I’m back! For now. It has been months since my last post and it is now a whole new year. Things have been busy but I was beginning to miss blogging so here I am! I may not be able to post as frequently as I once did starting out but I’ll try to post a little bit more often. We’ll see. 😁
Today I have a Pepper Soup recipe with a little variation. Pepper Soup is a popular West African soup made with some sort of meat(s) and different delicious spices. The soup has a light watery consistency but it is packed full of flavor and usually on the spicy side (but that can be adjusted). Some people may add plantains or another starch in it, have those starches on the side or just keep it simple. People also use different types of meats with goat meat being one of the most popular. Back home when I was a kid, I remember we often used tripe, which we also called “towel” (I’m guessing because of the way it looks).
I made mine with pork because that’s what I had on hand. I like mine with plantains that is just beginning to ripen because I like the mild sweetness. The number of scotch bonnet peppers you put will determine how spicy your soup is. I used two peppers and it was very spicy. If you want it really hot, put three and if you don’t want heat at all, omit the peppers. Scotch bonnet peppers do give it a very unique flavor though so maybe consider putting even a half (or a quarter). This recipe is different from a traditional pepper soup because I added kale which is not typical at all. I wanted some leafy green vegetable in there/I wanted to use up the kale in my fridge before it got bad so I decided to add it to the soup and it worked very well.
This is the perfect time of the year for this soup because it is so warming and all the spices in it are great for combating colds. That was actually what pushed me to make this soup. A lot of people around me seemed to be getting sick and I thought I could avoid catching what they got but I failed. So whether you are sick, trying to avoid getting sick or just want to enjoy this heart warming West African dish (one where you can actually find all the ingredients at most grocery stores), go and try this recipe.
Pork Pepper Soup with Kale
This recipe yields about 4 to 6 servings
- 2 to 3 pounds pork, cut in pieces
- 1 bay leaf
- White pepper and salt to taste
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 stick celery
- 4 to 5 garlic cloves
- about 2 tablespoons ginger, chopped
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 1/4 cup basil
- 0 to 3 scotch bonnet (habanero) peppers
- 1 tablespoon maggi (about 3 small cubes)
- 3 to 4 unripe or semi ripe plantains
- 2 to 4 cups of kale
- 7 to 8 cups of water
Put pieces of meat in a large pot with the bay leaf, salt and white pepper. Place all the other spices in a blender with some water and blend until completely puréed. Add the blended spices to the pot of goat meat with about 7 to 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil with the lid on.
Peel and cut plantain into 3 to 4 pieces and add them to the pot. Let it boil for about 10 minutes then add kale. At this point you can also add more water or more seasoning if necessary. Let it boil for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the plantains are fully cooked and the kale has wilted. Take out the bay leaf and serve hot.