In Nigeria, as in other West African countries, pepper soup is a popular dish. The delicacy is enjoyed at family mealtimes, wedding ceremonies, funerals, restaurants, among others.
Pepper soup has a light, watery texture. The broth has a sharp-on-the-nostrils aroma and is usually served hot. It can be drunk as it is or served with rice, yam, plantains and more. Also, a chilled drink is a go-to companion for the fiery sensation on the tongue.
Depending on the region or the decision of the person cooking, the ingredients for (and style of cooking) pepper soup vary. The most important ingredients, though, include pepper soup spice, meat or fish of consumer’s choice, chilli pepper, garlic, onions, ginger, chopped uziza leaves, crayfish, seasoning cube and salt.
To prepare pepper soup, wash the meat or fish of choice first and put it in a pot. Add garlic, onion, pepper, seasoning cube and salt. Pour water and allow to boil under medium heat for about 35 minutes. After that, add the pepper soup spice, crayfish and ginger leave the pot to boil for about 10 minutes. Then add the uziza leaves and leave them to cook under low heat for 5 minutes. When that is done, the pepper soup is ready.
Pepper soup has medicinal values. They help in treating cold and coughs, aiding weight loss, stimulating appetite, and cleaning the womb of a nursing mother.
Uzoma Ihejirika is a Nigerian creative writer and journalist. He is an editor for the AfroAnthology Series and a copy editor for Minority Africa and has written for Open Country Mag. He has a short story on Lolwe.