Philly Pepper Pot

There is a legend that says George Washington and the Continental Army survived the winter of 1777 when the cook general created pepper pot soup from scraps of vegetable and meat and it’s been a Philly staple ever since. Since pepper pot is a Caribbean dish it’s more likely slaves and freedman introduced the spicy soup to the City of Brotherly Love.

My version of Philly Pepper Pot has lots of spice and is slow simmered in the smoker for extra flavor. I also substituted the traditional tripe for kielbasa and Polish sausage which I cooked over coals first for extra flavor. This makes a big pot so and goes well with good crusty bread, family and friends!

Pepper pot soup – a Philly tradition


  • 1 pound of kielbasa
  • 1 pound of Polish sausage
  • 10 slices of thick cut bacon chopped
  • 1/2 cup of chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup of chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup of chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup of chopped leeks
  • 1 bunch of parsley chopped
  • 2 bell peppers diced
  • 2 quarts of low sodium beef stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3-5 medium red potatoes diced
  • 4 carrots diced
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 tablespoons flour
  • Kosher salt to taste

I like to start by grilling the kielbasa and Polish sausages over hot coals. Both of types of sausage are typically pre-cooked to I just leave them on long enough to create grill marks and smoky flavor. This is an optional step and you can start with the next step.


Starting the sausages over hot coals adds flavor

Put the chopped bacon and onion in a cast iron pot and cook over medium coals until the onion turns clear. Chop the Polish sausages and kielbasa and add to the pot. Let the meats and onions continue to cook together for 15 mins. Stir/turn frequently.

Onion, bacon and chopped sausages

Set the smoker or kamodo cooker to 300 degrees. Now stir in the beef stock, celery, leeks and bell peppers.

Add the chopped veggies

Mix in thyme, marjoram, red pepper flakes, bay leaf, white and black pepper. Bring the kettle to a simmer. Leave the pot uncovered and close the smoker. Let the soup cook  down for 2 hours stirring occasionally.

Lots of seasoning including 3 kinds of pepper

After 2 hours stir in the potatoes and carrots. Leave the pot uncovered and close the smoker. Allow to cook for 30 minutes.

Adding carrots and potatoes

Add the chopped parsley and mushrooms. Close the smoker and let cook for another 15 minutes.

Time for chopped parsley and mushrooms

Now it’s time to make the roux. Melt the butter in a skillet and stir in the flour. Cook over a medium heat stirring constantly. When the roux thickens and darkens a bit it’s done.  Add it to the soup and simmer, stirring all the while, until the soup thickens up.

Roux adds flavor and thickens the soup

Season with Kosher salt to taste and serve!

Time to eat

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