This past weekend my husband and I stopped in at the Waitsfield Farmers Market which is one of my favourite markets. What I love about it is that I can find tons of organic locally grown ingredients that are different than what we can find at our market in Montpelier (which is also a great market and we stopped there too). My “big exciting” purchase was okra which being from the north east is not something you commonly find and is (in my opinion) a pretty foreign ingredient up this way. I decided that I was going to make some gumbo and I had to put my twist on it as I didn’t have a green pepper (or any peppers at all in the house) and no filé powder which is traditional in gumbo.
1 cup of roux*
1 medium onion, diced
3 baby leeks, diced
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 extra large garlic cloves, minced
4 cups vegetable stock
1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes with their juices
1 1/2 cups sliced okra
1 tsp. dried thyme
3/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1T Vermont Pepper Works Hempin’ Jalapeno**
Chalula Hot Sauce (or your favorite hot sauce), to taste
3 Cups cooked rice
• Make the roux. To the roux add the onion, leeks, celery and garlic, saute, stirring a few times, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the stock, tomatoes, okra, , thyme, salt, pepper, and hot sauces. Simmer, partially covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 40 minutes. Adjust the seasonings, to taste.
• To serve, spoon about 1/2 cup of the cooked rice into each soup bowl and ladle the hot gumbo over the top.
*Note: For the roux, combine equal parts of flour and oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 30 minutes, or until chocolate brown, being careful not to burn. (If it does burn, you’ll have to throw it out and start over.)
** the hempin’ jalapeno is vinegary so it helps to balance the flavours. If you have Tabasco use that – I didn’t have any so I substituted it with what I had.
If I remember I’ll take a picture tonight when I heat up the leftovers