Nigerian pepper soup is a comforting light spicy soup that can be cooked with any type of meat or fish with an infusion of traditional herbs and spices. The spices are not only aromatic fragrant flavourful, they also have antioxidants properties as such pepper soup is many old wives recipe to cure common ailments, like common colds, flu and fever. Pepper soup can be made with beef, goat meat, offals, chicken, fish (all kinds), seafood…
In the night scenes of cool spots and open-air bars, pepper soup is a staple on the menu. No open-air bar or Cool Spot worth its salt in Lagos won’t have pepper soup on its menu. Particularly Catfish Pepper soup. Some open-air bars take it a step further aside running an ala carte service they display an open fish tank where patrons can select their own live Catfish that will be cleaned, and cooked on demand. It’s called “Point and Kill” in local parlance.
If you have followed my previous pepper soup recipes, you will note that I have a bias for the Delta pepper soup spice blend. I love the spice combination that Delta women use to create their pepper soup blend. It is rich, it is robust, it is flavourful. Usually, I buy the blend from the Delta women in the market, now I have found a brand that sells Delta pepper soup spice mix and I’m sticking to it.
What does Delta Pepper soup spice typically comprise of?
It is typically a nice balance of native spices like Ehuru (Calabash Nutmeg), Umilo, Gbafilo, Alligator Pepper…
Catfish pepper soup is not always cooked with yam, however, I like to have some chunks of yam in mine. So let’s get cooking now shall we?
- 1 kg fresh or frozen Catfish
- 2 tsp Delta Pepper Soup Spice
- 1 tbsp Cayenne pepper.
- ½ tbsp Cameroon pepper
- 1 tsp Ginger powder
- A few Efinrin leaves (nchanwu, Scent leaves) chopped
- Salt to taste
- 1½ litre Water
- ¼ of an Uyayak pod
- 1 piece of Uda (grains of Selim)
- Few pieces of yam cut in bite sized pieces
- For fresh catfish, cut them into cylindrical pieces, gut them and clean thoroughly with salt or lime to get rid of the slime.
- In a clean pot, add cayenne pepper, cameroon pepper, salt, ginger powder, pepper soup spice, efrinrin and about 1 litre or less of water. (I like to add at least one piece of Uda -grains of selim- and small bit of Uyayak -aidan fruit pod- when I cook pepper soup. Not necessary especially when you use Delta Peppersoup spice but I like to do it.
- *If you are cooking with yam, add the chunks in from the start
- Cook with lid off on medium heat till it starts to come to a boil.
- Add the cleaned Catfish pieces into the soup. Add some more water. Cook with the lid on.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
- Cook till the fish is well cooked.
- *ensure not to stir the soup with a spoon or ladle, so as not to break the fish up. If necessary shake the pot gently from side to side.
- Turn heat off and serve hot or warm.