You don’t need to travel to New Orleans to celebrate Mardis Gras. You can have a party right in your own kitchen with this recipe for Red Bean Gumbo from Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker.
Long, gentle cooking in a slow cooker is a great way to bring out the flavors in a gumbo, in which okra and file powder are natural thickeners. For a heartier gumbo, you can add some sliced and sauteed vegan sausage just before serving. And if you’re not a fan of okra, that’s okay — you can leave it out and veg up your gumbo with some zucchini instead.
Red Bean Gumbo
This recipe is from Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson © 2012.
Slow Cooker Size: 4- to 6-quart
Cook Time: 6 to 8 hours on Low or 4 to 5 hours on High
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
One 14-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, with their juices
3 cups cooked dark red kidney beans or other red beans or 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh or thawed frozen okra (or diced zucchini)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon file powder (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces vegan sausage links, sliced (optional)
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
3 cups cooked brown rice, for serving
1. Combine the onion, celery, and garlic in a slow cooker. Add the broth, tomatoes and their juices, beans, bell pepper, okra, thyme, file powder (if using), and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours.
2. Meanwhile, sauté the sausage, if using. Set aside.
3. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Just before serving, stir in the Tabasco and liquid smoke. If the gumbo isn’t thick enough, use a stick blender to puree some of the soup right in the cooker. Add the sauteed sausage slices, if using. To serve, spoon some cooked rice into soup bowls and ladle the hot gumbo on top.