By Sue Bedford (MSc Nutritional Therapy)
African pepper soup is a nutritious intensely flavoured soup
It is served throughout West Africa especially in Nigeria, Cameroon and other neighbouring African countries.
Soups and stews are a significant component of African cuisine and this one is comforting, hearty and spicy at the same time.Pepper soup has been consumed for its medicinal values for centuries in Africa.
Pepper soup is mostly liquid, usually served hot made with your choice of goat meat, fish or chicken
It is often enjoyed with potatoes, yam, rice, or just eaten as it is. Nutritionally, this soup is fantastic, containing a good variety of nutrients that are important for general health and also fertility, including beta carotene, zinc, protein, manganese, folic acid, Vitamins: B1, B2, C and E.
The onions and garlic in this soup provide important vitamins and are also prebiotics – so feed the ‘good’ bacteria in the gut. They also help to support the immune system. Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and lycopene – both important to fertility and yams and sweet potatoes provide a good amount of fibre and potassium. They both also provide a good amount of selenium, iron, magnesium and zinc along with beta carotene (sweet potatoes provide more than yams). Besides being an excellent source of protein and B vitamins, chicken also contains a special amino acid, Lcarnitine, which is necessary for sperm cells to function normally. Lcarnitine has been linked in studies to assisting in normalising sperm motility, which is a crucial component to male fertility
African Chicken pepper soup
1.4 litres water
8 boneless chicken thighs
1 can plum tomatoes or 8 large ripe tomatoes
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons Pepper Soup seasoning (or fresh spices if you are able to obtain such as Negro Pepper and African nutmeg)
2 yam or sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons fresh or dried crayfish
1 tablespoon salt
1 Fresh Chilli
How to make:
Slice the onion thinly and line the bottom of a Dutch oven or casserole pot with half of the onion. Lay the chicken thighs on top of the onion pieces and cover with the remaining half an onion.
Sprinkle the Pepper Soup seasoning over the chicken and onions. Scatter in the sweet potatoes or Yam, pour in water, add a bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and allow to cook 20 to 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
Remove the chicken, cut into small pieces and return to the Dutch oven/casserole pot. Take the remaining onion and slice it and crush the clove of garlic. Blend the onion and garlic along with the tomatoes until smooth. Add the pureed vegetable mixture to the soup. Stir in the dried crayfish and allow the soup to simmer for 20 minutes.
Season to taste. Squeeze the lime juice over with a few slices of fresh chilli.