Okra is a vegetable that’s very popular throughout Africa and the Caribbean and it is rich in vitamins. Okra’s hearty, so a common way to cook it is in soup. Okra Soup is best eaten with ebà or Pounded Yams, but some choose to serve it with cooked rice.
In some parts of Nigeria, Okra Soup is one of the first solid foods offered to babies because it’s so easy to digest—so if you’re not sure how much your stomach can handle, Okra Soup is a great place to start! This particular recipe is popular among the Ibos in Nigeria.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Makes: 3 serving
- 450g raw beef cut into 5 pieces (optional)
- 1 cup water
- 2 stock cubes
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 200g fresh okra, cut into tiny cubes
- 1 fresh habañero pepper, cored and finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons red palm oil
- 1 piece dried fish
- 1 tablespoon ground dried cray-fish or prawns
- Salt to taste
- 1 handful sliced ugu (fluted pumpkin leaves)
- Ebà or cooked white rice, for serving
- In a medium pot over medium heat, combine the meat, water, and 1 of the stock cubes and cook until the beef is tender. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a second medium pot over medium heat, warm the oil for 1 minute. Add the onion and cook for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low, add the okra and habañero pepper, and fry for 2 minutes.
- Add the beef stock (in the first pot) to the pot containing the okra mixture. Immediately add the dried fish, the remaining 1 stock cube, and the crayfish and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minute. Taste and season with the salt.
- Add the ugu and stir until well combined. Remove from the heat.
- Serve hot with the ebà or rice.
After adding the okra, be sure to use low heat to avoid overcooking. If you can’t find red palm oil, fry 2 tablespoons of tomato paste in vegetable oil as a substitution. Red palm oil can be bought in African shops. You can replace Ugu with spinach leaves.