Kitty’s Fine Foods

1137 Morrison Drive. Downtown.

(843) 722-9370.

Okra soup could be called Charleston’s gumbo. Like gumbo, its strong African roots lie in its star ingredient — okra — and the long, slow cooking method. Most local soul food spots feature it at least one day each week, and all show the personal nuances of the restaurant owner. Martha Grant, proprietor of Kitty’s Fine Foods, serves up a rich, heady version that she attributes to her grandparents. She says that the secret lies in the “seasoning” — meaning the neckbone and pigtail — but she takes these out before serving. She goes by the standard recipe of her grandparents featuring okra, green limas, corn, onion, and tomato, and then adds her own touches like carrot and celery. She uses fresh okra in season and serves the soup every Thursday or by special order.