Vegetarian Gumbo - It's Okra Time

I once had the pleasure to experience Louisana's authentic Creole cuisine. It is supposed to be a blend of different influences such as French, African, Spanish and more. For me, the food is just unique and delicious - jambalayas, gumbos, crawfish, dirty rice and beans, etc. Back in Portland we had this one restaurant, the Montage, that also offered Creole and Cajun cuisine. I really liked this place because, first, they offered vegetarian jambalayas and gumbos which is pretty rare as the original dishes always have some andouille sausage or shell fish in it, and second, they wrapped the leftovers in tin foil and formed cute little arrangements such as swans, giraffes, and even more manly ones such as swords.

Of course, at some point, it was time for me to try to cook my own Gumbo. As I am not a big fan of andouille sausage or shell fish, the common ingredients of a gumbo, I made it vegetarian with lots of different kinds of peppers, celery, red beans and okras :) You can use any kind of peppers, but be careful to make it not too spicy. Peppers I have already used include fresh bell pepper, pablano pepper, serrano pepper, cayenne peppers, jalapenos just to name a few.


  • 5-7 tbsp oil
  • 1/4-1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  •  2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 onion - diced
  • 1 green bell pepper - chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper - chopped
  • 1 stalk celery - sliced
  • 2 small peppers (e.g. serrano peppers) - sliced
  • 1 pablano pepper - chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced jalapenos
  • 4 tbsp fresh parsley - minced
  • 2 - 2 1/2 cups white wine
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1-2 cups okra
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 cans red kidney beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • black pepper and cayenne pepper (to taste)
 Serve with:
  • rice
  • corn bread


Note: This is no fast dish! Preparing the roux takes some time and afterwards, the gumbo needs to cook for an hour.
  1. Prepare the Roux - The roux is a mix of fat and oil and is used to thicken sauces. For my gumbo, it is the base and gives it its flavor. You can create a roux very fast, but you can also prepare it slowly and it can take forever. I am honestly not sure which way is better, but you need to be careful not to burn it if you go fast... Add the oil and flour to a pot and slowly heat it up on medium/low heat. Stir. It should not be too liquid or too dry and crumby. When you stir the mix, it should create ridges that slowly melt away. Add flour or oil if needed to create such a consistency. Keep stirring the mixture till it turns slightly brown. Do not burn it, be patient. It is ready when it is milk chocolate brown. 
  2. Add the paprika seasoning and stir. Then, add the liquid smoke, garlic, onion, bell peppers, celery, the rest of the peppers (serrano, paplano, jalapenos, etc.) and the parsley. Stir everything. Cook till the onions turn slightly translucent. 
  3. Now, add the white wine and vegetable stock and mix everything till the roux is completely dissolved. The soup will look brownish from the roux. Add the okras, this will thicken the soup even more. Add the red wine vinegar, kideny beans, diced tomatoes.  Stir everything.
  4. Bring to a boil and let cook for about 1 hour. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste. Serve with rice and corn bread.

Print this recipe:

Print Friendly and PDF

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

No Comments Yet, Leave Yours!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...