African Okro Soup Recipe |

Okra Soup – Dive into a swirling pot of flavorful magic with a soup extravaganza! Brace yourself for a beautiful dance of succulent okra, tantalizing spices, and tender chunks of meat – all simmered to perfection. So prepare to embark on a taste journey to make your taste buds do the happy dance!

If you’re not an okra fan, this okra soup recipe will convince you otherwise because the okra’s slimy texture is masked with bold flavors and nice, thick consistency. You’ll forget about the sliminess and only taste a symphony of flavors that will transport your taste buds to culinary bliss.

Okra is also a superfood that offers a ton of health benefits, such as aiding digestion and promoting healthy skin. Not only is okra soup delicious, but it’s also good for you! All the more reason to love okras!

Serving up two bowls of mouthwatering okra soup with fufu

African Okro Soup vs. Nigerian Okra Soup

African okro soup is a vibrant celebration of flavors from across the continent, featuring ingredients like palm oil, smoked fish, and various vegetables. It tends to have larger, more visible okra pieces, adding a chewy texture to each spoonful.

On the other hand, Nigerian okra soup has a tomato-based broth, succulent chunks of meat or seafood, and a fiery kick of chili peppers. The okra in Nigerian Okra Soup blends into the broth, creating a smooth and comforting consistency. Both soups showcase the star ingredient, okra, but offer distinct and exciting taste experiences.

Recipe Ingredients

  1. Okra – You can use fresh or frozen for this recipe.
  2. Meats – I use a combination of oxtail, shrimp, and crayfish to create a flavorful, healthy, and rich soup.
  3. Veggies – Onion for a savory flavor and aroma and spinach to add more texture and nutrients.
  4. Seasonings – Add bold flavors with beef or chicken bouillon powder, smoked paprika, pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
  5. Egusi – Thickens the soup and contributes a nutty taste, enhancing the overall depth of flavor.

How to Make Okra Soup

Boil the meat, process the okra, add the egusi, and finish simmering all ingredients
  • Season the oxtail with garlic salt, smoked paprika, black pepper, and onions. Then simmer it in a medium-sized saucepan for 30-40 minutes. (You can cut your cook time in half with a pressure cooker.) (Photo 1)
  • Chop – If using fresh okra, wash the okra, remove the tops and tails, and slice into rounds. Blend the okra to a coarse consistency in a food processor, or you can finely chop the okra using a sharp knife. (Photo 2)
  • Cook – Add the ground crayfish, bouillon or Maggie, and egusi into the pan of boiled meat, and simmer for 5 minutes on medium-high heat. (Photos 3-6)
  • Add Remaining Ingredients – Then add shrimp and okra, cook for another 5 minutes, and finally add the spinach and stir for about a minute or two.
  • Serve warm with fufu (any kind).
Delicious okra soup fresh from the stovetop

Recipe Variations

  1. Meat Swaps – Use goat meat, other types of fish, beans, and African spices. These give different flavors and nutrients.
  2. Tomato-Based – Add tomato sauce and enjoy this soup in Nigerian style.

Tips and Tricks

  1. Mincing half of the okra does wonders for a creamy, thick consistency. Simply chop half and use a food processor or food chopper.
  2. Cooking the meat first builds a flavorful soup base. However, simmer until tender to ensure the desired thickness without overcooking it.
  3. Let’s address the elephant in the room. Not everyone loves okra’s sliminess, but others believe the slimier, the better. If you prefer less slime, the acidity in vinegar and tomatoes cuts out a lot. You can soak the okra in vinegar for half an hour before chopping or add a cup of chopped tomatoes to your soup.

Make-Ahead Instructions

You can make this ahead because it tastes even better the next day. Making it in advance lets the flavors marry together. Just follow the instructions and cover tightly, then store in the fridge. You can also prep the okra and base of the soup in advance.

Serving and Storage Instructions

This deliciousness is best served hot with fufu. But you could enjoy it at room temperature.

Keep leftover soup appropriately covered in the fridge. Okra soup will stay fresh for 3-4 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer. 

When ready to enjoy your okra soup, thaw frozen soup overnight in the refrigerator and reheat it on the stovetop or microwave, stirring occasionally until thoroughly heated.

Enjoying a bowl of delectable okra soup with a plateful of fufu


How to make healthy okra soup?

Okra is already nutrition packed, but you can always add more protein and vegetables, such as tomato, corn, beans, carrots, and potatoes, to make it even better.

Where did okra soup originate?

West Africa, specifically Nigeria and Ghana, is okra soup’s birthplace. This staple comfort food has been enjoyed for generations. And, as people become more mobile, it has gained international popularity.

What does okra taste like?

The mildly sweet grassy flavor, similar to green beans, is great in soups, fried, roasted, and grilled. I’ve even snuck a few small tender okras raw. Yum! But it’s the texture that makes it famous. Slimy isn’t always bad.😉

What to Serve With Okra Soup

There are several tasty options to serve with okra soup to create a complete and satisfying meal.

  1. Cassava Fufu
  2. Pounded Yam
  3. Rice
  4. Baked Plantains
  5. Corn Bread

More Satisfying Okra Recipes to Try

  1. Okra Stew
  2. Fried Okra
  3. Okra Gumbo
  4. Creole Chicken Okra
  5. Pickled Okra


Try this amazing okro soup recipe for a comforting one-pot meal. Would you like more comfort food recipes? Try out my newsletter for the latest.

Watch How to Make It

This blog post was originally published in December 2016 and has been updated with additional tips, new photos, and a video.

Okra Soup

Dive into a swirling pot of flavorful magic with a soup extravaganza! Brace yourself for a beautiful dance of succulent okra, tantalizing spices, and tender chunks of meat – all simmered to perfection. So prepare to embark on a taste journey to make your taste buds do the happy dance!