Nigerian Chicken Pepper Soup is an easy and hearty comfort food very popular in West Africa. It is also known as African Pepper soup, and as the name implies 'Pepper Soup' is a hot and spicy chicken broth recipe made with a blend of aromatic African spices. I promise you, this is the only chicken Pepper soup recipe you will need so let me show you how to make it in easy steps.
Nigerian Chicken Pepper soup recipe
Nigerians, like most West Africans, love spice. However, in Eastern Nigeria, where I come from, people are not that keen on spicy food.
An exception being the pepper soup. But in Western Nigeria, where I grew up, the tradition holds true and hot and spicy food is the norm.
I love hot and spicy!!! This pepper soup is made with a special blend of spices which include Ehuru (calabash nutmeg), uziza seeds ( can someone help me with it's English name) and Uda (negro Pepper) this spice mix can be bought in the African stores. Bless my mama I still have some she brought for me.
- Bouillion Powder or stock cubes
- Cameroon pepper
- Ground Crayfish
- Palm oil (optional)
- Pepper soup spice blend
- Scent leaves ( substitute with parsley or basil)
How to make Nigerian Chicken Pepper Soup.
Other types of Pepper soup
Besides, Chicken pepper soup, there are other meat pepper soups like
- fish pepper soup and
- goat meat pepper soup.
- Yam Pepper Soup: This version has chunks of yams added along with some extra special spices. It is recommended for new moms to help to cleanse the uterus and increase milk production.
That is what new moms enjoy during the "omugwo"** period in Eastern Nigeria. Ohhh sweet mother? God bless mothers.
What is Omugwo?
OMUGWO is the period from child birth or a week or two before to about 3 months post delivery. During this period, the new mom's mother comes to her daughter's home.
The new mom is pampered and guided as to how to take care of the new baby, herself and her home. She is nursed back to full health or should I say strength.This method of taking care of a woman that has just put to bed is common in the Eastern part of Nigeria.
In the Western Nigeria, I am told it's a bit different. The new mom goes to her mother's house for this care and tutelage or her mom-in- law comes over. I am not too sure so please enlighten me on your various cultures in the comments.
It is usually 3 months but has gradually decreased to one month or even less due to increase in the working grandma population.
Count yourself lucky if you still enjoy the full 3 months or more. I did.
Why you should give this Nigerian Chicken Pepper Soup a try:
- Pepper Soup has many benefits, it can be used as a medicine if you have a cold or a fever, that's the magic of the pepper soup spice.
- It's a low carb meal... that's hot, right?
- It is one meal you can give a person with a poor appetite and you rev up that appetite VROOMMM....
- Well who doesn't like chicken... I know some people don't but still...
Quick Recipe notes and tips
- If you don't like hot and spicy I got you covered. Simply reduce the quantity of pepper in this recipe or skip it all together. But the name pepper soup may not be ideal any more.
- Substitute any Cameroon pepper with any hot pepper like Cayenne, habanero pepper, Scotch bonnet pepper.
- Substitute the scent leaves with parsley or basil.
This is a perfect recipe for the colder months in the year like the early spring, autumn, winter months. It is perfect for the rainy season as well. We always find a reason to make some chicken pepper soup in my home.
If you do give this recipe a try or found this post helpful, please leave me a comment and share the link to this recipe with family and friends and in your favorite Facebook group.
PS: Recipe photos have been updated for your visual enjoyment!
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Nigerian Chicken Pepper soup
- 1500 g Large whole Chicken ( cleaned and cut up.)
- 1 Large Onion (finely chopped)
- 1 Tbsp chicken boiullon powder (or 2 seasoning cubes)
- ⅛ tsp Salt (or to taste)
- ½ to 1 Tbsp Cameroon Pepper (you can sub with 2 habenero peppers)
- 1 Tbsp Crayfish (optional)
- 1 Tbsp Pepper-soup spice*
- 2 Tbsp Palm oil (optional)
- 2-3 Scent leaves (nchianwu) ( finely chopped I had run out of Scent leaves so I used Parsley flakes)
- Place the washed and cut up chicken in a pot.
- Add about 6cups of water, the chopped onions, salt and 2 seasoning cubes and bring to a boil.
- When the contents in the pot begins to boil, add the pepper soup spice, Cameroon pepper and crayfish ( if using). .
- Cook till chicken meat is tender then lower heat.
- Add the chopped scent leaves and palm oil. Allow to simmer for about a minute, then turn off the heat
- Your Chicken Pepper Soup is ready. Enjoy!!!
- You can eat it on its own, with some hot white rice, boiled unripe plantains or boiled yam. My choice of what to eat it with depends on my mood ?
- *Pepper soup spice is a special blend of spices which include Ehuru (calabash nutmeg), uziza seeds and Uda (negro Pepper) this spice mix can be bought in the African stores.
- If you are making this with regular American chicken, remember that the American chicken cooks faster so adjust your time to about 15mins less so the chicken doesn't get too soft and break into pieces.
- Also add your Pepper Soup spice, onions, and crayfish when you start cooking so the chicken can absorb a lot of flavor.