Friday, October 12, 2018

Fragrant West African Pepper Soup

Fragrant West African Pepper Soup does real justice to all the peppers I recently harvested. It is so hearty and fills the air with its goodness. This soup is traditionally used the same as we use chicken soup, for the well being of those eating it.
I roasted my peppers on the BBQ to blister the skins on all sides. I used lots of carmen peppers and two poblanos. I had an assembly line going. Add a few more peppers, keep turning them, remove them, add more peppers. Then I placed the peppers in a covered bowl to sweat. Sweating makes removing the skins much easier. After several hours I had a big batch of peppers roasted, skinned and chopped. Next I peeled and chopped the eggplant and tomatoes I harvested. I sauteed one onion in a large soup pot, added the remaining chopped ingredients and three cups of water. I also added one hot pepper chopped fine.
Now the fragrant part. Add one teaspoon each of allspice, cloves, coriander seeds (I didn't have seeds so I used ground coriander), cumin seeds, dried ginger, fennel seeds, and mint leaves. I also added half a teaspoon of cinnamon and five star anise, two tablespoons of sugar and 4 tablespoons of honey.  Cook till all ingredients are soft, about an hour. Remove and discard star anise. Let mixture cool slightly and puree in blender.  While mixture was cooling I sauteed till slightly browned in olive oil four pounds of boneless pork chopped into bite sized pieces.

Traditionally West Africans would use goat, chicken or beef. I have no source for goat meat and I have quit eating chicken because 49 percent now contains salmonella, and I gave beef up a long time ago. You may substitute any of those meats or don't add any meat at all. The boneless pork was so easy to cut up. Usually in West Africa this soup is a thin broth with just a hot pepper added but I changed it to lots of peppers pureed since I had so many. Put pureed pepper mixture back in soup pot and add sauteed pork. Cook at least another half hour to forty five minutes to be sure pork is cooked through. This soup is so delicious and the soup spices permeate your kitchen with a wonderful fragrance.

I'll be at the farmers market tomorrow; thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. Amazing seeing all the peppers on your previous post (I did grow 3 very tiny ones on a window sill here one summer... but they really didn't do very well!). The West Africa soup sounds wonderful. We had a friend once who had a really nice cold pepper soup recipe that he used to make when ever peppers were abundant in the shops and lower in price. It was quite a treat to be invited round to try some!

  2. you certainly had a bumper crop and looks like you found a good way to use them all.

    1. Hi Anna, thanks, I could sell some but the negligible amount I would get isn't worth it since then I'd be buying vegetables.

  3. Hi Peter, thanks, I'll have to look for a cold pepper soup since I still have more peppers in the boxes and even more to harvest.

  4. Looks intriguing..


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment