From deep south swamps of Stroud, this rich-flavoured vegetable gumbo is ready to warm your belly. Just don’t feed the ‘gators.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
2 peppers, red and green, chopped
1/4 cup plain flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tin tomatoes + 400ml (1 tin) water
1 courgette, sliced large
1 tsp each of dried: thyme, parsley, oregano
Hot sauce to taste
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 stock cube
1 tin chickpeas or beans of your choice
1 large handful okra, sliced (optional)
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large heavy pan and add the onions, celery and peppers. Fry for 10 minutes, stirring often.
- Meanwhile, make a roux with the flour and olive oil by adding both to a frying pan and stirring continuously over a medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes until reddish brown and smelling a bit toasted.
- Add the tomatoes and courgette, fill the empty tin with water and add that too with the crumbled stock cube. Add the herbs, hot sauce and garlic. Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the roux to the gumbo along with the tin of chickpeas/beans (including the water – it acts as a sort of binder or thickener) and salt to taste. Add a large handful of sliced okra if you have it, but don’t fret if you don’t. It makes the recipe more of a gumbo but it’ll still taste good without it.
- Simmer for 20 minutes then your gumbo’s good to go. Serve over rice.
- If you can manage not to eat it all straight away, refrigerate the gumbo overnight. It tastes even better the next day and freezes really well too.
Do you gumbo?
The ‘holy trinity’ of onions, celery and peppers, the toasty flavour of a roux and the extra thickening from the okra are what elevates this vegetable stew to a gumbo.