Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Colorado Gumbo-laya

One of my favorite cookbooks is San Francisco Ala Carte, from the SF Junior League back in 1979, and one of my favorite recipes is their Gumbo, but I change it up a bit, adding some of the elements of Jambalaya and some ingredients that my family just likes.  If you search on the difference between Gumbo and Jambalaya, you'll basically get the idea that Gumbo is more of a soup, Jambalaya is more of a paella, and they share many of the same ingredients.

I love making soup and stew and since I'm starting to feel ready for fall, I made this last night for dinner and fell in love with it all over again!

Colorado Gumbo-laya

2 quarts chicken stock
Handful of dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tbs of tomato paste
1/4 tsp of ground cloves
1/8 tsp cayenne
3 tbs olive oil
3 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cup diced ham
1 cup tomato sauce (I use homemade tomato glut, that I freeze in 1 cup portions) or 1 pound can of stewed tomatoes if you like tomato chuncks
1 tbs brown sugar
Handful of dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Hot sauce to taste (I prefer Cholula to Tabasco)
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cup diced cooked chicken
1 cup basmati rice
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 pound shrimp, deveined, shell-off, and tail-off
Flour for thickening

In a large soup pan or Dutch Oven, combine the stock, thyme, bay leaves, cloves, tomato paste, tomato sauce or stewed tomatoes, and cayenne.  Bring to a boil then simmer/

Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat oil and saute onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic until soft and onion is translucent.  I usually lightly salt and pepper at this stage.  I will often had the diced ham at the last to flavor it before adding the mixture to the liquid.  If I don't already have cooked chicken, I wipe out the skillet and then saute diced chicken in a bit more oil and add a bit of salt and pepper for flavor, and then add that to the soup pot.

Add hot sauce, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce, and simmer for at least 30 minutes, partially covered.

Add rice and simmer for another 20 minutes.  Add shrimp (cut to size of chicken and ham, or whole if you prefer it that way) and cook for 10 minutes.

Thicken with flour/water as needed.  My family likes thick soup, so I always make a slurry and thicken it at the end.

Serve with a baguette.


  1. Printing this to make soon! Just the sort of thing I love to make and to eat. Thanks, Jane!

  2. I have made a few Gumbos in my time.

    This one looks really good. I am very hungry now and would happily eat the above even though it is 6:30 AM here :)