The Recipes

Vegetable Gumbo

Oof!  New York was definitely an amazing venture, and I have tons of ideas, but now it's time to tend to the produce that was waiting for me while I was gone for two days.  Let me think back to the lessons I learned when I visited New Orleans last summer.

Like any other soup I make, this is going to make three or four portions.  Feel free to swap out vegetables for what you like or have on hand.  Frozen veggies could certainly work, as well as canned.

Vegetable Gumbo


Ingredients:

- 1/4 small yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 jalapeno, diced (I left the seeds and ribs in because I like the heat)
- 1 celery rib, diced
- 1/4 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into discs
- sprinkling of dried garlic or 2 fresh cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup fresh green beans
- 6 baby bella mushrooms, cleaned* and cut into 1/2-in. pieces
- 1 roma tomato, diced
- palm full of Louisiana seasoning (I used the trusty blend I picked up in New Orleans; you can also use a blend of paprika, cajun seasoning, cumin, salt, and pepper)
- salt
- pepper
-1/4 c. flour
- 1/4 c. vegetable oil (anything but olive oil is fine)
- 1/4 c. cooked rice per serving (optional)

Plop the onions, celery, carrots, jalapeno, red pepper, and green pepper into a medium to large pot.

In a separate skillet, heat the oil to almost smoking.  Once at that point, ready your arm muscles.  Add the flour to the oil, whisking consistently for ten minutes.  You CANNOT walk away.  You will burn the flour.  You will develop a chocolate-colored roux in just ten minutes.  That being said, use your sense of smell.  The first time you burn the roux, you'll know.  Discard it and start over.  You cannot fix this.

Add the roux to the veggies, stirring to combine.  Cook over medium-low heat for 6-7 minutes to soften the vegetables.  If you are using fresh garlic, add it now, stirring for a minute to combine.  If not, add in the green beans, tomatoes, and mushrooms.  Stir to combine and cook for 2 more minutes to let the mushrooms brown slightly.  Season with the Cajun seasoning, or whatever spice blend you are using.

Add in the combination of stock and water, dropping in the dried garlic if that is what you're using.  Partially cover and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour; until the carrots are tender.  Periodically taste and season to your preference.  Ladle the gumbo into bowls and use a measuring cup to place the rice in the center.  Season to taste with hot sauce.