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Sierra Leonean Pepper Soup

Updated: Mar 20, 2021

Pepper soup is both good for when you are sick and when you want to enjoy a bowl of comfort made simple.

In Sierra Leone culture and other West African cultures, we like to use natural remedies as medicinal supplements. Food is often used to combat illnesses. Pepper soup is one of those common dishes.

Growing up, pepper soup, as we call it in our native tongue, was the go-to food to help alleviate symptoms of the common cold. One taste and your nose will instantly running due to the hot peppers. It's filled with plenty of nutritional value as well. Pepper soup is also eaten regularly even when you're not sick. It's often cooked with any choice of meat proteins, broth, onions, Maggie or bouillon powder and of course hot peppers. It's super easy and simple to cook. This will warm you right up during these cold winter months.

Enjoy my recipe for pepper soup. It's simple, quick, and belly warming!


Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes


Assorted meat: beef tripe, oxtails, goat meat, etc

1 - 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon powder

1 chopped medium sweet onion

1 sliced medium sweet onion

1 - 2 habanero peppers (measure based on the level of spiciness you want)

1 teaspoon fresh ginger

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon tomato paste

¼ cup olive oil


Wooden spoon

1 medium pot

Blender or food processor

Knife for chopping (Santoku or Chef)


  1. Wash and boil meat with chicken bouillon powder. Make sure the water covers the meat. Boil on medium high until tender.

  2. Drain broth from boiled meats into a bowl and set aside. Meats should also be set aside.

  3. In a medium size pot add oil and heat on medium.

  4. Once oil is hot add sliced onions to sauté until translucent. Then add thyme and tomato paste. Sauté and stir tomato paste into onions.

  5. Puree onions, ginger, and habanero peppers until smooth.

  6. Add puree to pot. Then add leftover broth from the meat.

  7. Add another teaspoon of chicken bouillon powder if necessary, add whole habanero peppers (optional) and boil for 10-15 minutes on medium.


  • Boiling the meats a day prior to cooking will help speed up the cooking process. You can use a pressure cooker or slow cooker to tenderize the meat in advance.

  • Any kind of oil can be used. I like extra virgin olive oil.

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