Cuisine: American

Region: Cajun/Creole

Recipe Type: Soup

Average User Rating: 1.92 / 5

Vegetarian / Vegan: Vegetarian

Gumbo, whose name is derived from an African word for okra (kingombo), is the standard Creole dish and a true melting pot of cultural influences. Native American, African, Spanish, Italian, French, and German techniques and ingredients all find their way into the dish. Our version uses sausage substitute and black-eyed peas as proteins, but feel free to substitute.

If you have experience making dark roux for gumbo, by all means, go ahead and do it on the stovetop (in your Grandma's cast iron skillet, if handy). We suggest for simplicity's sake, and for beginners, to make the roux in the oven - it's pretty hard to mess up. You can get a nice dark-brown roux in several hours without a lot of hassle and a lot of stirring - and it works great!

Because good dark roux takes so long to make, we make it in larger batches and refrigerate the rest in a glass jar (up to one month). If you'd like to do this, use 2 cups flour and 2 cups oil and then use 2/3 cup (or one-fourth) of the finished product for this recipe (this should make about 2 2/3 cups total).

Update: An alternate method that we've been using lately (thanks to Chef John Besh's cookbook) is a little difficult to master, but can produce a perfect chocolate-brown roux in only 15 minutes! For this method, heat the oil until very hot over medium high heat. Once hot, add all the flour at once, whisking vigorously to combine. Lower heat to medium/medium low (you'll have to practice to get the temperature and timing just right) and continue whisking for 15 minutes (do NOT stop whisking - not even for a second). Once the roux reaches a chocolate-brown color, add the onions and continue with the recipe. We've been making dark rouxs for years, and we think this is the best method we've seen yet. Do it right and you'll get one fine dark roux - in a fraction of the normal time. Don't fret if you mess up, we burned ours on the first try, too! Do make sure to buy more than one onion, just in case. You'll know if the roux is burnt long before you get to the point of adding the rest of the vegetables, so you should only lose about 20 minutes and one onion if you screw up.


1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup flour
6 cups vegetable stock
1 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced
1 TB garlic, minced
1/2 cup tomato, peeled, seeded, and diced

1/2 TB salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. white pepper, ground
1/4 tsp. black pepper, ground
1/4 tsp thyme, dried
1/4 tsp. oregano, dried
1/4 tsp. basil, dried
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, ground
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp. celery seed

1 fresh bay leaf (or 2 dried)
4 oz. vegetarian sausage substitute
2 cups cooked black-eyed peas
1 cup okra, chopped
1 TB file powder
Few dashes of Louisiana hot sauce (cayenne pepper sauce)
Dash of soy sauce

Steamed rice, for serving


If using oven roux method:

Whisk oil and flour together in a dutch oven or stock pot and place in a 350 degree oven on the middle rack, uncovered. Stir every 20-30 minutes for 3-4 hours until you have a nice, chocolate-brown roux. Remove from oven, place over medium heat, add onions, and continue with recipe below.

If using stovetop method:

Add onions once roux reaches chocolate-brown color. Caramelize onions in roux over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add green pepper, celery, garlic, and okra and cook for 5 more minutes.

Heat the vegetable stock in another pot until simmering and then slowly stir the hot stock into the roux. Stir vigorously to combine, while pouring the stock very slowly, kind of like making an emulsion. If the roux is too hot, you will end up with a bunch of oily, floury globs in your gumbo, which is no good. Take your time, make sure that the roux and stock are near the same temperature, pour slowly, and stir well. Once the stock is whisked in, add all remaining ingredients except meat substitutes, green onion, and parsley. Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add meat subtitute, black-eyed peas, parsley, and green onion and simmer for 15 more minutes. Add hot sauce and soy and re-season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in file powder and serve over steamed rice.

Submitted By:

Prep Time: 2-3 hours

Cooking Time: 1 hour

Servings: 4-6

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