African Pepper Soup + Tutorial {Gluten-Free, Paleo, Keto}

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Looking for the easiest African Pepper Soup recipe? You have found it!! It only takes a few everyday ingredients and minimal effort to whip up this popular African Soup.

Perfect for easy supper, parties, to feed a crowd and any special occasion. Do check out the easy step-by-step images on how to make this Pepper Soup on the stove top, in the Instant Pot or in a slow cooker. Suitable for Gluten-Free, Paleo and Keto diets. Post includes Weight Watchers points.

African Pepper Soup in a pot with lime garnish

Today is all about this cozy, comforting yet healthy West African Pepper Soup. This soup starts with a few simple ingredients, requires minimal effort and cooks in just 30 mins (enough for you to read a few chapters of your favourite book).

Even better is that this is THE soup to feed a crowd. You can easily quadruple the recipe, just cook ahead of time and warm up as guests arrive.

What is African Pepper Soup?

Pepper Soup is eaten widely across West Africa as an everyday soup, or the dish that is served at the end of every single party, is known as the all illness curing soup (on the same level as chicken soup) and can be found equally at street stalls, restaurants and homes all across Africa.

The star ingredient in this African Soup is pepper (aka chilli). And you can make your soup as hot or as mild as you want. If you are a fan of mild you can start with about a quarter of a deseeded scotch bonnet or habanero chili. If you prefer it hot then start with 1-2 chillis.

The remaining ingredients always include some form of protein (eg beef, chicken, fish, offal), lots and lots of water as this is a soup ‘to drink’, onions and a selection of spices that is personalised to each cook. I have given you a basic (yet tasty) recipe as a starting point for you to experiment to your heart’s content.

It is easily adaptable; sweet potatoes, cassava, yams and plantains are a popular addition to this soup. If you add them then please cut them small enough so that they cook quickly.

Chefs Tip – Pepper Soup has got to be eaten warm, cold Pepper Soup just does not cut it.

nigerian pepper soup in a pot with a spoon and lime

 

African Pepper Soup Tools

KITCHEN TOOLS, UTENSILS & APPLIANCES  NEEDED

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, check out my disclosure.

Here are some of the items you will need to make this recipe.

So are you ready to try your hand at some African Pepper Soup? Then gather all your ingredients and let me show you ….

How to Cook Pepper Soup

Step 1. Mix together meat, onion, garlic, ginger, the peppers and thyme in your pot.

Step 2. Add the water, bring to boil and reduce to a rolling simmer for 15 mins.

Step 3. Add the tomato puree and season with salt and simmer for another 10-15 mins until the beef is done.

ingredients for african pepper soup to be cooked. Beef, onions, chilli, herbs, garlic and thyme

Add water…

African pepper soup in the making

Adding in the tomato puree…

African pepper soup in a pot being cooked

Yeap, 3 easy steps to your very own African Pepper Soup.

Finished African Pepper Soup in a pot

Instant Pot Pepper Soup

Instant Pot African Pepper soup ingredients in the Instant Pot

Making instant Pot Pepper Soup is a breeze. You would need to reduce the water to 900mls.

Step 1. Add everything to the Instant Pot, close the lid and set the vent to seal.

Step 2. Select the manual or pressure cook button (dependent upon IP model), select high pressure and set the timer to 20 mins.

Step 3. Do a natural pressure release, open, adjust seasoning and serve.

Instant Pot African Pepper Soup on a table

Slow Cooker Pepper Soup

Slow Cooker Pepper Soup is also immensely easy to whip up. You would need to reduce the water to 900ml.

Step 1. Add everything to the slow cooker and close the lid.

Step 2. Cook on high for 4-5 hrs and on low for 6-8 hrs.

Tips For Making The Perfect African Pepper Soup At Home

  • Mincing the onions, garlic and ginger means everything cooks quickly as well as flavours the soup.
  • If the meat is tough you would need a little bit extra cooking time – and test the meat every 15 mins. You may prefer to cook it in a pressure cooker to reduce meat cooking time.
  • This soup is a drinking kind of soup so add a little bit more liquid if you want.
  • This recipe calls for fresh chilli but you can easily use some chilli flakes or chilli powder instead.
  • A squeeze of lime adds a little extra depth to this soup.

Goat Meat Pepper Soup

Prefer Goat Meat Pepper Soup instead? Then simply substitute the beef for goat meat and cook as normal. Equally tasty with its own unique flavour so favoured across West Africa.

African Pepper Soup

Nigerian Pepper Soup

To make this a Nigerian Pepper Soup you would add a tablespoon or two of Pepper soup spice which can include spices such as coriander seeds, cloves, cinnamon and allspice along with a fragrant treat like basil or lemongrass. Please feel free to experiment away.

How to Make Pepper Soup with Fish

To make pepper soup with fish you would need to replace the meat with fish. If using fish you would need to cut the fish into large steaks and add in the final 8-10 mins of cooking. Make sure not to stir the fish to avoid breaking up the fish steaks.

How to Freeze African Pepper Soup

  • Let the soup cool down then transfer into these very handy Ziploc freezer bags.
  • Squeeze out all the extra air and seal the bags.
  • Label the bags and then lay them flat in the freezer.
  • Store the soup in the freezer for 3 months.

How to Thaw African Pepper Soup

  • Remove the soup from the freezer the night before needed and let it thaw in the fridge.
  • For a faster thaw, you can add the bagged soup into a microwave and thaw according to the microwave’s instructions.
  • Transfer the thawed soup into a bowl and reheat in a microwave.
  • Or transfer the thawed soup into a saucepan and reheat over low to medium heat.

Weight Watchers Points in African Pepper Soup

There are 3 Freestyle points per serving of African Pepper Soup.

Reader Feedback

Reader Hina so kindly recreated this recipe with her own modifications. She said:

I made the barley one for my mum who is vegetarian. It’s the broth without meat and flavour with harrissa. I just thought you might want to see. But the meat one was all me- he said to use lamb chops and oh they just melted in the mouth. Had to eat the whole thing.

See below for her photos of both the lamb version and barley version. Thank you Hina.

african pepper soup ingredients in a bowl including lamb chops

african pepper soup fully cooked with wooden spoon in soup

vegetarian african pepper soup with barley in a pot

More African Recipes

Puff Puff.

Cassava Leaves.

Okra Sauce.

Jollof Rice.

Thank you for reading my African Pepper Soup recipe post. And please visit again as I continue dreaming up recipes, traditional African recipes, African fusion recipes, Sierra Leone recipes, travel plans and much more for you. Thanks for reading Recipes from a Pantry, UK food blog.

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African Pepper Soup in a pot with lime garnish
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4.89 from 9 votes

African Pepper Soup

African Pepper Soup It only takes a few everyday ingredients and minimal effort to whip up this popular African Pepper Soup.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: African
Servings: 6
Calories: 462kcal
Author: Bintu Hardy

Ingredients

Stove Top African Pepper Soup.

  • 675 g (1.5lb) beef or goat meat cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 onions minced
  • 3 garlic minced
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 0.5 tsp white pepper
  • 0.5 tsp.black pepper
  • 1.5 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 stock cube or more to taste
  • Scotch bonnet pepper to taste
  • 1.25 L 5 cups water
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • Salt

Instant Pot African Pepper Soup

  • Reduce water to 900 ml (3.8 cups)
  • All other ingredients the same

Slow cooker version

  • Reduce water to 900 ml (3.8 cups)
  • All other ingredients the same

Instructions

Stove top African Pepper Soup

  • Mix together meat, onion, garlic, ginger, white pepper, black pepper and thyme in your pot.
  • Add the water, bring to boil and reduce to a roiling simmer for 15 mins.
  • Add the tomato puree and season with salt and simmer for another 10-15 mins until the beef is done
  • Adjust seasoning and serve.

Instant Pot African Pepper Soup

  • Add all the ingredients to the Instant Pot insert and mix well.
  • Select the manual or pressure cook button (dependent upon IP model), select high pressure and set the timer to 20 mins. Cook till done.
  • Let the steam release naturally.Adjust seasoning and serve.

Slow Cooker African Pepper Soup

  • Add everything to slow cooker.
  • Cook on high for 4-5 hrs or low 6-8 hrs.
  • Adjust seasoning and serve.
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Notes

Note Tougher pieces of meat may need a while longer to cook (if water reduces when cooking top up with another 250 mls ( 1 cup).
Serves 4 ppl if by itself. If with things like cassava or potatoes can serve 6.

Tips For Making The Perfect African Pepper Soup At Home

  • Mincing the onions, garlic and ginger means everything cooks quickly as well as flavours the soup.
  • If the meat is tough you would need a little bit extra cooking time – and test the meat every 15 mins. You may prefer to cook it in a pressure cooker to reduce meat cooking time.
  • This soup is a drinking kind of soup so add a little bit more liquid if you want.
  • This recipe calls for fresh chilli but you can easily use some chilli flakes or chilli powder instead.
  • A squeeze of lime adds a little extra depth to this soup.
  • Instant Pot version: The total cook time does not include the time it takes for the Instant Pot to get to pressure and the time for the natural pressure release.

Weight Watchers Points 

There are 3 Freestyle points in one serving of African Pepper Soup.

African Recipes

If you want more African Recipes, then check out these below.
Puff Puff.
Cassava Leaf Sauce.
Okra Soup.
Jollof Rice.

Nutrition

Calories: 462kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 119mg | Sodium: 359mg | Potassium: 597mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 4.1mg

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16 Comments

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  2. 5 stars
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  3. I see that this recipe calls fora scotch bonnet pepper but the pepper shown in the picture of ingredients is a different type of pepper. Why?

  4. Looking forward to trying this! What type of stockcube would you use: beef, chicken or vegetable?

  5. 5 stars
    I made it tonight, I had three bowlfuls all myself, and my Nigerian partner has had not a taste, delicious and so easy, who knew. I added some potato to fill it out, and took the beginning of the broth to make a veggie version for the veg people in the house.
    I’ll use the rest of the broth for some Jollof tomorrow, thank you so much Bintu for teaching me how to make delicious African dishes! I feel like I’ll be eating this for many years to come 🙂

  6. Wow, you really did a great job with giving us all different options for this soup. Love it!

  7. 5 stars
    This sounds absolutely delicious! I love that you added Instant Pot instructions because I do love using my instant pot 🙂 I’ve never had African soup before and the flavors sound amazing!