De’s Pepper Pot Recipe

  • Author: La Cuisinière aka De Ashton
  • Prep Time: 6 hours
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours
  • Yield: 8 to 10 cups 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Dutch Oven
  • Cuisine: American Regional


Philadelphia Pepper Pot soup was Dad’s favorite winter soup.  As a Pennsylvania native and one-time Philadelphia resident, he often talked about a soup which to us seemed like one dish to avoid.  Until we tasted it.  It was easy to accommodate his and our taste buds when Campbell’s® still made the soup.  Once discontinued, I set about duplicating the flavors of this regional specialty.  This is the latest version.



1 1/4 lbs. fresh beef tripe ($3.99/lb) (Cooked at a low simmer for close to 6 hours). Drain, refrigerate until the next day. Fine diced before adding to soup.a href=”″ target=”_blank”>

1 1/2 lbs beef knuckle and shank meat (cooked with the vegetables, then cooled and chopped fine)

2 quarts of water or more if needed

1 large beef bouillon cube

Peppercorns, to taste (about 10)

Heaping teaspoon of red pepper flakes

Whole cloves (2 or 3)

Salt, to taste but at least 1 tablespoon

Several large sprigs of fresh thyme

Several sprigs of fresh parsley

Two very fresh bay leaves

2 cups celery, chopped

2 medium onions, rough chopped

4 carrots, chopped

2 to 3 potatoes, diced

1 cup green and red bell peppers, diced

Half (or more) of a 28 oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes


For best results, cook the tripe as directed below.

Buy very fresh tripe.  Wash and scrub the tripe under cold running water.  Place in a large stockpot and cover with cold water until the pieces float.  You want plenty of water.

Bring to a simmer over low heat then reduce the heat until the pot barely simmers.  Cover and cook for at least 5 hours, closer to six..  Mine cooked for close to 8 hours because I took a nap when I least expected to.  You want the tripe to be incredibly tender.  

Once cooked, drain the tripe and refrigerate until ready to use.  Before adding to the soup, cut it into a fine dice.

You can prepare both the tripe and the rest of the soup in separate stock pots.

Prepare The Soup:

In a large stock pot, add 2 quarts of water.  Place the beef shank and knuckles in the water along with all the diced vegetables and seasonings.  

Bring to a simmer and simmer, covered, for a good hour or more.  

Remove the meat from the pot with a skimmer and add the diced potatoes.  Simmer for another hour or until the potatoes are tender.  Adjust seasonings and add any liquid if needed.

While the soup continues to cook, cut up the beef (and tripe if you have not already done so) into small bits.


About 30 minutes before serving, add the beef and tripe to the soup.  Continue to cook on a very low simmer but the soup is ready to serve as soon as the meat is heated through.

Philadelphia Pepper Pot soup tastes even better the next day!



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