Speckled Butter Bean, Okra, Lamb Soup delivers on Southern flavor.

Posted on

Warm butternut squash soup, okra, and lamb tenderloin offer Southern flavors, and when topped with rosemary cornbread, it’s a filling dish. It showcases lamb, an ingredient not often seen on Southern tables.

Spotted Bean, Okra, and Lamb Soup is a Cajun recipe.

Spotted bean soup, okra, and lamb become Southern classics in this hearty recipe. (All photos: George Graham)

For far too long, Cajuns have been lost. Beef, pork, and chicken were on the grocery list, but lamb was always low in the meat category. I’m out to change that with this butter-spotted okra-and-lamb soup recipe. When I saw butternut squash beans at the local produce market, a recipe started to seep into my mind and my stomach started calling for lamb stew.

Al Arz Grocery

Located in Lafayette, Louisiana, Cajuns has embraced Nabil Loli’s Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Cedar Deli and Grocery.

Lamb is not an ingredient commonly associated with Louisiana or the Deep South for that matter. But here in Acadiana there is a very large resident population of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern descent. Lebanese, Syrian, and Greek families migrated to Acadiana years ago, and by the number of restaurants serving hummus, falafel, and kibbeh, it’s clear that the taste buds travel. The Cajuns embraced these ethnic flavors and the 30-year-old Cedar Grocery Store, with its bowls of Greek olives and fresh tabouli, has become a cultural icon as well as a culinary treasure.

Lamb is available at most Lafayette grocery stores, and while Cajuns of French Acadian heritage consume it sparingly, they absolutely love it nonetheless. Pairing these spice-packed ingredients with traditional bayou recipes is common and results in some exceptionally tasty versions of the standards. This Bean, Okra, and Lamb Soup Recipe is the perfect blend of culinary cultures.

Spread the word: With this speckled bean, okra, and lamb stew, lamb now has a place on the Acadiana table.

Spotted bean, okra and lamb soup with mint drizzle on rosemary cornbread

total time

Recipe by:

Serve: 4 to 6


Rosemary cornbread

  • 2 tablespoons of bacon fat
  • 1½ cups white corn flour
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1¼ cups of milk
  • A cup of melted unsalted butter

Mint spray

  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, stems removed
  • 2 peeled garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Bean and butter speckled soup, okra and lamb

  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 (1 pound) bone-in lamb shanks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups yellow onion, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup celery, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 14 whole okra pieces
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of spices
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 cups frozen frozen beans
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon peel
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, stems removed


Rosemary cornbread

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, add bacon grease. Put the pan in the oven.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients along with the fresh rosemary. In a separate bowl, add eggs and milk, and whisk until combined. Add the liquid ingredients to the bowl of the dry ingredients, and add the melted butter. stir until combined.
  4. Remove the hot skillet from the oven and pour in the cornbread mixture. Place the pan back in the oven and bake until beginning to brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Remove and keep warm.

Mint spray

  1. In the bowl of a blender, add the mint leaves, garlic, salt and pepper. On medium speed, slowly pour the olive oil into the container until blended and reach the consistency of salad dressing. sit aside.

Bean and butter speckled soup, okra and lamb

  1. In a cast iron pot with a heavy lid over medium heat, add the olive oil. Season the lamb chops with salt and pepper and add to the pot. Cook until browned on all sides. Remove and keep warm.
  2. In the same saucepan, reduce heat to medium and add onions, celery, and carrots. Sauté onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Return the meat to the pot and add the okra seeds, garlic and coriander along with the spices. Add butter, lemon juice, and zest. Pour enough vegetable broth to cover. As soon as the liquid begins to boil, reduce the heat to low. Place the lid on the iron pot and simmer until the beans are fully cooked and the leg of lamb is falling off the bone, about 90 minutes.
  3. Once the soup has simmered, uncover and add fresh basil leaves. Cover with basil leaves and let it wither for 5 minutes. Uncover and remove the meat from the leg of lamb, discarding the bones. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. To serve, add a piece of cornbread to the bottom of a flat pot, place it on top of the soup, and add a spoonful of mint on top.


Hot sauce and spicy Cajun seasoning have no place in this soup. The savory flavors of lamb should shine through with the herbal spices.


Your seat at the table: If you like this Cajun cooking story and Cajun recipe, accept my personal invitation to subscribe by entering your email at the bottom or top right of this page. It is fast and painless. You’ll receive an email alert and be the first to see when new Cajun cooking stories and Cajun recipes are added. Thanks, George.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *