I looooove snails. I could eat them all day. Whether in a stew, as skewers, sautéed with vegetables or in soups, I’m game. Snails are such a delicious boneless meals. Growing up, my siblings and I regularly visited our grandparents who lived at the time in a town called Mamfe 60km from the border of Nigeria towards the Manyu river. There was this lady who constantly crossed over to Nigeria to buy goods. She always returned with bags full of fresh snails.
By 5 am she was already done washing and stewing those snails. Then she will walk from house to house with hot snail skewers, peppersoup snails, and eru ….you guess right, with snails and sell before heading to the market. It was like this every single day. I always wondered how she did it. Buy you guys know right? In these parts ‘man must to huzzle’ to make ends meet. That’s how she sent her kids to school. To think that we still wanted her snails for free makes me cringe.
Back to the reason for this post. Hungry ‘nyama’ (snails) be deh do me well well so my sister sent me a large bag of snails from Cameroon. First I made peppered snails (lost that post, story for another day) and then I wanted something else. I remembered how mami Anne’s peppersoup snails with bitter leaf, aiiiiii, my mouth watered! I had to make it. The only problem was, I couldn’t remember how she did. I remembered the taste alright, but the recipe? I forgot!
That’s how I quickly asked in almost all Facebook groups I am a member of. The response was awesome but no recipe that matched the one my mouth was hungry for. Thank God mum is on Facebook. Relief!!!! She sent me a message on Whatsapp message and you know what? I ran like mad to the kitchen. The way that peppersoup hunger me, I wonder if belle deh!!! Lol!
This snail peppersoup is so easy to make with ingredients that can be gotten at your local market (for those living in Cameroon and Nigeria). It’s actually like a one-pot. I just threw all the spices in and that was about it. I actually love the addition of bitter leaf in this recipe. The key spice however for this soup is called ‘sap’ in my dialect. Sap are small black pepper-like spice which tastes hot like habaneros but with a much intense aromatic taste. Unfortunately, I didn’t find the botanical name or other African names for this spice. But here is a picture to show you what it looks like. How is this spice called in your native language?
Sometimes I wonder why our grandmothers cooked the way they did. When I think about the way the mix ingredients it really makes sense to me now that I know the health benefits of most of our foods. In this snail peppersoup for example, there is a combination of four essential food for weight loss and health:
- Bitter leaf (Vernonia Amygdalina): an African super leafy green which can lower or regulate blood sugar and treat hypertension among a myriad of other health benefits.
- Snails: ideal for weight warriors because of their low calorie, high protein rich and heart-healthy essential fatty acids.
- Bush mango ( Irvingia gabonensis) seed: which have been shown to reduce blood sugar in obese persons, suppress hunger, and regulate cholesterol level. Also, bush mango seeds are a great anti-bloating remedy as a result of its fiber content which aids digestion.
- Egusi (Citrullus colocynthis) seeds: which also aids digestion and helps to regulate blood sugar and can inhibit the growth of some cancer cells.
So you see, this is one soup that you should definitely try if you are trying to lose weight. If you are on a low-carb diet like the Keto diet and are having withdrawal symptoms otherwise known as the Keto flu caused by the loss of salt through dehydration, this snail soup is your to-go rehydration soup. I will be adding a video recipe on my YouTube page tomorrow, so please search shape up African and subscribe. I love to hear from you, so leave a comment below and please tag @shape_up_african on Instagram to get your picture features. You may also want to join my secret weight loss and accountability group on Facebook so I can cheer you all the way to your God-given shape.
Now let’s make some soup.
Here is a one-minute VIDEO RECIPE. Please SHARE and SUBSCRIBE to receive new videos weekly directly in your inbox. Is there a recipe you want to see a video of? Comment below and I will honor your request as soon as possible.
- 500g snails, fresh or dried
- 1 onion
- A handfull bitter leaf, fresh
- A handful egusi, ground (optional)
- 5 ogbono (bush mango) seeds
- 1 African nutmeg (ehuru)
- 1 tbsp. sap
- 1 tsp. white pepper
- small piece of giner
- 6 garlic cloves
- 2 habanero peppers
- Bóuillon cubes and salt to taste
- Water to cook
- Blend all ingredients well.
- Add snails to a pot of water (just enough to cover the snails, add as the water dries up) and add snails with ground spices and seasoned with cubes and salt.
- Cook for 7 - 10 minutes.
- Add egusi ( you can blend your egusi to a coarse or very fine consistency) and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
- Add thoroughly washed bitterleaf (untill it is almost no longer bitter), season and cook till snails are cooked.
- Serve hot.
- You can also use dried bitterleaf but make sure to soak it in water overnight.
- Careful: this is not supposed to be ogbono soup so make sure you do not overdo it with the ogbono spice. Too much ogbono will make the soup slimmy.