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Summer Vegetable Gumbo

Barbara.Kafka's picture
This recipe is courtesy of Barbara Kafka
  Vegetable oil/6 tablespoons olive oil if not using roux 10 Tablespoon (1/2 Cup Plus 2 Tablespoons, If Using Roux)
  All-purpose flour 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs) (If Using Roux)
  Onion 1 Large, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  Garlic cloves 10 Medium, smashed, peeled and very finely chopped
  Dried hot red peppers 3 Medium, crumbled
  Kale bunch 2 Medium, cut across into 1/2-inch strips (Use Leaves Only)
  Canned cannellini beans/1 1/2 pounds fresh cranberry beans, shelled 19 Ounce, rinsed and drained
  Canned crushed tomatoes packed in juice/Sterile-pack chopped tomatoes 4 Cup (64 tbs) (Chunky Tomato Base, Not Using Plum Tomatoes)
  Okra 1 Pound, cut across into 1/4-inch slices
  Corn kernels 1 3⁄4 Cup (28 tbs) (From 2 Corn Ears)
  Fava beans/1 cup frozen lima beans, defrosted in a sieve under warm running water and drained 2 Pound, shelled, blanched and peeled to make about 1 cup
  Kosher salt To Taste
  Red wine vinegar 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs) (1 Tablespoon Vinegar If Not Using Roux)
  Freshly ground black pepper To Taste
  Hot red pepper sauce To Taste
For chunky tomato base
  Onions 2 Medium, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  Olive oil 6 Tablespoon
  Ripe tomatoes 5 Pound, cored and cut into 1 inch cubes

If using a roux: Heat the vegetable oil in a large wide pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring continuously, for 15 minutes. At this point, the mixture should begin to take on a lot of color. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue to cook until
the roux is a warm brown, like milk chocolate. This will take 20 to 30 minutes from the time flour is added.

Stir the onion into the brown roux. Remove from the heat and continue to stir; the mixture will be hot enough to continue cooking to the point where the roux is a rich chocolate brown and the onion is wilted without burning. When the onion and roux have stopped sizzling, return to medium heat.

If not using a roux: Heat the olive oil in a large wide pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until translucent.

With or without the roux, stir half of the garlic, the red peppers and kale into the
onion. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the kale is wilted, about
10 minutes. Stir in 5 cups water and the cranberry beans, if using. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes, okra and 2 cups water. Return to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 8 minutes.

Stir in the corn, cannellini beans, if using, and fava beans. Add the remaining garlic
and season with the salt, vinegar, pepper and hot pepper sauce. Let the soup sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 1H hours.

Reheat and serve.

Directions for Chunky Tomato Base
In a medium nonreactive stockpot, cook the onions in the olive oil over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes.

Raise the heat and stir in the tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer
for 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft and liquid.

Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze.

Excerpted from Vegetable Love by Barbara Kafka (Artisan Books) Copyright 2005. To see more recipes from Vegetable Love you can purchase the book at

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Main Dish
Somewhere there must exist Creole vegetarians, although I have yet to meet one. If there are any, this soup’s for them; otherwise, it’s for me. I like it so much that I have played with two versions, both in this recipe—one with a roux and one without. Try both and tell me which is better. The non-roux version is good cold.

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Nutrition Rank

Nutrition Facts

Serving size

Calories 1032 Calories from Fat 294

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 33 g51.4%

Saturated Fat 4.5 g22.4%

Trans Fat 0 g

Cholesterol 0 mg

Sodium 127.4 mg5.3%

Total Carbohydrates 143 g47.6%

Dietary Fiber 48 g191.9%

Sugars 22.8 g

Protein 47 g94%

Vitamin A 68.8% Vitamin C 119%

Calcium 28.6% Iron 60.9%

*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet

Summer Vegetable Gumbo Recipe