Gumbo is an incredibly delicious soup. Full of all sorts of vegetables and spices, you’ll never get tired of it! This soup freezes well, so I like to make a big vat of it and freeze it for future dinners. In my family, we’ve always served the gumbo over a bed of rice. This soup is also great served with cornbread!
This dish can be gluten-free if you substitute brown rice flour for the all-purpose flour in the roux.
Okra’s kind of a funny vegetable. When cooked, it lets out a gooey, gelatinous substance. In the gumbo, this doesn’t have much of an impact, apart from maybe thickening the soup a little bit, but if you stir-fry or steam some sliced okra, you’ll see the sticky stuff! Okra is a popular health food, since it’s high in fiber, vitamin C, and folate. It’s is also known for being high in antioxidants. Okra is also a good source of calcium and potassium.
Prep time: ~60 minutes
Gluten-free (if modifying the roux)
- 1/4 cup of rice per person eating the soup.
- 5 cups vegetable stock.
- 1 onion, chopped.
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped.
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped.
- 3-4 tbsp olive oil.
- 4-5 tbsp flour/brown rice flour.
- 2 bay leaves.
- 1 can whole tomatoes.
- 1 box/bag frozen sliced okra.
- Cajun seasoning to taste.
- 3 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (see recipe below).
- Salt and pepper, to taste.
Vegan Worcestershire sauce:
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar.
- 1/2 cup soy sauce/gluten-free soy sauce.
- 1/4 cup brown sugar.
- 1 tsp dried ground ginger.
- 1 tsp ground dry mustard.
- 1 tsp onion powder.
- 1 clove garlic, crushed/minced.
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon.
- black pepper.
For the Worcestershire sauce:
Place all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the sauce if desired. You can keep this in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 months.
For the Gumbo:
Combine 5 cups of stock, half of the chopped onion, half of the chopped pepper, and half of the chopped celery in a large pot. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 20 minutes.
While the vegetables are boiling, it’s time to make a roux out of the olive oil and flour. First, get a large skillet, and heat the olive oil on medium heat. When hot, toss in the flour, and stir until combined (a whisk works well for this).
Once the flour and oil form a paste, turn the heat down to medium-low. Stir frequently, around every ten seconds, to prevent the roux from burning. If you see black specks appear in the roux, you’ve burned some of the flour, so toss it out and start over.
Once the roux takes on a nice brown color, a little bit darker than peanut butter, it’s done. When the roux is done, add the remaining onion, pepper and celery and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the roux/vegetable mixture to the boiling vegetables. Add the tomatoes, okra, Worcestershire sauce, and Cajun seasoning, reduce the heat, and simmer an additional 30 to 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
While the gumbo is simmering away, it’s the perfect time to put on some rice. Long grain rice works best with this soup. If using a rice cooker, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Otherwise, rinse the rice to remove excess starch, then place in a large pot with twice as much water as rice, a splash of oil, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, and let all the water absorb into the rice.
Spoon some rice into the bottom of your bowl, then ladle the gumbo over top. Serve piping hot, and enjoy!