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Okra Soup with Shrimp


Shrimp Broth

12 ounces un-peeled, 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 (28oz.) 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)


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)