One thing I have realised inmy life is that if you are a food lover and find pleasure in cooking always, you will hardly run out of different recipes. The thing is that somehow, somewhere you will always discover new disheseither from people around you or by creating and redefining new dishes yourself. You cant continue feeding on just one meal for the rest of your life, you just need to look around you to find something new and redefine it the way you want it be, in doing this you have learnt, created and mastered new cuisines.
I used to be a very selective and picky eater sometimes back while I was growing up; I had this serious hatred for the taste and raw flavour of green bell pepper,such that I dare not eat it whenever it was served with fried rice, jollof rice or salad. Other things I hated then were okra, melon soup ( egusi), green beans, green peas, beans porridge;just to mention a few. Little did I know that I was going to become a food blogger, developing love for both native and some borrowed dishes. I believe those were some childish displays. However, I love who I am now, I can eat anything, I mean anything, provided it doesnt have effect on my health.
I have earlier updated a recipe on beef stew, which was a boom in my house and my neighbour loved it so much that she personally renamed it wine stew this made my heart leap for joy because she exclaimed she loved that stew so much which I believe she did, because I can always tell when something is delicious and when it is not, provided it was prepared by me. You can check that stew recipe out; sure you would definitely have a testimony to tell too. Also, you can see how to get rid of the sour taste in tomato stew.
Todays recipe may not sound like the usual pepper soup we make over here using beef, chicken, cow intestines, fish or even like the popular point and kill pepper soup made with catfish, but it is something worth trying out for the entire family, as long as it can be served over rice, potato, yam, pasta or bread, I definitely think that kids would love it too.
Stuffed pepper soup is a special hearty savoury soup in the heart of many Americans and others; this is usually made using green bell peppers, red bell peppers, and yellow bell peppers and stuffed with beef, chicken, pork or cod among other things then served over boiled rice. Most times, the rice is usually cooked or combined with the soup in the same pot to cook; in this case, the liquid from the soup is absorbed leaving the rice mushy and sometimes dry. The best way to prepare this dish is to cook the soup differently and the rice differenlyt too, such that even if the soup remains, it can be refrigerated. This soup tastes so wonderful in flavour; it is even perfect to be enjoyed on a colder day.
Before we go further lets talk more on the main ingredients which would be used for this soup which is bell pepper
Nutritional value of Ingredients used in preparing Stuffed pepper soup
- Bell peppers- bell peppers are often refer to as sweet peppers, they are long and bigger than scotch bonnet peppers or habanero peppers with a bell-like shape, these vegetables are widely consumed in many countries of the world. The peppers have three common colours which are green, red and yellow but at times they do come in brown, chocolate, white, dark purple and orange colours. Bell peppers are often called by different names across many countries of the world. They are called tatase in Nigeria, mangoes in the Midwest (USA)- , peperoni in Switzerland, poivron in France, maluu miris in Sri Lanka, and paprika in some parts of Europe according to Wikipedia.
All bell peppers are healthy and nutritious to consume;the riper they become, the richer their nutritional contents are. For instance, the green bell peppers have a higher content of vitamin A and C and also an antioxidant pigment called lycopene. The red bell counterpart on the other hand contains a lot of beta-carotene and doubles the amount of nutrients found in the green.
Green bell peppers– according to Ponderweasel.com, green bell peppers are termed unripe because they were not given much time to get ripe as the red and yellow counterparts. They are often known to be bitter in taste since they are harvested prematurely before they get completely matured,
Yellow or orange bell peppers– these peppers come from a different plant, they started as green and as time goes on they get matured ripen into yellow and orange colours, they are yellow or orange in colour because they come from a different genetic background i.e. from a different plant or specie. The orange has flowery flavour and is also considered to be sweeter than the yellow and green counterparts. The yellow is said to be tasteless.
Red bell peppers – the red bell peppers are the ripe and fully matured peppers which were left on the plants to grow till maturity. They are considered as the sweetest among all bell peppers, many often consume them raw without cooking, because they have a natural sweet flavour and some people often steam them before consumption. These vegetables have many uses for instance; the green and yellow/orange peppers are usually used for garnishing salad and fried rice. The green infuses a chilled, peppery garden flavour and some slightly bitter taste to salad, while the orange and yellow peppers provide some colourful blend of vegetables to salad. The sweet red bell peppers are often used for thickening and reddening tomato stew and sauce especially in Nigeria. Most times, bell peppers are used for preparing portages/ porridges and other things.
Meat– These include beef, mutton, chicken, turkey or fish. All the listed meat can be used in preparing stuffed pepper soup including the broth, provides you have your preference.
Tomatoes These are important vegetables used in stuffed pepper soup, they provide some thickness to the soup. Normal fresh tomatoes or store bought can petite diced tomatoes can be used, depending on whichever one you lay your hands on. Also, for thickening of stuffed pepper soup, flour, oath and mashed potatoes can be used too, you can use any if you want, but make sure use tomatoes.
Onions and garlic– These provide the needed flavour to this soup, especially when used in boiling of the beef, they are also packed with a lot of healthy benefits.
Rice– This is very important in the making of stuffed pepper soup, some people often use brown rice but long grain white rice is also best for this soup. Other thing that could be used in place of rice is potatoes, pasta or toasted bread.
In one pot of soup, you consume enough healthy nutrients in which your body needs for functioning properly. Such nutrients include, vitamin A, C, calcium, Iron, protein, fat, carbohydrate, sodium, dietary fibre, sulphur and a lot more, packed in some of the above listed ingredients and in other ingredients like onions, thyme, pepper, garlic, salt
Please note: If you are hypertensive, you can cut down on the amount of salt or sodium related spices added to this soup. However, you can used more of the vegetables even some that are not listed here as you like. For the diabetics, you may need to replace the sugar added to this soup with other sour fruits like citrus or some kind of sour vegetables.
When making stuffed peppers soup there are few things to note which are as follow:
- Avoid combining the rice with sauce to cook in the same pot, the rice tends to absorb all the liquid in the sauce, leaving you with some dried or jollof-like kind of food. Try to cook the rice in a separate pot.
- Always season your meat a bit with onions, pepper, garlic, salt and seasoning cube and then brown them in vegetable oil to give them that golden, pleasant flavour and taste.
- Season the soup to your taste but do not to make it salty
- You can use store bought canned tomatoes sauce, but making yours would be a little bit easier.
- Instead of adding much plain water to the stuffed pepper soup, beef or chicken broth willserve a nice purpose.
- You can use more than 2 colours of bell pepper; each colour has its own taste and wonderful flavour.
- Crock pot or slow cooker can be used to prepare this soup while you go around carrying out other tasks.
- Sugar is being added to the soup to kill the sour taste of the tomato, but you can avoid using this if you are not ok with it or omit this by simply steaming your fresh tomatoes before using them, it works too.
- I usually cook my beef for 30-40 minutes before frying in hot oil to make sure they are very tender. You can still brown the raw meat without cooking them if you prefer that.
Different methods of preparing stuffed pepper soup
Stuffed pepper soup has many forms and methods in which it is being prepared; am just going to mention few out of many ways in which this is prepared.
- First method- Since peppers are the major ingredients in this cuisine, the sauce is prepared using some if not all of the following stuffing such as meat, onions, cheese and mushrooms, pork, shrimps. After the sauce has been made, the peppers are usually cut and the seeds removed while filling the peppers with the sauce, after which they are baked in the oven or pan till they are scorched.
- The second way to make stuffed pepper soup is to chop the peppers into square shapes and saut it together with chopped onions and other seasonings and later cook with diced tomatoes with or without sugar using water or meat broth together with already browned meat. The second method of preparation is somehow similar to the preparation of mixed vegetable sauce the only difference is that ground meat and lot of diced tomatoes are used for it with a little sugar, but one can skip adding the sugar to it.
So let get started with stuffed pepper soup preparation.
Ingredients for preparing an easy stuffed pepper soup
- 500g of ground beef. Chicken can be substituted for this
- 6 red tomatoes, diced or 1 canned petite diced tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoon tomato paste or 1 canned tomato sauce
- 1 Ball onion
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil to brown the beef and vegetables
- 3 Cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Red bell peppers
- 2 Green bell peppers
- 3 Beef seasoning cubes
- 1 Teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 Teaspoon curry powder
- 1 Teaspoon chilli pepper
- 1 Tablespoon sugar (optional)
- 2 Cups brown or white rice
Just before the preparation of stuffed pepper soup
- To make your cooking faster, rinse your bell peppers chop them into square-like shape and keep aside
- Chop onion in thin slices and mince garlic too and keep aside
- Rinse and chop beef into smaller chunks or roughly grind beef into tinychunks and season with 1 beef cube, onions, pepper, garlic and salt. Cook beef for 10 minutes first before adding 1-2 cups of water to cook it for 30 minutes till tender. When beef is cooked, drain from the liquid and keep the broth aside for later use.
Easy steps on how to prepare stuffed pepper soup
1. Heat up 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in a dry pan and brown beef for about 5- 10 minutes until all the sides are well browned
2. Transfer the beef into a bowl and brown onions, tomato paste, garlic, peppers and season with 1 beef cube till the vegetables are soften and the flavour starts to diffuse.
3. In the same or a bigger pot, add beef broth and bring to a boil, add diced tomatoes and, thyme, 1 seasoning cube and sugar if you are using it. Leave the content to boil.
4. Add the mixed pepper sauce you have earlier sauted and the browned beef, cover to simmer on a medium heat for 20-30 minutes.
5. When all the ingredients are tender, taste and adjust all the necessary spices. When the soup is well cooked, remove from heat.
6. Depending on the type of rice you are using, parboil, rinse and cook rice with water and a little salt to taste until it is soft and the water evaporates.
7. Dish into a serving plate and scoop some stuffed pepper soup on it and enjoy with your favourite drink.
Note: If you have some left over stuffed pepper soup, scoop into an air tight container and preserve in the freezer to be used whenever it is needed.
Procedures for preparing stuffed pepper soup
- Heat up 3 tablespoons vegetable oil and start by frying beef on both sides till they are completely brown.
2. Remove the browned beef into plate and fry the chopped onions, tomato paste, garlic and the chopped peppers until they are soft.
3. Bring beef broth into the pot and bring to a boil. Add the diced tomatoes to the broth on heat and season with thym, curry, beef cube,sugar, salt and pepper, cover the lid to boil properly.
4. When the content starts to boil, add the brown beef you have kept aside and cook for 30 minutes.
5. when you are sure the vegetables are well soften, taste and adjust all the seasongs.
6. Stir your soup properly to combine, reduce heatand leave the soup to simmer on a low heat for 10 more minutes. Put the soup away from heat and proceed to boilingyour rice.
7. After the rice is soft and the liquid dries up, dish both the soup and the rice in to a serving dish and enjoy it.
Now, that was one out of many ways in which stuffed pepper soup is being prepared, if you have something different, please dont hesitated to share with us in the comment box below after signing in.