Okro Soup (Okra Soup) is one of the easiest Nigerian Soups you can whip up. With one taste the burst of flavors in this oil free version will definitely surprise you. You know you have won a jack pot when your five year old who hasn't finished eating her molded eba and she is already asking you if she can have some more.Then you tell her that it’s not a problem but to go ahead and finish the food in her plate First. And she goes like I love you mom. You are the best mom in the whole wide world and the best cooker?. Oh the joys of motherhood surpasses the stress ?.
That's the story of this okro soup recipe I am about to share. Let's just say the age old saying 'the way to a man's heart is through his tommy' holds true but not only for men ? Okro is a versatile vegetable. It is mostly used to make soups in my part of the world. Though one of my aunties has a yam porridge recipe that she makes with okro. Like many soups in Africa, okro can be cooked in various ways. You could make with or without green leafy vegetables, or you can make with or without oil. (The oil of choice is always palm-oil). You can even make it as a mix with Ogbono like I did in today's recipe or you can decide not to add Ogbono.
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The Okro and vegetable version Which i like to call Okro Vegetable soup is common with the Igbos and most of south eastern Nigeria. Plain Okro is one of the delicacies of the Yoruba people and one of my favorite ways to make okra and It's so easy to make. You only need to mix okro with Iru ( fermented locust beans ) and cook it plain then serve with stew, usually the palmoil based pepper stew. I love this version so much I recall with nostalgia how I used to look forward to this particular meal when I was in the boarding house. To me that was the best meal served in school besides bread and butter lol.
Like I said earlier, Today's recipe is made with Ogbono and is oil free. You can find my okro vegetable soup recipe which I made with oil here. I know Team fit fam will love this Oil free version. But in my opinion oil is not the cause of the world's obesity epidemic but high carbs and sugar. I believe strongly in the low carb lifestyle. Oh well I digress..... let's get back to the business of this okro Soup. Hope you get to enjoy it.
But before we finally do get back to business. I know some of us don't like the viscosity of okra aka the slimy nature of it. Even though that's what I love about Okro . Aida my blogger friend over at balkanlunchbox.com has a lovely Balkan okra recipe which isn't slimy. I learnt lemon can help take away the slimy nature of okra. So here you go peeps. Give Aida's recipe a try and I would love to hear all about it. You can find her recipe here
PS: Not a fan of a mix of okro and Ogbono? Find my stand-alone Ogbono soup recipe here. So yummy.
Easy Nigerian Okro Soup
- 800 g Fresh Okro ( cut up in thin rings by hand or with a food processor.)
- 2 Medium Onions
- 2 Large red bell peppers
- 2 habanero or Jamaican hot pepper
- ½ cup crayfish
- 6 Tbsp or 50g ground Ogbono
- Bouillon powder/ salt to taste
Precooked assorted meats
- 600 g cow feet
- 700 g smoked turkey
- 300 g stockfish
If you are cooking with precooked meats
- Blend the bell peppers, onions and habanero peppers transfer to a pot, then add about 5 cups of water or meat stock and bring to a boil.
- Add the crayfish, bouillon powder and ground Ogbono to the pot and stir. Cook for about 5 mins.
- Add the precooked meats and stir. Bring to a simmer. Stir continuously to prevent burning. If the soup is too thick, add more water to lighten it to the consistency you want. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
- When the soup has come to a full boil, lower heat, add in the chopped okro. Stir in till well combined. Turn off heat immediately.
If you are cooking everything from scratch:
- Wash the stock fish and cow feet and put in the pot with water that covers the meats completely add bouillon powder and start cooking
- Cook the cow feet and stock fish till soft but not mushy. Usually takes about 1 hr on the stove top
- While the stock fish and cow feet are cooking, wash okro and chop by hand or in a food processor and set aside.
- Blend the onions, red bell peppers and habanero/Jamaican hot pepper and set aside
- When the cow feet and stock fish have cooked for about 40 mins, add the smoked turkey, crayfish and blended bell peppers. Allow cook for another 10 mins before adding ground Ogbono. Lower heat and allow to simmer for a further 10 mins. Stir constantly to prevent burning.
- Stir the chopped okro, Turn off heat and move pot away from the hot burner.
- Pour the soup out of the pot into a big bowl to stop the okro from cooking further and to ensure it retains its fresh green look.
- Soup is ready enjoy as is or with any swallow of your choice YUM!!!
- Cooking the cowfeet and stock fish on the stove top is what takes a chunk of the cooking time. If you have a pressure cooker this is the time to put it to good use?
- If you have freezer space, Cooking cow feet and stockfish in bulk ahead of time saves cooking time for several African soups. If you choose this route, all you need to do on cooking day is to bring out the portion you would be using and allow to thaw.
- Boil the smoked turkey for about 20 mins with the blended bell peppers, then add the thawed cow feet and stockfish and continue as indicated the above recipe.
- Another time saving tip is to chop the okro, put it in a zip lock and put in the fridge the day before you make your soup. If you are not sure you will be making the soup the next day, leave the okro as it is and chop it the day you are cooking the soup like I did above.
- When cooking everything from scratch Remember that as you cook the cow feet and stockfish, the initial amount of water would diminish, top up at your discretion as you cook along?
- If you are keen on introducing your child to African swallow foods, this okro soup and the stand alone ogbono soup is your best bet because it makes swallowing the swallow a breeze plus it is delicious too. A Win-Win situation I must say.