Authentic Gabonese Gombo Soup Recipe - Delicious and Flavorful

Gabonese Gombo Soup

Authentic Gabonese Gombo Soup Recipe - Delicious and Flavorful
Region / culture: Gabon | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 25 minutes | Servings: 4


Gabonese Gombo Soup
Gabonese Gombo Soup

Gombo Soup is a traditional dish from Gabon, a country located in Central Africa. This flavorful soup is made with okra, also known as gombo, and is a popular dish in Gabonese cuisine.


Gombo Soup has been a staple in Gabonese cuisine for generations. Okra, the main ingredient in this soup, is a vegetable that is commonly used in African cooking. The combination of okra, tomatoes, and spices creates a delicious and hearty soup that is loved by many in Gabon.


How to prepare

  1. Sauté the onion and garlic in oil until they become soft.
  2. Add the piment, gombo, water, and Maggi.
  3. Cook until the gombo becomes soft.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for 10–15 minutes.
  5. Season to taste.


  • Add shrimp or fish for a seafood twist.
  • Use vegetable broth instead of water for a vegetarian version.
  • Add extra vegetables such as bell peppers or carrots for added flavor and nutrition.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to slice the okra thinly to ensure it cooks evenly.

- Use red palm oil for an authentic Gabonese flavor.

- Adjust the amount of piment (hot pepper) to suit your spice preference.

- Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Gombo Soup hot with a side of crusty bread or over cooked rice for a complete meal.

Cooking Techniques


- Boiling

Ingredient Substitutions

Vegetable oil can be used instead of red palm oil.

- Fresh okra can be used instead of dried okra.

Make Ahead Tips

Gombo Soup can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stove before serving.

Presentation Ideas

Garnish Gombo Soup with fresh herbs such as parsley or cilantro for a pop of color and flavor.

Pairing Recommendations

Serve Gombo Soup with a side of plantains or fufu for a traditional Gabonese meal.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover Gombo Soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave until heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

- Calories per serving: 200


- Cooked rice: 0.5 cup

- Cooked lentils: 0.5 cup

- Tomatoes: 2


- Red palm oil: 1 tbsp


- Chicken bouillon cube

Vitamins and minerals

Okra: rich in vitamins C and K, as well as folate and magnesium

- Tomatoes: a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as potassium


None listed


Gombo Soup is a nutritious dish that is rich in vitamins and minerals. It is a good source of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and essential nutrients.


Gombo Soup is a delicious and nutritious dish that is popular in Gabonese cuisine. Made with okra, tomatoes, and spices, this flavorful soup is perfect for a comforting meal. Serve hot with a side of rice or bread for a complete and satisfying dish.

How did I get this recipe?

The moment I found this recipe is etched in my memory forever. It was during a trip to Gabon, a beautiful country in West Africa known for its rich culture and diverse cuisine. I had the opportunity to stay with a local family, who graciously welcomed me into their home and shared their traditional recipes with me.

One evening, Mama Kadija, the matriarch of the family, invited me into her kitchen to help her prepare dinner. As we worked side by side, she shared stories of her childhood in Gabon and how she learned to cook from her own grandmother. The aroma of spices filled the air as she chopped vegetables and stirred pots on the stove.

I was fascinated by Mama Kadija's skill and knowledge of Gabonese cuisine. She explained that Gombo Soup was a popular dish in Gabon, made with okra, tomatoes, and a variety of meats and spices. As she added each ingredient to the pot, she shared the history and significance behind it.

Mama Kadija's passion for cooking was infectious, and I found myself captivated by her every word and movement. She taught me the importance of patience and attention to detail in the kitchen, and I soaked up every bit of knowledge she imparted.

After hours of simmering and stirring, the Gombo Soup was finally ready. The rich, earthy aroma wafted through the kitchen, making my mouth water in anticipation. Mama Kadija ladled generous portions of the soup into bowls and garnished them with fresh herbs before serving.

As we sat down to eat, Mama Kadija watched me closely, waiting for my reaction. I took a hesitant sip of the soup and was immediately transported to a world of bold flavors and comforting warmth. The combination of tender okra, savory meats, and aromatic spices was unlike anything I had ever tasted before.

I couldn't help but express my admiration for Mama Kadija's culinary skills. She smiled warmly and told me that cooking was not just about following a recipe, but about infusing each dish with love and tradition. She urged me to carry on the legacy of Gabonese cooking and share the recipes I had learned with others.

That night, as I lay in bed reflecting on the day's events, I knew that my journey through Gabon had changed me in profound ways. Mama Kadija's teachings had sparked a newfound passion for cooking within me, and I was determined to honor her legacy by mastering the art of Gabonese cuisine.

When I returned home, I set to work recreating Mama Kadija's Gombo Soup in my own kitchen. I sourced the freshest ingredients and painstakingly followed her instructions, channeling her spirit and expertise with every chop and stir.

As the soup bubbled and simmered on the stove, I closed my eyes and let the memories of Gabon wash over me. The vibrant colors, the lively sounds, the unforgettable flavors – all of it came flooding back with each inhale of the fragrant steam rising from the pot.

When the Gombo Soup was finally ready, I ladled it into bowls and garnished it with fresh herbs, just as Mama Kadija had taught me. I took a tentative sip, holding my breath as the familiar taste of Gabon filled my senses.

And in that moment, I knew that I had succeeded. Mama Kadija's recipe had become my own, a cherished heirloom passed down through generations of strong, passionate women who had shaped my culinary journey in ways I could never have imagined.

As I sat down to enjoy the fruits of my labor, I said a silent thank you to Mama Kadija and all the other incredible cooks who had inspired me along the way. Their knowledge, their wisdom, their love – all of it had culminated in this humble bowl of soup, a testament to the power of food to connect us across cultures and generations.

And so, as I savored each spoonful of Gombo Soup, I knew that I carried with me a piece of Gabon in my heart forever. And I vowed to continue sharing the magic of Mama Kadija's recipe with all who crossed my path, spreading the joy and warmth of Gabonese cuisine to every corner of the world.


| Gabonese Recipes | Lentil Recipes | Okra Recipes | Rice Recipes |

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