Speckled Butter Bean, Okra and Lamb Soup with Mint Drizzle over Rosemary Cornbread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe by:
Serves: 4 to 6
Rosemary Cornbread
  • 2 tablespoons bacon grease
  • 1½ cups white cornmeal
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1¼ cups buttermilk
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
Mint Drizzle
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, stems removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
Speckled Butter Bean, Okra and Lamb Soup
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 (1-pound) bone-in lamb shanks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 14 whole okra pods
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 cups frozen speckled butter beans
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, stems removed
Rosemary Cornbread
  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  2. In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, add the bacon grease. Place the skillet into the oven.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients along with the fresh rosemary. In a separate bowl, add the egg and buttermilk, and whisk until combined. Add the liquid ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients, and add the melted butter. Stir to combine.
  4. Remove the hot skillet from the oven and pour in the cornbread batter. Place the pan back into the oven and bake until it begins to brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Remove and keep warm.
Mint Drizzle
  1. In the container of a blender, add the mint leaves, garlic, salt, and pepper. On medium speed, slowly pour the olive oil into the container until combined and reaches salad dressing consistency. Set aside.
Speckled Butter Bean, Okra and Lamb Soup
  1. In a heavy-lidded cast-iron pot over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper and add to the pot. Cook until browned on all sides. Remove and keep warm.
  2. In the same pot, lower the heat to medium and add the onions, celery, and carrots. Sauté just until the onions become translucent, about 5 minutes. Return the lamb to the pot and add the okra pods, garlic, and cilantro along with the spices. Add the butter beans, lemon juice, and zest. Pour in enough of the vegetable stock to cover. Once the liquid starts to simmer, turn down the heat to low. Place the lid on the iron pot and simmer until the beans are fully cooked and the lamb shank is falling off the bone, about 90 minutes.
  3. Once the soup is done, uncover and add the fresh basil leaves. Cover and let the basil leaves wilt, about 5 minutes. Uncover and remove the meat from the lamb shank and discard the bones. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. To serve, add a wedge of the cornbread to the bottom of a shallow bowl, ladle over the soup and add a spoonful of mint drizzle over the top.
Hot sauce and spicy Cajun seasonings have no place in this soup. The subtle flavors of lamb spiked with herbal seasonings should shine through.
Recipe by Acadiana Table at https://acadianatable.com/2019/12/02/speckled-butter-bean-okra-lamb-soup/