Snookums’s Okra Soup Recipe

published Feb 7, 2023
Snookums’s Okra Soup Recipe

Snookums was the nickname given to my great-grandfather.

Serves4 to 6

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Credit: Sully Sullivan

This lovely soup is named after Brown’s great-grandfather. The dish shines a light on a rather unsung hero of summer vegetable: okra. Okra is a valuable part of many different types of Southern cuisine, including Gullah-Geechee. When cooked the right way — as Brown has done here — okra is a substantial part of a filling and hearty soup or stew. Plus, the soup gets wonderful flavor from fresh tomatoes and is served over fluffy rice. 

Snookums’s Okra Soup Recipe

Snookums was the nickname given to my great-grandfather.

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1

    large onion, chopped

  • 1

    medium green bell pepper, chopped

  • 2 cloves

    garlic, minced

  • 2 cups

    fresh or thawed frozen corn

  • 2 cups

    thawed frozen lima beans

  • 1 cup

    diced fresh Roma tomatoes

  • 1 (28-ounce) can

    diced tomatoes

  • 4 cups

    vegetable broth

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 2 1/2 cups

    sliced fresh or thawed frozen okra (if using fresh, slice into 1-inch pieces)

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground ginger

  • 1/2


  • Steamed rice, for serving (optional)


  1. Heat a large gumbo pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the oil, onion, bell pepper, and garlic and sauté until the vegetables soften. Mix in the corn, lima beans, and Roma tomatoes. Add the canned tomatoes, vegetable broth, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper and stir. Turn down heat to a simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes.

  2. In another saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the sliced okra and ginger, season with a little salt and pepper, and stir. Squeeze the half lemon over the okra (the lemon juice will help cut some of the slime). Sauté, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off the heat.

  3. Once the broth mixture has simmered for 20 minutes, add the okra. Taste and add salt and

    pepper if needed. Cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Stir the soup then serve over rice (or enjoy it without rice).

Recipe Notes

Excerpted from THE WAY HOME by Kardea Brown. Copyright 2022. Amistad/HarperCollins