Wednesday, September 21, 2011


With the weather changing, I'm starting to crave hearty soups to fight back the growing chill. Gumbo is a great soup and it makes a lot so you can feed everyone. Now the ingredients are extensive and can seem pricey. What I love about Gumbo is that it's really a stone soup sort of dish in that you can throw in just about anything. I always use this recipe as more of a guide than a recipe so I know kind of what could go in the pot. Often I make it with shrimp and sausages. Gumbo File is a "spice" of sorts that helps thicken the soup and give it a distinct flavor. I, almost, prefer my gumbo without it. With Okra - feel free to use frozen which I almost always do.

6 oz unsalted butter
4 TB cornstarch
4 oz onions, diced
3 cloves garlic
4 oz green pepper, diced
½ LB celery, chopped
1 LB okra
1 lb. tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 teas oregano or marjoram
1-2 bay leaves
2 stock cubes in water
1 teas nutmeg
1-2 tbs. gumbo file
1 lb. uncooked prawns
4 sm. crayfish or crab claws
4 cooked/smoked chicken wings
½ lb. ham or sausage
2 lb. rice, cooked
In large saucepan melt butter, mix with cornstarch, stir well, and heat 5-10 min until light brown. Add onions, garlic, pepper, celery, and okra fry ten min. Add tomatoes and prawns, cook for 5-10 min on low heat. Take care not to burn. Add fish, chicken, oregano, bay leaves and stock. Cook for about 20 min. Add ham and nutmeg. Stir well, cover and simmer for another 20 min. Mix the file with an equal amount of warm water and a small amount of sauce. Add to sauce, stir well. To serve, scoop rice into bowl, arrange meat around rice, top with sauce.

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