Gumbo is one of my favorite soups. There’s just something about it that’s so delicious. I’m not a fan of canned soups at all, but I will on occasion eat canned gumbo because that’s how much I like it. This recipe is way better than canned though. It’s very spicy (you can reduce the cayenne if you don’t like as much spice) and it has a nice, rich texture. The bacon in the soup adds a nice slightly smokey flavor, and the bacon wrapped shrimp on top is a nice crispy treat. Once again, I got to use my favorite local chicken sausages in this. This is the kind of recipe that’s awesome right away, but even better the next day after the flavors have had a chance to meld. Make it at the beginning of the week and have the leftovers for lunch!
The trick to a good gumbo is in the roux. Roux can be intimidating – they call it Cajun napalm!- but it isn’t hard at all if you pay attention to what you’re doing. The key is to cook it slowly, making sure you stir constantly to prevent burning. If you start to see any black specks, you’ve burned it and should toss it and start over. If you stir constantly you shouldn’t have a problem though. At first, it might seem that your roux will ever darken. Once it does though it starts changing colors pretty quickly. Once it gets nice and dark – a milk chocolate color as seen above – remove it from the burner but continue to stir! The heat from the pot will continue to cook it for a few minutes. Once it cools a bit you can set it to the side until you’re ready to add it to the gumbo. If any oil rises to the top, you can pour it off before adding it.
Spicy Andouille Gumbo with Bacon Wrapped Shrimp:
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3 slices center cut bacon, divided
- 2 chicken andouille sausage links (I like Billinskis)
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, chopped
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups fat free chicken broth
- 1 Tbs Cajun seasoning
- 1 Tbs cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tsp thyme, chopped
- 2 tsp fresh black pepper
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 roma tomato, chopped
- 1 can okra with tomatoes, drained
- 1/2 lb shrimp- 10 set aside and the rest chopped
- 2 cups cooked white rice, for serving
Begin by making roux: In a deep sided saucepan, combine oil and flout over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture reduces and becomes a dark brown (almost a milk chocolate color). This will take about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and continue stirring for a few minutes to prevent burning. Set aside.
Set a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Cut one slice of bacon into 1/2″ pieces and cook until crisp. Add sausage and brown. Add velery,red pepper, jalapenio, scallions, and garlic. Cook until soft. Add next 8 ingredients (through bay leaves). Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add roux. Continue to simmer for about 10 minutes. Add tomato, okra, and chopped shrimp and cook another 10 minutes or until okra is sodt and shrimp is cooked through.
Meanwhile, divide remaining bacon into 10 pieces. Wrap around shrimp and place on a skewer. Grill over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until shrimp is cooked and bacon is crisp.
To serve, mound rice in a bowl. Spoon gumbo around rice. Top with a bacon wrapped shrimp.
I am entering this recipe in the May Royal Foodie Joust, hosted by the Leftover Queen. The ingredients this month were rice, tomato, and bacon.
I’m also submitting it to the Souper Sunday roundup at Kahakai Kitchen.