2cupschopped vegan andouille sausage or your favorite cooked beans, or add Brussels sprouts and/or cauliflower
4cups4 cups cooked brown rice
Tabasco or other vinegar based hot sauce, optional
Make the roux
In a large soup pot, over low heat, add the oil and flour and mix well. You will slowly toast this mixture. Note: if you are making oil-free you will just be slowly toasting the flour so it will take less time.
It will start out a pale white and then after about 15 minutes it will be a light brown. After 15 more it will be more maple colored.
The most important thing is to not let this burn and stir often throughout the roux cooking process. If you burn it you must throw it out and start again. So go low and slow.
Since this process takes about 30 minutes I like to prep my veggies while this is cooking. Cut a little, stir the roux, cut some more, etc.
Once the roux is a medium brown and begins to smell almost like toasted nuts, add in the the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Turn up the heat to medium low, stir and saute until the veggies begin to soften.Note: If you are making this oil-free you may need to add some water while you are sauting the veggies to keep them from sticking.
Make the Gumbo
Add in the herbs and spices. You can leave the salt, pepper, and cayenne to add before serving if you want. Or start small and add more at the end if you're not sure how you like it yet.
Add the water, okra, butternut squash, and andouille or beans. Cover and let cook over medium-low heat until the okra and squash are soft, about 20 minutes.
Taste and re-season salt, pepper, and cayenne as needed. I make ours very mild since I'm the only one in my householdwho likes spicy food. I just add in lots of hot sauce to my bowl.
Serve topped with rice and hot sauce on the side.
Note: this freezes well too, so I make up containers with th gumbo and rice to freeze for grab and go lunches!