Tag Archives: okra

Louisiana Style Soup

During the summer months I often have a taste for gumbo or jambalaya but those dishes can be a little heavy. So, to compensate and satisfy my taste buds, I will make a Louisiana Style Soup in warmer weather. This soup is much lighter than gumbo or jambalaya but it has similar flavors.

Creole food is the soul food of the south mid-west. Creole cooking is a blend of French, Spanish, Caribbean, West African, Portuguese and several other country cuisines. While Cajun dishes originate from a style of cooking by French speaking Acadians that were exiled to Louisiana. (a partial history lesson). Many people think there is no difference between Creole and Cajun foods but there really is a difference. The biggest difference is that Creole cuisines use tomatoes in most dishes while Cajun cuisines do not. Another difference is how each prepares a roux or thickening for dishes like jambalaya. A Creole roux is made with butter and flour while a Cajun roux is made with oil and flour. It may not sound like a big difference but it is when you are talking about flavors.

One more interesting tidbit about Creole vs. Cajun dishes is that Creole cooking is considered “city” food while Cajun cooking is considered “country” food. Hmmm… that may explain why hubby really likes Creole cooking while I enjoy Cajun foods. He is more of a city boy who loves tomatoes while I am a country girl at heart who just loves food.

Louisiana Style Soup

Ingredients:

1 pkg spicy ground sausage

1 cup frozen okra

1 cup frozen baby lima beans

1 cup corn cut off the cob or frozen corn

1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes

2 scallions diced

1 celery stalk diced

1 small green pepper diced

1 small white onion diced

2 cups chicken broth

2 cups water

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp ground ginger

Brown spicy ground sausage in a large pot over medium heat. Remove from pot and drain on paper towels. Add butter to the pan along with green pepper, celery and onion. Season with salt and black pepper then saute for a few minutes until vegetables soften.

Add remaining ingredients to the pot along with sausage. Stir to blend then reduce heat and let simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. Serve with rice or top with garlic croutons.

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Okra and Tomatoes

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If you find fresh okra at your local grocer, use that instead of frozen. Frozen okra is not bad but as with most recipes fresh is better. Okra and tomatoes is one of those southern dishes that goes great with all types of meat entrees.

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Being a truly southern gal my mom use to make okra and tomatoes with fried fish and hush puppies. I also like pairing okra and tomatoes with fried fish. I just have not perfected making hush puppies . At least not yet.

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For those folks that don’t know much about cooking okra, let me give you a tip. Do not cut off the top of the okra unless you want it to be slimy in your dish. The only time I cut okra is when I am cooking fried okra then it does not get slimy. My cousin Bernice taught me that. Not everybody likes the taste of okra which is why I usually prepare it as a separate vegetable side dish. Of course when you are making okra and tomatoes the okra is the star of the dish.

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If you have not tried okra or thought you did not like okra, give it another chance. Both the tomatoes and okra compliment each other with a wonderful flavor. To my southern folks I say try my version because I know you already know how good okra can be.

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Okra and Tomatoes

Ingredients:
1 lb okra (fresh or frozen)
1 14 oz can spicy diced tomatoes
1 14 oz can corn drained
2 slices bacon diced
1 medium onion diced
1 stalk celery diced
½ cup green pepper diced
½ cup chicken broth
½ tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp olive oil

Place olive oil and bacon in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Cook until bacon becomes crisp. Reduce heat to medium then add onions, peppers, celery, worcestershire sauce and seasonings to the pan. Stir and cook until vegetables soften. Add tomatoes, okra, corn and broth. Let simmer for 20 25 minutes. Serve over rice if desired.

 

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