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VanJess' Nigerian Pepper Soup

Jessica & Ivana Nwokike
Cook Time:
35 mins
Prep Time:
15 mins

Chef notes

We grew up in Nigeria for the first decade of our lives, and recipes like this remind us of home.

Swap option: You can sub 2 habanero peppers if you can't find Scotch bonnet peppers; you can sub vegetable oil with avocado oil or canola oil; and you can use plantain or sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes.

Watch the Nwokike sisters make their Pepper Soup in the first episode of their new cooking show, Homegrown Kitchen.


  • 2 pounds skin-on, boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 Scotch bonnet peppers
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (2-inch) piece ginger root, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • salt, to taste
  • 3-4 teaspoons Maggi powdered seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons ground crayfish
  • 1 tablespoon pepper soup spice
  • 6-7 cups water, divided
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • thyme



Cut up chicken thighs.


Blend peppers, onion, garlic and ginger in blender. Keep it chunky — not too mixed or liquidy.


Heat up oil in pan on medium-low heat and place chicken thighs in pot along with salt to taste, add pepper mixture and Maggi powdered seasoning. Keep on stove for 10 minutes.


After first 10 minutes, add ground crayfish and pepper soup spice, and add water enough to cover chicken and mix.


Simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring when necessary.


Add potatoes and more water to cover potatoes. Leave on for another 15 minutes.


Salt and season to taste, if needed. Add thyme once potatoes are softened, and serve!