Recipe courtesy of Kardea Brown

Okra Soup with Shrimp

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 50 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 10 servings
This soup originated in West Africa. While you can add any protein to it, I like using shrimp because it pairs really well with the okra.


For the Shrimp Broth:

For the Okra Soup:


  1. Make the shrimp broth: Peel and devein the shrimp; refrigerate the shrimp for the soup. Clean the shrimp shells under cold water, then transfer to a large pot. Add the carrots, celery, onions, butter, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, the bay leaf and 10 cups water. Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes, making sure to skim off and discard any impurities that rise to the top. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve. You will need 3 cups of the broth for the soup; reserve the rest for another use.
  2. Make the okra soup: Heat a large gumbo pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, garlic, onion, bell pepper and 1 tablespoon butter and cook, stirring, until the vegetables soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Next, add the corn, lima beans and plum tomatoes and mix. Add the canned tomatoes and reserved 3 cups shrimp broth; stir, cover, bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes.
  3. While the soup is simmering, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the reserved shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the shrimp begin to turn pink, about 2 minutes per side. Add the okra, ground ginger and lemon juice and stir to mix; cook until the okra and shrimp are cooked through, about 3 minutes.
  4. Once the soup has simmered for 20 minutes, add the shrimp and okra mixture. Cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Stir the soup, then ladle into bowls or serve over rice.