This week’s I.O.W (ingredient of the week): okra! As much as I love okra, I’ve surprisingly never really cooked with it before? I’m never inspired by the okra I find at the grocery stores, but at the farmer’s market they were bright green, crisp, and unblemished. Plus, now that I’m in Texas I figured it was about time! I made this summer fresh soup and did a little pickling on the side (the latter recipe to come soon). Okra does not store well so try to use within a day or two, refrigerating in the a paper bag.
Summer Tomato, Corn + Okra Soup
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (more or less, depending on desired heat)
pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp tomato paste
splash dry white wine
1/4 lb plum tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 lb okra, stems removed and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1- 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, jalapeno and red pepper flakes and saute until soft, about 15 minutes. Add the oregano and tomato paste and stir until combined. Add the tomatoes and saute over moderately high heat for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add a splash of the wine to de-glaze the pan, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to pick up any flavorful bits. Add the broth and water. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer, uncovered, for a good 5 minutes.
Add okra and cook at a gentle simmer until it is almost tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the corm and cilantro. Cook, still uncovered and at a gentle simmer, for about 10 minutes until corn is done. Season with sea salt and pepper and serve. Garnish with more cilantro or microgreens, if desired.