I was craving okra soup lately because the African spirit in me was sick of cheese burgers and needed something stronger. So I decided enough was enough and went ahead to prepare this okra soup recipe I’m about to show you guys. Keep in mind that this okra soup recipe is vegan as I am currently on a plant based diet. Therefore, if you happen to be a meat lover and are trying to make okra soup, then you may need to substitute.
As an African myself (Nigerian to be specific), I feel like many of our dishes do not cater to the vegan community. Most ingredients in our dishes require meat or meat stock. Thus, whenever I’m craving African dishes and want to prepare some, I often run into roadblocks.
Thankfully, I have given myself enough time to research some substitutes that can replace many of these meat options. And so far, these alternatives have not disappointed me.
That being said, for my vegans and healthy eaters out there, I would suggest eating this recipe with oatmeal swallow. It just happens to be a healthier alternative to fufu, garri or pounded yam. Plus it’s gluten free, making it attractive to those who have certain health concerns.
Vegan Alternatives For Meat
For this recipe, I decided to replace the meat with mushrooms, because of the many health benefits mushrooms provide. This is completely optional if you do not like mushrooms. However, I personally don’t mind the umami taste of mushrooms and decided to go along with it.
Another alternative to mushrooms would be tofu or vegan meat, which I personally haven’t tried. But I’m very sure it would a great source of extra flavor to this dish.
If you are a meat lover, you can substitute the mushrooms with goat meat and add some crayfish for extra flavor.
As mentioned in several posts of mine, an alternative to crayfish as a vegan would be seaweed. Thus, if you are looking for that extra fishy flavor as a vegan, definitely consider adding seaweed.
Related Post: Nigerian Jollof Rice Recipe
Ingredients For Vegan Okra Soup
- Red onion: Adds a sweet, sharp depth of flavor.
- Oil: The base for sautéing; helps meld the flavors together.
- Baby Bella mushrooms: They contribute a meaty texture, making the soup heartier.
- Garlic powder: You can also use minced garlic (but don’t add too much).
- Salt: To taste.
- Curry: Adds a warm, spicy undertone.
- Ground ginger
- Ground pepper: I used cayenne pepper.
- Red bell pepper
- Scallion: Provides a fresh, crisp oniony note. But it’s completely optional.
- Vegetable broth: Forms the flavorful liquid base of the soup, and replaces chicken broth in the traditional okra soup recipe.
- Spinach: Introduces a mild leafy taste and boosts the nutrient content.
- Okra: I cut mine into chunks, but feel free to cut it how you prefer.
How To Prepare
To make this dish, first blend two red bell peppers and one onion until smooth, then set it aside.
Next, heat some oil in a pot, then add diced red onions, cooking until they’re less vibrant.
Toss in mushrooms, and cook until tender.
Next, add your spices: garlic powder, salt, curry, thyme, ground ginger, ground pepper, and scallions, followed by the blended pepper-onion mix. Stir well.
Pour in vegetable stock, let it simmer for 5 minutes. Add okra and spinach, cook for another 15 minutes. And you’re done! Serve your delicious okra soup and enjoy!
How To Store Your Vegan Okra Soup
To store your okra soup, you need to first make sure your okra soup cools down to room temperature after cooking. No one likes the soup sweats, especially your fridge!
Once it’s cool, find an airtight container — glass is fantastic because it doesn’t hang onto odors, but use whatever you have that seals well.
Carefully pour the soup in, secure the lid tightly, and pop it into the refrigerator. This beauty will stay fresh for about 3 to 4 days. But, if you’re looking for a long-term relationship with your soup, the freezer is your friend! Same deal, pour it into a freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bags, label with the date (because who remembers exactly when they made what, right?), and then into the freezer it goes. It should be good for about 2 to 3 months.
When you’re ready to fall in love all over again, just thaw it in the fridge overnight or reheat it gently on the stove. And there you go, your delicious okra soup is ready to woo your taste buds once more!
Let me know in the comments if you give this dish a try!
Vegan Okra Soup Recipe
- 2 red onion - diced
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 cups Baby Bella mushrooms - chopped
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp curry
- ½ tsp thyme
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 2 red bell pepper
- 1 bunch scallion - diced
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup spinach - chopped
- 24 oz okra - cut into chunks (about 2 bags)
Making The Pepper Mix
- To a blender, add in two red bell peppers and one medium onion. Blend until you achieve an even consistency
Preparing The Okra Soup
- Heat up vegetable oil in a medium sized pot on medium heat.
- Add in diced red onions and fry until the redness slowly starts to fade.
- Add in mushrooms and cook until tender
- Add in garlic powder, salt, curry, thyme, ground ginger, ground pepper, scallions and blended pepper mixture. Combine well.
- Add in vegetable stock and mix. Cover pot and leave to simmer for 5 minutes
- Next, add in okra and spinach and combine.
- Leave to cook for an additional 15 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy