• Wednesday, December 06, 2023
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Warm up this Harmattan with this delicious pepper soup recipe

pepper soup
Happy new year to you all. I hope you had a restful holiday period and are back to work and ready to smash your 2020 goals. The Holiday period is all about family, rest and delicious food so I hope you got your dose of all these things.

One thing about the new year and the month of January is that in many parts of the world including Nigeria is that the weather tends to change. I spent some time in Rwanda over the December break where temperatures are relatively cooler. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I came back to Lagos to find a father dust-filled skyline, drier plants and vegetation, and significantly cooler weather. Harmattan has taken over, which led to me to experience an unexpected cold upon arrival. They say we are what we eat,  and that food can be medicinal and I must say that pepper soup is one of the absolute best remedies for fighting a cold. 

No one wants to start the year off feeling under the weather, so I decided to make some pepper soup to make me feel better. Let’s be honest sometimes, a comforting bowl of soup is all you really need. Pepper soup is one of the dishes I had heard about even before stepping foot in Nigeria, over the years I had heard whispers about the secret medicinal benefits of the soup so I thought it would not hurt to try it. 

The Nigerian Pepper soup is a popular 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, Catfish pepper soup,  goat meat pepper soup, Cow Foot Pepper Soup, and the Assorted Beef Pepper Soup.  I’m a big fan of chicken pepper soup. The Nigerian pepper soup; be it with chicken or with assorted meats is a huge Nigerian staple. It is a huge appetizer at Nigerian parties. There is no Nigerian party without pepper soup. People usually go to exclusive bars or restaurants to eat Pepper Soup, but when one is under the weather, the last thing you want to do is leave your house.  I suspect some of you might be needing this recipe in the coming weeks. So here goes your easy to make at home pepper soup recipe.  If you don’t like spicy food I got you covered. Simply reduce the quantity of pepper in this recipe or skip it altogether. Though I doubt with the complete absence of chilli, it would still be called a pepper soup.

Ingredients for Pepper Soup:

  • 1kg Chicken or Assorted Beef
  • 4  Ehu seeds/ Nutmeg 
  • Chilli Pepper ( to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons crushed dry uzza (optional)
  • 2 medium onions
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 3 Maggi stock cubes
  • Crayfish 
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme 
  • 3 Garlic glovers

Cooking time: 40 minutes


  1. Wash the chicken in water and 2 tbsp of vinegar to remove the rawness.
  2. Remove the skin from the chicken and clean the insides
  3. Chop the pieces of meat into halves
  4. Place the chicken into a pot big enough to make your soup.
  5. Fill 3/4 of the pot with water
  6. Place the pot on the stove to boil at a low flame
  7. Check the pot after 30 minutes. You will notice oil being released from the chicken
  8. Begin to add your spices i.e. powdered pepper, grounded crayfish, pepper soup seasoning, and Maggi cubes 
  9. Stir the pot gently 
  10. After washing, dice the large onion, scallion and thyme it to thin pieces. Add them to the pot and stir again
  11. Add a pinch of salt then do a taste test, remember to adjust Maggi seasonings and spices and amounts according to your liking
  12. Finally, add your scent leaves then leave to boil
  13.  After another 15-30 minutes, your Nigerian Chicken Pepper is ready to serve 

I have to say that this soup really does have medicinal benefits as I started to feel better as soon as I had it. The spices hit the right spot and i truly believe this soup has ingredients that unlock cold symptoms. Today’s recipe is exactly what I’ve been craving. I’ve cooked it twice now, and it’s the perfect recipe to usher in the new year with, particularly if you have a cold. So here we go. 2020 it is. My hope is that each of you has a happy, healthy, and peaceful new year. I’d also like to add a heartfelt thank you for your ongoing insight and encouragement on this column.

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