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Philadelphia Pepper Pot Soup

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Why I Love This Recipe

According to Betty Wason author of "Cooks, Gluttons and Gourmets" a History of Cookery, Philadelphia Pepper Pot Soup was created by a cook (a Pennsylvania Dutchman) in General Washington's army during the siege of Valley Forge. By this time American soldiers were in rags, their shoes flapping and there was never food enough to satisfy hunger. One night General Washington called the cook, and begged him to create some great dish. The only thing this cook found was some scraps in the kitchen and peppercorns, and a local butcher gave him some tripe. When a caldron of fragrant soup was produced the following day, made with the tripe, kitchen scraps and peppercorns, it was so excellent the men were soon in high spirits.

In the 19th Century and early part of the 20th Century one could hear in the streets of Philadelphia this cry, by women selling soup from carts "Pepper pot, pepper pot! Makes backs strong; makes lives long. All hot! Pepper pot!"

Of course nowadays pepper pot is not made with tripe, but with chicken unless you want to make it with tripe.

Ingredients You'll Need

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups chopped sweet green peppers
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cups diced potatoes
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
5 1/2 cups chicken stock or low sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
8 ounces skinned boned chicken breasts or cooked tripe, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup light cream
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup fresh minced parsley


1. In a large heavy saucepan, heat the butter and oil over moderately high heat. Stir in the green pepper, onion and celery and sauté for 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in the potatoes and flour and cook until bubbly. Stir in the stock, bay leaves, salt, crushed red pepper, thyme, allspice and cloves and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

2. Add the chicken (or tripe) and cream and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Discard the bay leaves. Add the black pepper and stir in the parsley. Makes six 1 1/2-cup servings.

Nutritional facts per serving: Calories 178; Saturated fat 3 grams; Total fat 7 grams; Protein 13 grams; Carbohydrates 17 grams; Fiber 1 gram; Sodium 299 mg; Cholesterol 33 mg.

This recipe you can find in "Down Home Cooking" The New Healthier Way.

Questions, Comments & Reviews

Too many ingredients, and you sure lose me with the tripe. (OK I'll try chicken)

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