper soup or Ukodo! First, let us see the ingredients used to make Goat meat Pepper soup!
Local Ingredients for Goat Meat Pepper soup
If you’re from Delta state and travel a lot, you’d agree with me that there exists a lot of local spices or ingredients used for a very tasty and delicious Goat Meat pepper soup. These local ingredients include:
African Nutmeg or Calabash Nutmeg: This had to be one of the most important ingredient if you’re ever going to enjoy your goat meat pepper soup. It has different names depending on your tribe and local language and i am going to list these names according to the tribes below:
Name – Tribe
Erhe – Urhobo
Iwo – Itsekiri
Ehuru – Igbo
Ariwo – Yoruba
Gujiya dan miya – Hausa
Ukposa – Bini
Gbafilo – This is yet another very important ingredient used in preparing pepper soup!
A picture of Gbafilo is shared just above this line! I’m sure you’re one of the luckiest fellows to behold this local spice for goat meat pepper soup
Urheri or Grains of Selim
This is a pepper soup spice identified by its narrow fruits, dark brown or black colored and about 2 inch long. It is locally called Urheri by the Urhobo people of Delta state, the Igbo call it Uda and if you’re from Bini kingdom, this is the same spice you’d call Atta.
Uziza Seeds. This is also known as Bush pepper or west African black pepper!
This is one of the most important spices you’d need to make a very tasty goat meat pepper soup or Ukodo. It’s scents is so strong, it also has a lot of health benefits
Lemongrass: this is another useful ingredient used to make pepper soup in Nigeria. Preferred for its lovely scent and high medicinal values. It is added with the other spices mentioned and most times, just 4 leaves are enough for your goat meat pepper soup!
Truth is, in cases where you could not find lemongrass to add to your goat meat pepper soup, you can still enjoy the soup
How to Get Quality Spices for Goat meat Pepper Soup
I know we’ve listed a good number of stuffs that you might not be able to find around your vicinity or local markets and so in order to save you the stress of searching for local pepper soup spices where they do not exist, simply go to the market and ask market women to direct you where to buy goat meat pepper soup spices.
You’ll be given a sachet containing everything we’ve listed above. Once you get this sachet, the next thing would be to adjust the pepper as you know would be suitable for you and your family!
Now let us see how to apply these ingredients in our goat meat pepper soup
To prepare goat meat pepper soup, you will need the local ingredients above and you’re going to apply carefully depending on the number of people ready to enjoy your goat meat pepper soup.
for a family of 5, follow the steps below
Ingredients for Pepper soup spice
6 pcs of Erhe (African Nutmeg)
4 pieces of Urheri (Grains of Selim)
2 pieces of Gbafilo
4 tablespoon of ground crayfish
3 lemongrass leaves
2 tablespoon of ground dry pepper
3 tablespoon of salt (to boil the meat)
6/7 pieces of fresh pepper (Blend)
3 piece of Uda seeds
handful of scent leaves
Remove the shells of African Nutmeg and ensure they’re fresh and usable, do same for Urheri, break the Gbafilo and extract the seeds and then do same for uda seeds.
You’ll need to blend these to a smooth consistency
Blend your fresh peppers and set aside
Wash your goat meat thoroughly and place on your pot
Add some ground pepper seasoning cubes and allow to boil for 12 minutes without adding water
Now that your goat meat has boiled for 12 minutes, it’ll be nice to add more water as would be enough for everyone to enjoy the delicacy
As the goat meat boils, introduce the mixture of all spices prepared in step 1 above and stir very well.
Because you’d want a very tasty goat meat pepper soup, it’ll be very nice to add 3 Maggi or Knorr seasoning cubes
Add your crayfish, stir to mix very well
Add some salt (according to your taste)
Add your lemongrass (Usually tied along with some scent leaves)
After mixing all, allow the mixture to boil for 17 minutes ( since we know goat skin is somewhat hard, it is important that we cook very well to allow the skin to soften before setting off the source of heat)
After 17 minutes, bring out a piece of goat meat from the pot, cut with knife and check if thoroughly cooked and ready to serve!
Notice that after adding the spices, it takes just a few minutes of cooking for you to start perceiving the delicious aroma from the cooking pot. As soon as you observe this, then you’re sure you’ve done everything right.
After 17 minutes, you’ll need to drop the pot from the fire since you’re sure everything has been cooked correctly!
Now it is time for you to serve the Goat meat pepper soup to your family and loved ones. Please understand that goat meat pepper soup is best enjoyed while hot.
What do i use to Eat my Goat Meat Pepper soup?
There are a lot of add-ons with which you can enjoy your goat meat pepper soup! These includes:
Conclusion: How to Prepare Goat Meat Pepper Soup
Having read through this post, we’ve been able to establish the fact that goat meat pepper soup can have varying tastes and flavor depending on the tribe you’re eating from. While we’ve described the process of preparing goat meat pepper soup from an Urhobo man’s perspective, we also encourage you to keep checking as we’ll release the recipes from other tribes in future posts!
Remember to share this post across various social media platforms as doing so might be very useful to your friends too!
You can also see the tutorial by Tspices Kitchen! But you must understand her style is different too but at the end of the day, a very delicious soup is served, everybody is glad and smiling!
Photo Credits: kitchenbutterfly.com – On pepper soup spices & Finding names