Vegetable Gumbo

Gumbo is a soup popular in the state of Louisiana. Creole and Cajun gumbos are served with rice. Any dish served with rice, I tend to love! I first learned about gumbo when a friend (who used to live in New Orleans) served this at a dinner party once. It had very interesting flavors which were new to me. She made it with chicken and sausage. Since then our friend has hosted Mardi Gras parties every year and has served her special gumbo dish. I look forward to this every year.

Today I am going to make gumbo with vegetables since I have a lot of zucchini, tomatoes and jalapeno to use up. To make a good gumbo you need a strongly-flavored stock, a thickener, and at least three kinds of vegetables ― celery, bell peppers, and onions. I didn’t have any bell peppers on hand so used jalapeno peppers instead (I like a bit of jalapeno in any dish!). The ingredient list for most gumbos can be very long and the whole process can take 2-3 hours, including simmering. You will only need 30 minutes to make this recipe since it uses only vegetables and a store-bought base.

Gumbo can be made with or without okra (ladies’ fingers). I really like okra, so I will be using some in this recipe. If you don’t like okra, leave it out. I used frozen, pre-cut okra. Another short cut is to use the Zatarain’s gumbo base. This has all the spices and thickener you need to attain the look and taste of great gumbo. I have used this before and was very happy with the results.

The nice thing about 30-minute meals is that you can spend more time with your family or get on with the rest of your day.

* This recipe uses fish sauce; otherwise it is completely vegetarian. *

Ingrerdients

  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, small dice
  • 1/2 cup celery, small dice
  • 1 tbsp jalapeno, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cup, seeded tomatoes, small diced
  • 3 cups, yellow and green zucchini, large dice
  • 1 cup okra, cut in to rounds
  • 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 4.5 oz package gumbo base (I used Zatarains’s)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • Cooked rice, grits or polenta to serve

Instructions

Mix 6 cups of water and the gumbo base in a large measuring jug or mug. Use a whisk to mix in until well blended and no lumps. Set aside.

Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a large saucepan in a medium high heat. When oil is hot add onion, celery, and jalapeno.

Cook till soft. Add garlic, cook for 30 seconds. Add zucchini. Cook for a minutes.

Add 1 cup tomatoes, leave 1/4 cup for later use. Cook for a minute.

Add okra, gumbo base, 1/4 cup parsley and fish sauce. Stir.

Cook for 10-15 till sauce is slightly thickens.

Stir often so the sauce doesn’t scorch in the bottom. Taste. Turn off the heat. Stir in the rest of the tomatoes and parsley.

Serve over rice, grits or polenta.

Serves 6

Did you make this dish? I’d love to know how it turns out! Feel free to like this post and comment or use the hashtag #globaldinein on Instagram.

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