Okra soup is one of the most popular Nigerian soup, I like this soup because it is very easy to prepare and likely the cheapest soup in Nigeria.
I remember making a pot of (Okra) Okro soup with just two hundred and fifty Naira, (10 years ago)… more like a one dollar soup.
I used frozen fish, Okra and some other ingredients to prepare the soup, then you could buy a good frozen fish with just forty or fifty Naira, I am talking about the “good old days”.
Okra soup is one of the most common soups eaten by the people of Igbo, often it is combined with ogbono for best result, you can learn more here about making Nigerian Ogbolo(ogbono) soup.
There are several reasons why I like this soups above other Nigerian soups, the most outstanding reason being that kids love it, I learned that the best way to introduce eba or fufu to kids is to serve with Okra or ogbolo soup, this way it would be very easy for them to swallow, I have tried it and found that it works perfect.
Sliced okro, cleaned roasted fish at the top right (or frozen fish), combination of ground crayfish and red peppers.
Okro is also good for adults, as a matter of fact I just made a pot of okra soup before writing this, a very small quantity that would serve for this night, it is Sunday night here in Nigeria. I like this soup because the two major ingredients are very rich in vitamins (okra and fluted pumpkin)
So lets make a delicious pot of Nigerian Okra soup, The exact way an Igbo woman would like to make it, Did I tell you that Okra is one of the most popular soup in Igbo land especially from April to July, its exact harvest season
Below is the list of ingredients that was used in the process, you can always increase or reduce depending on the number of the person you are looking to feed and of course their stomach sizes.
Ingredients For Okra (Okro) soup
Serving 4×2 | Preparation time:
Okra (a medium size bowl full)
Fluted Pumpkin leaves (as desired) optional – I don’t use it.
Stock fish head (medium size)
1 kg of meat (beef, chicken, turkey, etc)
2 medium sizes frozen mackrel (optional)
Or Roasted mackrel (optional)
2 to 3 cubes of Maggi or knorr (seasoning)
Salt and pepper to taste.
200ml Red (palm) oil
half cup of ground crayfish
Okra Soup Preparation In Nigeria
Slice the okra and set aside in a bowl, the trader in most Nigerian markets can assist you with slicing the okra, but you can also try using a kitchen knife, I like to slice Okra myself, although there is no harm in using the help of the market women.
If you want to make this soup with just frozen fish, the process is a little bit simpler than using cow meat. You will need to parboil the fish with all the necessary ingredients for five to ten minutes. Then pick out with a fork leaving the extract (water from fish after cooking) in the pot, add two cups of water also, then the hot-water-washed stock fish and dry fish.
But if you are making this soup with cow meat you would want to parboil the meat with all necessary ingredients, I like to parboil meat with lots of ingredients and then use very few ingredients while making the real soup, it is likely that the whole ingredient would be left in the meat extract (meat water) after parboiling. Parboil with only ingredients for about ten minutes then add about two cups of water and cook till the meat is tender.
For me, I used a combination of fresh (frozen mackrel) and beef.
Precook them together, remove the fish after 8 minutes and continue cooking the meat until it becomes soft.
Add the stock fish, cook for about 15 minutes till they are soft for consumption.
Add palm oil, crayfish, 1 or 2 cubes maggi (seasoning), pepper and salt to taste. You will find a tasteful soupy combination. You can add the ground ogbolo at this point if you are making a combination of Okra and Ogbolo soup, it is a good combination even though I don’t do it often.
Add the okra five minutes after the ogbolo, stir, and cook for about 3 minutes before adding the leaves (optional), you can use fluted pumpkin or the normal pumpkin leaves. Allow to simmer for another 3 to minutes and you can serve with eba, fufu or semo.