Vegetarian Okra Gumbo Recipe with Kidney Beans
On an incredibly cold and drafty day a few weekends ago, my husband was craving gumbo to warm us all up. We set about making both a meat and a vegetarian version so that everybody could be happy. This vegetarian okra gumbo with dark red kidney beans is wonderfully rich and hearty. Okra is sometimes a hard vegetable to use -- you have to use it correctly, and gumbo is one of my favorite ways to do so.
Vegetarian Okra Gumbo Recipe with Dark Red Kidney Beans
- 5 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 small green bell pepper
- 1/2 onion
- 1 stalk celery
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 tbsp finely minced, fresh parsley
- 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
- 3 and 1/2 cups white wine
- 4 cups water or vegetable stock
- 1 and 1/2 cups cut okra
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 cans drained dark red kidney beans
- 1 can diced tomato
- 1 tsp salt
- freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- red pepper (to taste)
- hot sauce (to taste)
- Serve over medium-grained rice.
1). A good, flavorful rioux is the most important part of this veggie gumbo. Without meat to add flavor and intensity, we have to try to make up for it here. In a good non-stick sauce / soup pot, bring heat to medium-low. Add the vegetable oil. Stir in the flour. The flour and oil mixture should be of such a consistency where stirring produces ridges in the mixture that then slowly 'melt' into the bottom of the pot. The mixture should not be dry and crumby nor should it be liquid. Add oil or flour as needed to produce the proper consistency.
2). Over a period of some time -- it could be up to 45 minutes -- stir the rioux very frequently to insure that it browns evenly and does not scorch or burn. Some chefs have actually made riouxs on low heat that take as long as 4 hours to cook! (A scorched or burned rioux should be discarded.) When you get a color like dark caramel or milk-chocolate, then the rioux is done. Add the paprika and stir in.
3). Meanwhile, remove the skin from your onion and garlic. Wash the other vegetables. Dice the onion, slice the celery. Chop the green bell pepper. Finely mince the parsley. Crush the garlic with the flat of the knife then slice thinly. When the rioux is ready, add liquid smoke, onions, celery, green pepper, parsley, and garlic. Stir the vegetables and rioux frequently. It is ready for the next step when the onion is translucent.
4). Add the white wine and water or vegetable stock and stir until the rioux has dissolved completely. The soup base should be a golden-brown in color and slightly thick. Add all of the remaining ingredients. (Notice how the soup thickens noticeably when the okra is added.) Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about an hour.
5). At the appropriate time from serving time so that your rice can finish cooking, start the rice following the directions for the variety of rice you are using.
6). Add salt, black pepper and/or red pepper, as necessary.
7). Serve over medium-grained, boiled rice with a bottle of hot sauce handy. The beans in the gumbo mixed with the rice make a complete protein. Enjoy!