“Weeka”, Vegan Egyptian Okra Soup to comfort your body and soul

Vegan Okra Soup
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One Month, No Posts!

My best foodie tribe, Apologies for that Long silence!

The last month I was preparing for filming the first Masterclass of Egyptian Cuisine in English language.

Filming the masterclass didn’t take more than seven days but choosing the recipes, testing and retesting took over the entire month.  On one hand, that hard meticulous work kept me away from blogging, my favorite daily routine. On the other hand, I was super duper happy to offer to the world a taste of my Egyptian heritage in form of succulent recipes. 

It was a marvelous experience collaborating with Allspice Institute on this promising project that will bring Egyptian Cuisine to the forefront of the World food landscape.  I am grateful for the opportunity and can’t wait to see that final Masterclass after editing its episodes. 

For some fun behind-the-scenes snippets, check my instagram account @cheznermine. 

Now, let us head to today’s EPIC recipe, which is WEEKA. 

What Is Weeka? 

Are you at loss of vegan recipes? 

I have a super easy one for you! 

Weeka is an ancient okra soup that hails from the south of Egypt (aka upper Egypt), which is the cradle of the ancient Egyptian civilization. In some ways, Weeka is a nostalgic soup that my late father wouldn’t trade for anything, as it was a robust reminder of the flavors he grew up with in Upper Egypt. 

 If you have been following my blog for a while, you probably know that I am coptic (Christian Egyptian), and we do observe nativity fasting, during which we abstain from diary products and meat!

The Orthodox nativity fasting ends on January 7th, which is the official date of Coptic Christmas. 

If we do the math, we have a little over two weeks to go!  And, probably, these two weeks are the most challenging ones in terms of finding easy vegan recipes to serve our families, in the middle of Christmas baking and gifts shopping.

Photo of ancient Egyptian temple
Ancient Egyptian temple in Upper Egypt (south of Egypt. Image: Canva

 

A photo of rural area in Egypt
Rural area in Upper Egypt. image: Canva

The okra crop that grows in the south of Egypt is long, with a thorny skin,  and is  similar to the okra that grows in the US or Asia. 

Photo of Raw Okra that grows in Egypt
Raw Okra. Stock Image: Okra

I never really appreciated Weeka growing up as I found it too slimy, Yet, like many Egyptian recipes in this blog, I revisited it with some modern techniques that improved the taste and texture, without watering down its authenticity.

Not the Slimy Okra you know!

If you are averse to slimy texture, fear not!  I found that using the kitchen blender to blend the okra soup will dissipate the slimy texture and transform it into a creamy soup without a drop of cream. 

Fear not, this Weeka soup needs very few ingredients and takes less than 30 minutes to cook.

The tasha (fried garlic and coriander in hot fat such as oil or ghee) is what amps up the flavors in the soup and takes it to the next level.  

You can keep the vegan streak of this soup by using vegetable broth/bouillon and oil for the tasha or you can turn it into a non vegan soup by using chicken or meat broth and use ghee or butter in the tasha

Your feedback is so valuable, TRY this WEEKA recipe in your kitchen & don’t forget to leave a comment below that post.

Interested in More Wholesome Recipes?!

 Join my foodie tribe HERE, to receive more healthy recipes, inspired by my Egyptian Cuisine,

For kitchen hacks, sneak peak previews, and tutorial food videos, follow my Instagram page @cheznermine 


WEEKA: Egyptian Okra Soup 

Vegan Okra Soup
Vegan Okra Soup. Stock Image: Canva

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil (or ghee/butter) 
  • 1 kg  big okra, rinsed and coarsely chopped 
  •  1 medium onion, finely chopped  
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed 
  • 5 -6 cups of vegetable broth, beef and chicken broth are good alternatives (see notes)
  •  ½ teaspoon cumin, optional  
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice, or more to taste 
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Tasha 

  • 3  tablespoons canola oil (or ghee or butter) 
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed 
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon pepper 

Garnish 

  • Lemon juice 
  • Cilantro leaves (optional)

DIRECTIONS 

  1. Cook the okra: In a heavy bottom pot, heat the canola oil over medium heat and saute the onions and garlic until they sweat, add the okra and stir for one or two minutes. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a simmer over low heat and let the soup gently simmer, over low heat, for 15 minutes or until the okra is soft. 
  2. Blend the okra: Transfer the weeka to the blender’s container and blend until you have a smooth, creamy texture. Return it to the cooking pan and reheat before serving on low heat. 
  3. Make the tashaIn a frying pan, heat the oil (butter or ghee), add the garlic, ground coriander, salt and pepper. Once they become fragrant and the garlic has become golden, stir the tasha immediately to the simmering soup. Turn off the heat and let the tasha infuse its aromas into the soup.
  4. Serve. Reheat gently before serving, taste and adjust the seasoning. Garnish the soup with fresh cilantro leaves.  Serve it with vermicelli rice, toasted bread or garlic bread, and wedges of lemon. 

NERMINE’S NOTES 

  • I use a low sodium vegetable bouillon that I dissolve in 5 cups of hot water. For a thinner consistency, you can add another ½ -1 cup more of broth. 
  • To achieve a smooth creamy texture, a regular blender is more effective than a stick blender.

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Former diplomat | Travel & Food Writer | Stauch advocate of Culinary Diplomacy. Find more here: https://cheznermine.com/about/

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