Last night we had a small dinner party for Wine Wednesday. We pretty much call any Wednesday “Wine Wednesday” in our house these days. I tested a new recipe on our friends and it was well-received – everyone got seconds! I made this gumbo as authentic as I possibly could with two (kinda major) exceptions: 1) I didn’t start out with a roux because I made it in the slow cooker and 2) there’s no meat! However, it is made with Zatarain’s Filé Powder and Tabasco sauce and the chef was born in New Orleans so I think it’s pretty legit. This is adapted from Robin Robertson’s red bean gumbo from Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker, which I understand to be an updated, totally vegan version of my favorite slow cooker cookbook that she published eight years earlier.
yellow onion, chopped
4 celery ribs, chopped
big spoonful of minced garlic
1 quart vegetable broth
2 cans of dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can of fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
3/4 cup okra, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp file powder
2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
a pinch of cayenne pepper
5 drops of liquid smoke
1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
salt and pepper to taste
2 Field Roast Italian Sausages, sliced and browned
cooked rice for serving (I cooked up 2 cups uncooked rice and that was enough to feed 4 people and cover the leftover gumbo.)
1. Chop the onion and celery. Heat olive oil in a pan. Sauté the onion for a few minutes then add the celery and garlic and cook a few minutes more.
2. Transfer the vegetables to the slow cooker and set it to low.
3. Pour the vegetable broth, fire-roasted tomatoes (with the juice), and the listed seasonings from bay leaves to cayenne pepper into the slow cooker. Stir and put the lid back on.
4. Wash and chop the bell pepper and okra. Add them to the slow cooker.
5. Drain and rinse the two cans of beans in a colander. Add them to the slow cooker. Stir everything together and cook on low for six hours.
6. About thirty minutes prior to serving, make the rice according to the package directions. Keep the rice separate until it’s time to serve up the gumbo.
7. About ten minutes prior to serving, heat some vegetable oil in a pan. Cut the two Field Roast “sausages” into thin slices. Add the liquid smoke and tabasco sauce to the slow cooker and stir. Brown the sausage slices on both sides then stir them into the slow cooker.
8. Spoon some rice into the serving bowls. Discard the bay leaves then use a ladle to spoon gumbo over the rice in each bowl. Make sure to get enough broth and delicious sausage in every serving.