It was a cold winter February evening, just about six years ago, when I first tried this soup.
Returning from an energizing music and dance festival in Manhattan, all I could think about was getting home as fast as possible so that I could curl up in bed and lay low for the evening. My bus, however, did not help me as it was running late due to a new layer of snow, and despite being New England, precipitation still finds a way to snarl traffic. Then, one of my friends messaged me saying that she was having people over for a casual gumbo-sweatpants-game night. I had no desire to walk the long mile to her house in the snow, and was in no shape to be around other people after sitting on the bus all day, but her persistent nudging convinced me to trudge over.
It turns out that was the night that I met the now hubbster. There is something about pulling your guard down, having no expectation, and embracing your true wacky-self that leads to real joy.
In my mind this gumbo was much spicier the first time we ate it, though I may have just been trying not to look like the spice-wimp that I was back then. There were also a few too many tomatoes for our taste, BUT it only took 40 minutes to prep and was enough for 2 dinners and 2 lunches. Huge thank you to our dear friend for this recipe, and for forcing me to come over for gumbo-sweatpants-game night. Maybe we should have one of those again soon!
- 1 Tablespoon of water
- 1 Tablespoon of flour
- 1 medium onion- chopped
- 1 medium bell pepper – chopped
- 2 large celery ribs – chopped
- 16 oz vegetable broth
- 24 oz can of petite diced tomatoes
- 16 oz can of chickpeas (drained)
- 16 oz okra, sliced fresh or frozen
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
Steps and Notes:
- In a dutch oven, saute the onions, pepper, and celery in 1 tablespoon of water, adding more liquid as needed to prevent sticking.
- Once the onions are translucent, add the flour and stir consistently until it begins to slightly brown
- Add the broth and tomatoes and stir well
- Then, add everything else! The spices, the okra, and chickpeas.
- Cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes
- The recipe also says that you can add 2-4 cups more broth or water until the consistency is that of a chunky soup.
Thoughts for Next Time:
- Experiment with some meaty variations incorporating some shrimp or chorizo
- This recipe is in a cookbook that my brother gave me, looks rich and meaty!
- Learn from you – I actually have a lot to learn with this dish – who has ideas to share?