It is my understanding that okra is one of those foods (like grits and chit'lins,) that northerners such as myself are unfamiliar with for the most part. I'll admit that I probably have no business even posting a recipe using okra because I can make no claim to experience with southern cooking. I can't even say y'all correctly. It comes out "ye haw." However, when I saw a bag of frozen okra at the "big city" grocery store a few weeks back, I threw it in my cart and was determined to come up with a recipe in which it played a starring role. I just love trying new vegetables!
Some leftover chicken and some tweaks with spices and herbs led me to this finished recipe. I was very pleased with the flavor of this soup and would suggest it be served with some johnny cakes or buttermilk biscuits. (See? I did my research.)
Chicken, Okra and Sweet Potato Soup
2 TBSP olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, finely diced (use two if you like it spicier)
2 stalks celery, diced
kosher salt and pepper
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 TBSP all purpose flour
1 quart chicken stock
1 large sweet potato, peeled, small dice
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1 pound frozen cut okra
2-3 cups cooked chicken, diced or shredded
In large soup pot heat olive oil. Add the onion, peppers and celery. Season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes and saute until onions are translucent, 6-7 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute or two. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook for several minutes to lose the raw flavor of the flour, then add the chicken stock, sweet potatoes, chili powder, cumin and oregano. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are fork tender. Add the okra and the chicken and cook for another 5-7 minutes. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.
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