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Recipes & Food Styling

5-Alarm Pepper Pot Soup

Jan 21, 2022 | Food Styling, Recipes, Soups

Have some tissues handy for this soup!

Have some extra tissue handy for this recipe; it’ll clear your sinuses!

The last large public event I attended was the Warhol Show at the Art Institute in Chicago in 2020. It was just a few weeks before the global lockdown due to the pandemic. I was captivated by the surprising array of Campbell soups that Warhol painted. One that caught my attention was Pepper Pot Soup, which Campbell’s made for 100 years – from 1899 to 2010. I had never heard of it before.

Turns out, in the 1700s, Pepper Pot Soup was as popular on the streets of Philadelphia as Cheesesteak Sandwiches are there today. Women from Jamaica – “Pepper Pot Women” – sold batches of soup made with peppers. Scotch Bonnet Peppers are the key ingredient in most Pepper Pot Soups. I ordered some from Jerk Like Us, and a little box of the cheery, bright-colored peppers arrived the other day.

Most Pepper Pot Soup recipes include tripe, ham, bacon, some type of beef – or all of the above. I made a vegetarian version with rice and potatoes. A dollop of pineapple cream cheese tempers the spiciness perfectly!



5-Alarm Pepper Pot Soup

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 red onion, chopped

2 medium potatoes, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 tomatoes, chopped

1 box vegetable stock

4 Scotch bonnet chiles, trimmed and seeded

2 cups water

2 bunches fresh cilantro, chopped

2 bay leaves

Juice of 1 freshly squeezed lemon

1 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground peppercorns

2 cups rice

2 cups pineapple cream cheese

In a Dutch oven on the stovetop, melt butter; add olive oil. Add onion, potatoes, garlic and tomatoes. Sauté the vegetables for a few minutes; then add in peppers.

After a few more minutes, add in vegetable stock and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to simmer. Add cilantro, bay leaves, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Cook rice according to directions on package; add to soup when cooked.

Simmer soup for 30 more minutes.

Serve with a dollop of pineapple cream cheese on top.