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"Daylight" Smoked Chicken and Okra Soup

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Okra Soup - an Easy 30-minute okra recipe prepared via instant pot. The smoked chicken elevates this to a main dish soup dish that is perfect for busy weeknights.

chicken and okra soup in a white bowl

If you’ve followed recent posts, then you know this month is all about okra recipes, partly because it’s okra season, but also as part of my personal campaign to get the world to “Eat More Okra.” This is my first okra soup post, but don’t sweat I have a few more in store for you that will make you say “Uggh” like Master P! My mentality is that when it comes to okra recipes, there are no bad ideas. Well perhaps that okra smoothie was a not so good idea.

There are soups that contain okra and then there are okra soups. With the former, it’s usually about making the dish thicker. Okra soups are for okra lovers who appreciate everything about the fuzzy green pods. These soups are popular worldwide and all throughout the South and midwest. Gumbo ain’t nothing but okra soup with a roux and a bunch of other stuff. Similarly, Brunswick is soup, no roux, but with many different vegetables.

My introduction to okra soup came from my grandmother who made a deeply flavored tomato-based okra soup with onions, corn, and peppers. When I decided to make my version, I wanted something complex in flavor, but made with few ingredients, and had more of a summertime feel, i.e. not heavy like a stew.

What Inspired this Okra Recipe?

What I came up with is a smoked chicken and okra soup. The smoked chicken adds a level of deep flavor to the broth while also making the dish substantial enough for a main entree meal. The lime juice is the ingredient that makes this soup next level. The tart citrus, breaks up the smoked meat, while also bringing out the flavor in the okra. The idea for the lime juice dates back to my time spent in so many real Mexican restaurants where chicken lime soup 'Sopa de lima' can be common.

I was short on time when I made this recipe. So rather than slowly simmering this dish on the stovetop I “cheated” and used my Instant Pot. The Instant Pot had the added advantage of not eating to the heat situation given the 90+ degree summer Texas weather. So what was normally an hour or two hour-long cook time, became a 30-minute recipe. This recipe is an example of pressure cooking gone right.

Okra Soup Ingredients

  • Okra
  • Smoked Chicken
  • Lime Juice
  • Chicken Stock
  • Jalapeno
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • White Onion
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Rice
  • Paprika
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Water

How to make Okra Soup

Step 1: Saute vegetables

Set Instant Pot settings to saute and cook onions, jalapeno, plus half the spices for 4-5 minutes

Step 2: Toast Rice

Add rice to the vegetables and saute 2 minutes

Step 3: Pressure Cook

Cancel saute settings. Add stock, water, chicken, and remaining spices. Mix well. Close lid and pressure cook for 20 minutes. Do a quick pressure release. Remove chicken and set aside.

Step 4: Add Okra

Add okra + bell peppers to the pot. Cook 10 minutes on saute normal settings uncovered.

Step 5: Finish the Soup

While soup cooks, pull the chicken off the bone and chop into smaller pieces. Add the chopped chicken back to the pot along with the lime juice.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this soup with fresh cilantro. You can treat this as a main dish soup and pair with a salad like any of these:

Pear Fennel Salad

Cucumber Salad

Turnip Greens and Quinoa Tabbouleh

Blackeyed Pea Salad

Sweet Potato Salad

Okra and Smoked Chicken Soup Cooking tips

  • Don’t smoke a chicken just for this recipe. Buy a half-smoked chicken from your favorite local bbq spot or just reserved some from your next Summer cookout and use the leftovers in the soup. If neither of these is an option, just use beef like I mentioned they do in Africa and the Low country
  • Saute the onions, peppers, and chicken first to release their flavor
  • Cut the okra into smaller pieces for faster cook times, but no too small such that the other ingredients overshadow that good okra flavor.
  • If using pressure cooker/Instant Pot add the okra after pressure cooking process to preserve the okra texture and fresh okra flavor. Similarly if using traditional slow simmer in a pot approach add the okra later in the cooking process.

chicken and okra soup in a white bowl

Does This Recipe Work With Traditional Cooking Methods?

This recipe is for Instant Pot/pressure cooking but is easily convertible to traditional stovetop cooking. You follow the same approach as far as sautéing the onions, peppers, garlic, and chicken first to release their flavors. Next, you bring the stock and vegetables (minus okra) to a boil, then reduce the heat and slowly simmer the soup (sans the okra and lime juice) for at least an hour. Add the okra during the last 20-30 minutes of cooking. Finish with the lime juice.

For similar recipes you might like, try these:

Southern Fried Okra

Roasted Okra

Stewed Okra and Tomatoes

Okra with Sofrito and Grits

Okra Fried Rice

Charred Okra with Harissa Sauce

Grilled Okra

Okra and Collards Salad

Blistered Okra

Callaloo

making this recipe

If you make this okra soup recipe, please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them.

If you’re interested in going deep on okra cooking techniques, okra health benefits, etc. read my earlier post “How To Cook Okra

You can also keep up with my food exploits as well as original recipes! You can find me on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest. If you like any of the music you find on the site, visit me at Spotify to find curated monthly playlists.

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chicken and okra soup in a white bowl

Smoked Chicken and Okra Soup

Easy okra soup recipe with a smoky citrus vibe from a smoked chicken and lime-based broth. A satisfying summertime soup with a bright, festive feel.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Modern Soul Food
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 402kcal
Author: Marwin Brown

Equipment

  • pressure cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 medium white onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic diced
  • 1 jalapeño chili deseeded and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • ½ tablespoon Salt
  • ½ tablespoon Pepper
  • ½ tablespoon Paprika
  • cup Rice
  • 4 cups Chicken Stock
  • 2 cups Water
  • ½ Smoked Chicken
  • ½ lb Okra sliced ½ inch thick pieces
  • ½ cup Lime Juice
  • Fresh cilantro optional

Instructions

  • Set instant pot to saute setting.
  • Add onions, garlic, jalapeño, and half the spices and saute 4-5 minutes
  • Add rice and saute another 2 minutes
  • Add stock, water, smoked chicken, and remaining spices. Stir to mix the ingredients well.
  • Cancel saute settings, close lid and pressure cook for 20 minutes. Do a quick-release pressure.
  • Remove chicken and let cool
  • Add okra and bell peppers to the pot. And cook 10 minutes on saute normal settings uncovered.
  • While soup continues to cook, pull the chicken off the bone and chop up into smaller pieces.
  • Add the chopped chicken back to the pot along with the lime juice.
  • Serve with fresh cilantro

Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • Don’t smoke a chicken just for this recipe. Buy a half-smoked chicken from your favorite local bbq spot or just reserved some from your next Summer cookout and use the leftovers in the soup. If neither of these is an option, just use beef like I mentioned they do in Africa and the Low country
  • Saute the onions, peppers, and chicken first to release their flavor
  • Cut the okra into smaller pieces for faster cook times, but no too small such that the other ingredients overshadow that good okra flavor.
  • If using pressure cooker/Instant Pot add the okra after pressure cooking process to preserve the okra texture and fresh okra flavor. Similarly if using traditional slow simmer in a pot approach add the okra later in the cooking process.

Nutrition

Calories: 402kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 1321mg | Potassium: 927mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1930IU | Vitamin C: 79.5mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 3mg
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