Half stew-half soup, a little thicker-a little thinner – this is the gumbo, a popular Creole cuisine dish. I’ve tasted gumbo on many occasions, including its homeland location – South Louisiana. I can say that either you love it or you hate it. It entirely depends on how this dish is prepared. Well, this applies to any meal. A simplest peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich will satisfy your tasting buds or will upset you, when made with bad quality bread, too much jelly and so on.
But today, I am not talking about the gumbo, but the soup which I made based on this Creole dish. I did not use ‘a must for a good gumbo’ okra but added green peas instead. To lower the calories, I limited the meat assortment by chicken only and replaced the smokiness of andouille sausages with a good amount of smoked paprika.
A thick, rich and flavorful, with a complex taste soup – this is what I want to keep me warm on a winter day.
Gumbo Style Soup
- 3 chicken thighs, or 4-5 chicken legs, or one chicken quarter from stock, bones removed
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1-2 sticks celery, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 can (14-15 oz/400 g) tomatoes or 2-3 tbsp tomato paste or 1 large tomato, chopped
- ¾ cup white rice (1 cup for very thick soup)
- ¾ – 1 cup green peas (frozen)
- 1-2 bay leaves
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- Black pepper
- 2 ½ quart chicken stock (or more)
- Olive oil for cooking
- Fresh parsley for serving
Rinse the rice well.
In a soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and sauté 5-7 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook 1 minute.
Add the carrots, celery, bell pepper, tomatoes, rice, bay leaf, cayenne pepper, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Pour the chicken stock. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add the green peas and the chicken pieces. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes more.
Let it stand for about 10-15 minutes.
Serve sprinkled with parsley.
Cook with pleasure!