Okra Soup

Okra is amazing! This underrated vegetable gives bite, flavor and texture to your soup, supported by our hearty KOL Foods Bone Broth. The smokiness of KOL Foods Smoked Turkey Wings or Beef Bacon round out this warming and peppery winter soup.

KOL Foods likes to keep it local where possible. This soup has been cooked for centuries by enslaved people in our Chesapeake region, and it celebrates their heritage and contribution to American history. This recipe was recreated by James Beard Award-winner Michael Twitty. A DC-native, Michael is an African-American Jewish writer, culinary historian, and educator.


Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes


  • 1.5 tbsp tallow, schmaltz, oil or margarine (for sauteeing)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small onion, whole and spiked with 6-8 cloves
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dry thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (if you like things peppery, use 1 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups KOL Foods Chicken or Beef Bone Broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 28 oz canned tomatoes with juice (or 3 cups diced fresh tomatoes)
  • 4 KOL Foods Smoked Turkey Wings, cut in half (1 piece per person)
  • and/or 2 packs KOL Foods Beef Bacon
  • 2 cups okra (fresh or frozen) cut into 0.75 inch pieces
  • half a bunch of parsley, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked rice, kept hot or warm (optional)


1) In a Dutch oven or soup pot, heat the tallow, schmaltz, oil or margarine until melted. Add diced onion and cook on low-medium until onion is soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add thyme, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute or so.

2) Add the broth, water and tomatoes and while it comes to a boil, spike the cloves into the remaining onion, and add to the broth. Then bring to a boil and cook on a medium simmer for 30 minutes.

3) If using the Smoked Turkey Wings, make sure they are separated into halves. If using the Bacon, separate slices and cut into bite-size pieces.

4) Add the Smoked Turkey Wings, Beef Bacon, okra, and parsley and cook for 20-30 minutes until the okra is tender.

5) Remove clove-spiked onion and thyme sprig if used. If using, add ¼ cup of warm rice into each bowl. Ladle soup into bowls. Serve.