Louisiana Vegetable Gumbo

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1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 medium-size 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 with their juices
1 1/2 cups sliced or frozen okra
1 small zucchini, ends trimmed and sliced
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. filé powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Tabasco sauce, to taste
2-3 cups hot, cooked long-grain rice

• Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic, cover, and cook, stirring a few times, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the stock, tomatoes, okra, zucchini, thyme, filé powder, salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce. Simmer, partially covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 40 minutes. Adjust the seasonings, to taste.
• To serve, spoon about 1/2 cup of the cooked rice into each soup bowl and ladle the hot gumbo over the top.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

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