Sassy Vegetable Gumbo
1 dried chipotle chili, soaked in very hot water to cover for 30 minutes
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups vegetable stock or water
1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen sliced okra
1 1/2 tsp. filé powder
1 tsp. dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp. barley miso paste (optional)
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 tsp. Tabasco sauce, or to taste
2 to 3 cups cooked long-grain white rice
• Drain the chipotle, mince, and set aside.
• Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, tomatoes with their juice, okra, filé, thyme, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
• Place the miso, if using, in a small bowl. Add 2 Tbsp. of the hot broth and stir to thin the miso, then add it to the gumbo along with the corn, Tabasco, and minced chipotle. Taste and adjust the seasonings, then cook for 10 minutes.
• To serve, spoon about 1/2 cup of the cooked rice into each soup bowl and top with the gumbo. Serve hot.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.