Piri Piri Chicken Soup

By Douglas Weinstein
Published on: November 20, 2020

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Piri piri sauce is Portuguese in origin and prevalent in Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, Cameroon – the old Portuguese African colonies. It is made from crushed Bird’s Eye chillies, citrus peel, onion, garlic, pepper, salt, lemon juice, paprika, basil, oregano, and tarragon – or some combination of those items and more depending on anyone’s given home recipe. Piri piri is Swahili for hot. It’s the perfect mix between Harissa and classic hot sauce. Lots of flavor and depth, with the punch of hot sauce. Here’s my version, which takes about 10 minutes to make, and then the chicken soup recipe follows.


Piri Piri Sauce

1 cup                           Olive oil

¼ cup                         Chopped onions

1                                  Bird’s Eye or Thai red chili or Habanero chili, seeds removed

2                                  Jalapeno peppers, seeds removed

4                                  Sorrento peppers, seeds removed

1 Tbsp                        Smoked paprika

1 ½ tsp                       Salt

1 tsp                           Freshly ground pepper

½ tsp                          Grated lemon rind

5                                  Garlic cloves

2 Tbsp                        Fresh lemon juice

4                                  Large basil leaves

1 Tbsp                         Fresh oregano

1 tsp                            Fresh tarragon

¼ cup                         Balsalmic vinegar

Blend red pepper, jalapeno and Sorrento peppers, garlic, basil, oregano, and onions in a food processor or blender. Add olive oil slowly to facilitate blending. Then mix in smoked paprika, lemon juice, salt, black pepper and vinegar. Adjust seasoning. Refrigerate and use when ready in the following recipe or as a condiment.


Piri Piri Chicken Soup

1              Piri piri sauce (from above recipe)

1              whole chicken – 5 lb

1              medium sized butternut squash

2              stalks of celery – chopped

1              small white onion – chopped

1              yellow bell pepper – chopped

2              carrots – chopped


2 qts      fresh chicken stock

2 qts      water


½ cup    heavy cream

½ cup    dried coconut flakes (sweetened)


1 tbsp    ground pepper

1 tsp      good finishing salt – preferably Himalayan pink

  1. Roast chicken. When cool enough, remove all usable meat, cut into bite size chunks and set aside for later use. Carcass and skin should be used to make chicken stock (step 3).
  2. Split open butternut squash lengthwise, spoon out seeds, cover tops with foil, place on baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 55 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove outer skin.  Roughly chop and set aside for later use.
  3. Chicken stock – place chicken carcass, skin and any bones in large stock pot, add 6 qts water, celery, onion, bell pepper and carrot. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer for 55 minutes, skimming the foam and excess oil occasionally.  When cool, strain through cheese cloth-lined strainer to remove excess oil.  Reserve 2 qts for this recipe.  Excess may be frozen for up to 2 months.  (Cheese cloth can be purchased at a paint/hardware store if you can’t find it in the kitchen section of your grocery store)
  4. Add chopped butternut squash to a large pot along with chicken stock, 2 qt water, salt and pepper and bring to boil then reduce to simmer for 20 minutes. Mash thoroughly and then use an immersion blender to finely blend all of the ingredients.  (If you do not have an immersion blender, use a food processor and work in batches to finely process the butternut squash chopped pieces, adding a little bit of chicken stock so the squash completely purees) If you want to reduce the amount of fiber from the butternut squash, strain half of the butternut squash soup through a chinoix.
  5. Add chopped chicken, piri piri sauce and coconut flakes to the butternut squash soup and simmer for 15 minutes. Add cream very slowly (while constantly stirring/whisking) and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Adjust seasoning.

Serves 6-8

Douglas Weinstein

Douglas Weinstein

Doug is the Editor and co-founder of the Technology Insider Group and Technology Designer Magazine. Previously, he was the Executive Director and co-founder of the Elf Foundation, a non-profit organization that created Room of Magic entertainment theaters in children's hospitals across North America.

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