Chickpea Gumbo

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!

 

Ingredients:

  • 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:

  1. In a dutch oven, saute the onions, pepper, and celery in 1 tablespoon of water, adding more liquid as needed to prevent sticking.
  2. Once the onions are translucent, add the flour and stir consistently until it begins to slightly brown
  3. Add the broth and tomatoes and stir well
  4. Then, add everything else! The spices, the okra, and chickpeas.
  5. 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?

 

gumbo.PNG

10 comments

  1. I hope you don’t mind me leaving you some suggestions! In order to make a “roux,” which should be the basis of this dish, you need some oil with the flour, not water. After your veggies soften in the oil, then add the flour and stir and stir over low heat until it becomes a caramel brown. Then you can add the rest of the ingredients. But for that amount of veggies, I’d go at least 2 or 3 tablespoons of oil and flour each. And I would definitely let the flavors cook at least an hour. But those are only suggestions! Then to make it more of a soup, you can add more vegetable broth or water, etc, and maybe some seafood such as shrimp. Otherwise, it looks like a wonderfully filling soup! 🙂 Yikes, this was long, lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I SO appreciate all of these notes! I will be sure to try some of these tips next time. It has taken me a while to respond because I’ve been in bed with bronchitis… no fun. But, fun to return to your lovely tips!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh my gosh, so sorry about the bronchitis! I hope you are much better now.

        Like

  2. Oh sheesh, and I forgot to say congrats on meeting your hubby at that dinner! YAY!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love chickpeas. Also nice to see a recipe with okra.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, it was fun to use okra. Do you have other favorites with it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Deep-fried okra is delicious, although not so very healthy. But okra was a common ingredient in the stew we made when travelling through Africa.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. A good hearty soup ! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely story on meeting your hubby…..and delicious use of chickpeas too!

    Liked by 1 person

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