This vegan gumbo recipe is hearty, savory, filling and warming. With a mix of beans, mushrooms and okra, this vegetarian gumbo is cheap to make and full of flavour. Starting with a dark, rich roux, key herbs and spices, and a secret umami ingredient, it’s hard to believe that this vegan gumbo doesn’t have any meat in it!
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup flour
1 medium onion, diced
1 small green pepper, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups (200 grams) okra, sliced
1 can (400 grams / 14 oz) crushed tomatoes
2 ½ - 3 ½ cups vegetable stock
10 button mushrooms, quartered
½ teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
2 bay leaves
2 cups (330 grams) mixed beans or lentils (I used chickpeas, kidney beans, white beans and brown lentils)
1 tablespoon dark miso paste
½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
Freshly ground pepper
Brown rice, to serve
A small handful of fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
Heat a wide saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil and sprinkle over the flour. Stir or whisk continuously until the roux reaches a dark caramel or milk chocolate colour, a bit darker than peanut butter. It will take about 15 – 20 minutes. Don’t let it burn or you will have to start over.
Add the onions and continue stirring continuously until soft. Add the green pepper, celery, garlic and okra. Sauté, stirring frequently for 10 – 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the okra slime has disappeared.