There are times when I deliberately switch things up when I am cooking so as not to get bored with my food. I got a text from someone who said her brother is down with the flu and he wants packs of assorted meat peppersoup. We all know that peppersoup is the default choice for recovery. The fresh herbs, spices and the heat from the chilli acts as some magical medication that flushes nasties and germs out of your system. Plus, eating lots of chilli increases your appetite, promotes digestion and helps settle your tummy. The next time you or yours are not doing so great, especially with the cold front that has settled in, make some peppersoup and watch them feel a little better.
My mum has a special touch with her peppersoup, especially when you are ill. There is a long standing joke at home that her peppersoup will drive even the devil from your body, because it is just so hot. I told her it should be used by priests during exorcisms. hehehehehe. One sip of it, and your entire mouth is on fire. It tastes so good, despite the heat that you will find yourself taking more spoons of it. If you weren’t hungry before, your appetite will come back in full force. She usually served it with Yam or boiled rice.
Fish or meat, peppersoup is the ultimate Nigerian starter. I have made probably a hundred pots of it, and pepperosup has a way of surprising you in taste. i.e. despite following a recipe, no two pots of peppersoup are ever the same. Very weird
Update 1 – While cutting up the meats into smaller pieces, I suddenly had the idea of blend an onion, with ginger and ata rodo (scotch bonnet/habanero pepper). Usually, I blend the ata rodo, chop the onion and leave ginger out of it entirely as the peppersoup spice already has ginger in it. I took a gamble and it paid of tremendously. I got this intense freshness and sweetness from the ginger and the onions.
Like my previous post on Assorted Meat Peppersoup HERE. I boil the meats with the spices from scratch. If you are used to boiling your meats first and adding the spices later on, I suggest you try my method. Every time I have made this, especially for new people the feedback has been head swelling inducing. I still made this at a friend’s house for his birthday party two weekends ago. As expected, the pot emptied very fast.
Update 2 – Another new thing I tried was adding about 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil to the peppersoup while it was bubbling and boiling. I don’t know where the thought came from, but it worked too.
Update 3 – i think this was the best of all. Peppersoup is traditionally made with Efinrin. Also called scent leaf or nchawu. If you live abroad, basil is the closest substitute. Efinrin is quite difficult to source where I live, but the dried variety is very common. After crushing dried Efinrin into my pot of Ofe Akwu (recipe HERE) last week, and I loved the local flavour I got, I decided to do it again with the peppersoup. This made it taste wonderful, local and of course familiar. Part of the visual appearance of peppersoup is the chopped fresh herb floating in the soup. The crushed efinrin only gave me black dot like patches, so I decided to take a gamble and use fresh basil as it is in the same family as Efinrin. BOOM!, BOOM, BOOM!. 3 minutes after, the aroma was heady, the taste was phenomenal. It was as if the basil made the efinrin taste better, or maybe the other way around I don’t know, but it worked, worked, worked.