Garden fresh okra, peppers, carrots and herbs, lightly smoked and simmered in a red bean, vegan gumbo, showcases so many garden and farmer’s market summertime produce.
What Is Gumbo?
At first glance, gumbo is usually known as a thick stew or hearty soup, made with a variety of meats of shellfish combined with a variety of vegetables.
Okra, however, is the root of this dish. In West African-style gumbo, which is often called okra soup in ‘Lowcountry’, I wanted to focus primarily on the star of this dish, the okra.
Gumbo, while often a spicy soup/strew, consisting of everything from sausage to seafood, this recipe is all about the okra, and totally vegan.
A gumbo is often made, starting with a roux; a thickening mixture of butter and flour. I have found that the substance that seeps from the okra is a natural thickener. No added thickeners are needed to made this a hearty soup.
How To Smoke Foods Indoors
Who doesn’t love the smell and taste of smoked foods! Since andouille sausage is usually the ingredient in gumbo; a smoked sausage made from pork, I wanted to replicate the flavor, and still be a vegan dish.
Smoking the okra and peppers in this recipe, turns what would ordinarily be a vegetable soup, into a deeply flavored, smoky vegetable stew.
If you are handy with a grill, by all means lightly smoke the okra and peppers for this recipe on the grill.
Indoor smoking of foods is quick and easy and less mess than heating up wood chips on the grill. Here’s how:
- First we want to place about 2 cups of hickory or apple wood chips into a bowl of water and soak them for 30-minutes.
- Second, we will set up the stovetop smoking device by using a pot with a colander that fits inside and a lid. Think of the traditional pasta cookers. Heat the bottom pot on medium on top of the stove with a piece of foil inside, on the bottom.
- Third, bundle the soaked wood chips inside of a piece of foil, leaving the sides open so the smoke can escape, and set on the bottom of the already lined pot.
- Last, place the colander in the pot with the lid on, turn the stove up to high, wait about 5-minutes for the smoke to become visible and set the ‘oil tossed’ veggies inside the colander, lid on. Smoke for 5-minutes. Turn off and leave to set another 5-minutes with the lid on.
The Vegan Garden – Duh!
Summertime gardens and farmer’s markets, bursting with sun ripened veggies are enough to make a vegan out of all of us!
Planting veggies and herbs in a huge garden or pots on a deck, is what inspires the way I eat all summer. How about you?
Salads of course, such as my Beet and Endive Salad, are a great way to enjoy veggies from summer produce, but not the only way.
Veggie pizza toppings are a great way to enjoy summertime produce. For a fabulous summertime pizza, you must try my Deconstructed Ratatouille Pizza!
A veggie quiche is another delicious way to incorporate tomatoes and herbs into a meal.
This Garden Gumbo is also a favorite way to enjoy the gifts of a summertime garden. And yes, a warm bowl of soup is eaten in some of the hottest countries in the world, year round. So don’t turn your nose up to this warm summertime soup!
My Brazilian Seafood Chowder was also a hit on The Great American Recipe, and Brazil is always hot!
What To Serve With Smoked Vegan Garden Gumbo
My favorite way to eat just about any type of soup is with a slice of homemade bread. On this day, I prepared a loaf of Rosemary Bread. Any other herb can go into a homemade bread.
Since summertime pots are also bursting with herbs, I put a schmear of Almond Basil Pesto on top. If you are keeping with a completely vegan meal, simply use a non-dairy cheese in the pesto!
- 4-quart pot with a lid
- Cutting board
- Chopping knife
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Smoking gun, or other smoking ability
- Stovetop or burner
- Red beans
- Sweet onion
- Olive oil
- Smoked paprika
- Sweet peppers
Smoked Vegan Garden GumboCourse: Soups u0026amp; StewsCuisine: American
Garden fresh okra, peppers, carrots and herbs, lightly smoked and simmered in a red bean, vegan gumbo.
Red beans – 1 1/2 cups, dry
Sweet onion – 1, large
Garlic – 4 cloves
Olive oil – 1/4 cup
Water – 10 cups, boiling
Salt – 2 tsp or to taste
Smoked paprika – 1 tbsp
Okra – 10
Poblanos – 2, medium
Sweet peppers – 4
Celery – 1 cup, chopped
Carrots – 1 cup, chopped
Chives – 1/2 cup, chopped
- In a medium size pot, sauté the chopped onion, garlic and dried beans. Sprinkle in the salt and paprika and gently pour in the boiling water. Cover and simmer on low for about an hour or until the beans are soft.
- Meanwhile, chop the okra, peppers, celery, carrots and chives. Place the celery, peppers and okra aside and smoke them, using a grill, hand smoker or the stovetop method explained above.
- Add the smoked veggies along with the remaining chopped veggies, to the cooked red beans. Simmer on low for about 15-minutes and serve.
- Canned beans can be used, which also shortens the time of cooking.