There is nothing like some hot pepper soup to break a high fever and chase away a bad cold.
*** Photo compliments of Georglyn Marshall
It is best served with fufu. Fufu is an African staple. It is made from the starch of plantain, cassava, yam or corn. You can buy fufu as a flour with the instructions for cooking right on the box.
You swallow fufu, you don't chew it. The sauce makes the fufu slide easily right down your throat. But it takes some practice to learn how to swallow fufu. The temptation to chew it is strong.
The nice thing about making pepper soup is it is easy.
So, let's get started.
You Will Need:
1 pig foot
2 lbs chicken
1 lb stewing beef
2 lbs soup bones
1 lb shrimp (with shells)
3 crabs (cleaned and cut in half)
1 large onion (chopped)
1 1/2 C whole okra
2 tsps salt
3 tsps seasoned salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 or 2 Tbs tomato paste
*** Ingredients from Spanish or Oriental store
1 pod of orange habenero hot pepper
1 piece dried fish (about 2 inches)
1 piece dried meat (about 2 inches)
2 Maggi chicken soups (optional)
3 bitter balls
1 large Orange (see Tips)
Make your pepper soup
Cut the pig foot into 6 pieces. Wash and boil separately until soft. Rinse off and set aside.
Cut stewing beef and soup bones into 1 inch pieces. Peel bonnies and remove bones. Break into small pieces. Wash and cut dried fish into 1 inch pieces. Clean crab, remove back shell, and break each in two pieces.
Combine pig foot, beef, soup bones, bonnies, crabs, shrimp, dried fish, and dried meat in a pan and wash.
Add 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, and 2 tsp seasoned salt. Stir to spread seasoning evenly. Let sit for 20 minutes.
Slice onion. Chop up your hot pepper finely. Cut your bitter boils into quarters. Cut ends from okras.
Transfer all ingredients to as 8 quart pot. Add water to pot so that it is 3/4 full (two inches from the top).
Add tomato paste, 1 tsp of seasoned salt and 1/2 tsp of black pepper.
Taste your soup. Add 1 more tsp of salt according to taste. Add one or two Maggi cubes if desired.
Bring soup to a boil on high. Reduce heat to medium high. Half-cover pot and boil slowly until the soup is dry and the pot is 1/2 full.
Enjoy your pepper soup with fufu or with rice.
To reduce the food smell in your home, try peeling two oranges. Place the rind in a small pot. Cover with water and boil the entire time you are cooking. Add more water as needed.
Be careful with bonnies. Bonnies are little dried fish with many, many bones. Try to get most of the bones out before cooking.
Many Africans cook with Maggi chicken soup for added flavoring. I have added a minimal amount of salt to my recipe to allow you to use chicken soup if desired or to add more salt.
Tomato paste is acidic. Add more or less according to desire.