Okra Soup with Shrimp

While this recipe is filled with delicious vegetables (you can use fresh or frozen), spices, and aromatics, one of the main components is the fresh shrimp stock. Once you make this stock, you will never throw shrimp shells away again. Whenever you use fresh shrimp, remember to save the shells in a plastic container or bag and just keep them in the freezer until you have accumulated enough to make a batch of stock – which also freezes well. Pan-roasted, fried, or added to stews, Southerners love okra many different ways. Many people, however, don’t like to cook with okra because it is slimy, but how you prep the okra will determine how slimy it gets. Water enhances the sliminess so don’t wash the okra until you are ready to cook it. Let the okra sit at room temperature for a while before using it. Or, if you use frozen okra, cut it while it is still frozen to reduce the amount of slime.

  • Prep Time30 min
  • Cook Time1 hr
  • Total Time1 hr 30 min
  • Yield10 Servings
  • Cooking Method
    • Boiling
    • Simmer


Shrimp Broth

  • 12 ounces unpeeled raw shrimp
  • 1 large carrot, coarsely chopped (1 cup)
  • 3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 bay leaf

Okra Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced (2 tsp.)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 1 medium-size green bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
  • 2 cups thawed frozen lima beans
  • 2 fresh plum tomatoes, diced (1 cup)
  • 1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups sliced fresh or thawed frozen okra
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • Hot cooked white rice (optional)


Prepare the Shrimp Broth:


Peel and devein raw shrimp, reserving shells. Cover and refrigerate shrimp until ready to use. Rinse shells with cold water until clean. Place shrimp shells, 5 cups water, chopped carrot, celery, onion, butter, kosher salt, and bay leaf in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil over high, and boil, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered with lid slightly ajar, until reduced to about 3 cups, about 45 minutes; skim off and discard any foam or other impurities that rise to the top. Pour broth through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl; discard solids.


Prepare the Okra Soup:


Heat a large gumbo pot or 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven over medium-high. Add olive oil, garlic, onion, bell pepper, 1 tablespoon of the butter, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables soften, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in corn, lima beans, and plum tomatoes until well combined. Stir in canned diced tomatoes, reserved Shrimp Broth, and 2 teaspoons of the salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until mixture is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.


Meanwhile, melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the reserved shrimp, and season with pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp begin to turn pink, about 2 minutes. Add sliced okra, ground ginger, and fresh lemon juice. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until okra and shrimp are cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.


After soup has simmered 20 minutes, add shrimp-and-okra mixture. Cook until shrimp are heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and stir. Ladle into individual bowls. (If desired, spoon rice evenly into bowls before adding soup.)

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Comments (12)

  • I first saw you on Food Network. I was so impressed and so excited to see a show with two southern recipes. During that morning show, you did your fried chicken with Panko. You used chicken legs which was what your grandmother always used and after the chicken was repaired you took it to your grandmothers house. I can’t find that recipe anywhere. Is that something that you could direct me to where I might find it or could you share with me the recipe for the chicken legs as your grandmother had taught you. Thank you so much

    Brenda Butler
  • I look forward to watching you on Food Network every Sunday morning. I’m from very northern Idaho and we do not have southern cooking here….I love it❣️ Please keep the yummy recipes coming. By the way your Mom and Aunt crack me up, adds a bit of humor . I hope your show will stay on a very long time.

  • Hi, love your Show and where can I get your cookbook .

    Herman Bady Smith
  • Hi, Kardea. Love your show on Food Network. I saw you as a guest on Farmhouse Rules some time ago, where you made a shrimp gumbo. Where can I find that recipe. You are beautiful. Keep making us smile with your delicious food. Waiting on a cookbook!!!!

    Alma Lucas
  • Wow that looks so good would love to have the recipes. Thank you

    Vivian Vann
  • Can you please do a show on lamb chops.

    Denise Logan
  • I can’t wait until your cookbook come out I watch you on the food Network show all the time. I have family members that live in Sumter , South Carolina. Thank you and be safe.

    Denise Logan
  • I love okra. This recipe looks scrumptious

    Deyonne Smith
    • I can’t wait to try this!

  • love your show – all of your recipes look absolutely scrumptious !

    ps is there such a thing as too much spice – I think not –

    Paul Bailey
  • Drooled while watching you make Shrimp & Grits. Where can I find recipe?. Love your show!!!

    Delores Allen
  • Kendra
    Can you please do a show on Cub Steak.

    Julia Jackson

Comments are closed.


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