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Pepper is one of the worldĄŻs most common spices and one of its most versatile. Used in nearly every culture, pepper is a condiment found on tables worldwide. Ground or whole, it can add a kick to nearly any dish, adding warmth and texture with just the right amount of subtlety. It is a popular addition to soups, stews, cheeses, marinades, and luncheon meats.
Pepper is actually the fruit of the pepper plant, which is a vine indigenous to India. Small white flowers on the plant produce peppercorns. They turn various colors, green, red, then brown, as they mature and can be harvested and used at any time during their ripening stage.
Green pepper - Typically sold canned, green peppercorns are green pepper berries that are harvested before they mature. They are mild in flavor.
Black pepper - These peppercorns are pepper berries harvested just as they are about ready to turn red. Black pepper is the most flavorful of all pepper varieties. It is often sold ground, although many connoisseurs prefer to grind their own with a pepper mill.
White pepper - This milder pepper is made from peppercorns that have turned red and therefore are ripe. The dark outer shell of the berries is removed before the pepper is processed. White pepper is also typically sold ground.
Pepper Soup or Peppersoup - which is especially popular in the English-speaking countries of Western Africa: Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria doesn't have any more pepper than many other African soups. It is usually made with goat meat, but can also be made with beef, chicken, or mutton. There are many ways this soup can be seasoned.
What you need
Two pounds goat meat, lamb or mutton (beef for stew can also be used); cut into bite-sized pieces
One or two onions, quartered
Two or three hot chile peppers, cleaned and chopped
Peppersoup seasoning (see below)
Four cups meat broth or stock
Two tablespoons ground dried shrimp
One small bunch fresh mint leaves, chopped
One tablespoon fresh or dried utazi leaves (or bitterleaf)
Salt and black pepper to taste.
What you do
In a deep pot or dutch oven, combine meat, onions, chile peppers, and a cup of water. Bring to a boil and cook until meat is done, twenty to thirty minutes, adding water as necessary to keep pot from becoming dry.
Add peppersoup seasoning and the broth or stock (or water) and simmer over low heat for ten to twenty minutes.
Add the dried shrimp, mint leaves, and utazi leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer until soup is to be served.