If you’re like me, and you don’t see 33-degree Celsius weather as a reason not to indulge in a hot bowl of soup, this recipe is for you. It’s simple, and it doesn’t have too many seasonings. It doesn’t need to — summer’s fresh bounty adds flavor enough.
One thing this soup is not is gummy. One of the excuses people have for not liking okra is the viscous sap. Fortunately, that can be done away with by frying the okra. The okra is fully cooked in olive oil before it is added to the soup, which leaves only the okra flavor, and none of that gumbo-type texture. (Of course, if you want a gumbo, you can just throw the okra into the tomato base and let it boil until done.)
For about 3 servings:
150 g okra (big handful)
3 fat tomatoes (500 g)
1 medium-sized onion
2-3 big garlic cloves (or 4-6 regular cloves)
juice of 1 lemon
1/8 t turmeric
1/2 t salt
olive oil to fry
Remove the stems from the okra and dice into short segments. Fry in a thick frying pan with some olive oil, stirring occasionally — you don’t need to deep-fry the okra, but you will want to cook it until soft. In the meanwhile, you can cook the rest of the soup.
Dice the onion and fry in some olive oil in a thick-bottomed pot. When it begins to become transparent, add the garlic, also diced (or crushed). Add the tomatoes, chopped.
Add enough water to cover the tomatoes, the lemon juice, the turmeric and the salt. Add the chopped parsley leaves as well. If you want, you can tie the stems into a bunch and put them in the pot to simmer for extra flavor, and remove them at the end. Cover the pot and let simmer until the tomatoes soften.
By now, the okra should be fully cooked. Add into the tomato soup base, and let simmer some more, so that the okra absorbs the flavor.
Garnish with a few parsley leaves to serve.
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