Monday, March 26, 2012

Seafood Gumbo

Seafood Gumbo
The other day I had the urge to make a seafood soup.  My son had been asking for a seafood soup for several weeks and at last I felt like making one.  I didn't want to make a traditional New England seafood chowder because I was in the mood for a soup with some kicked up flavor.   I did some Internet surfing and settled on a seafood gumbo as my target soup.

I bet you are a lot like me.  You get an idea in your head about something you want to eat and then look for recipes that you think will deliver.  In this case, I just wanted a flavorful seafood soup.  To me, that meant I wanted lots of herbs and spices.  A gumbo delivers on this combination; the amounts and mix of spices are those that I thought my family would like.  If you decide to make this soup, I encourage you to adjust the seasonings based on what you know your family likes, as well.  That means you should feel free to add a little more of this, while perhaps holding back on a little more of that.  Do you want your soup to have a little less heat?  Leave out the chopped jalapeno or add a little less cayenne pepper.

While we are on the subject of adjusting the recipe, I want to encourage you to be creative with your choice of seafood.  Are oysters a family favorite?  Feel free to add them.  Does your family like crab?  Go ahead and add some crab.  The mix of seafood is yours to decide.  I used about three pounds of seafood, but you could add four pounds.  It's all good.

Just to be clear, I do not claim this seafood gumbo to be an example of an official southern gumbo.  Not at all.  After all, I am a northern girl through and through.  My soup is inspired by southern gumbos, adjusted for my northern tastes.  We enjoyed the results and I think you will too.

My Seafood Gumbo

Seafood Gumbo Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 medium bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1 quart reduced sodium chicken broth ( homemade is best)
  • 1 quart clam juice
  • 1 pound frozen okra
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled, shells reserved
  • 1 pound fresh cod, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1/2 pound fresh salmon, cut into chunks
  • 4 cups white rice, cooked
  • green onions, chopped, for garnish

Heat your oil in a large pot over medium high heat.  Add the flour, stirring well and cooking until the mixture is a deep copper brown.  Add the next seven herbs and spices and the onion, celery, bell pepper and jalapeno pepper.  Cook until the vegetables are tender.  Remove from the heat.

You'll Mix the Dark Roux and Vegetables

Place the chicken broth, clam juice and reserve shrimp shells in a pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce to simmer and cook for 10 minutes.  Strain the stock into the vegetable mixture and stir to combine.

Make a Yummy Stock with the Shrimp Shells

Cook the vegetable and stock mixture until thickened.  Add the okra and the tomatoes.  Add the seafood.  Simmer the mixture for 30 minutes.

Simmer the Vegetables and Seafood

Prepare your rice according to package directions while the soup is simmering.  Serve each bowl of soup with a generous helping of the rice.  Garnish with the chopped onions.

Seafood Gumbo...Yum!

Would you like to try this recipe?  Get the printable Seafood Gumbo recipe by clicking the link.


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