vegetable gumbo

I've been trying to slowly empty the pantry and freezer of everything before the move. In that spirit, I put together this quick and easy vegetable gumbo recipe, based on what I had and referencing this recipe from Whole Foods and the instructions on the side of the Zatarin's box.

Honestly, it's been 5 years or so since I ate a really, really good cup of gumbo, and then it definitely wasn't vegetarian. So, I'm not sure how this gumbo compares for authenticity and taste to the traditional, but it did taste pretty decent to me and husband ate three bowls in one sitting. Plus, I'm pretty sure this is a lot healthier than the gumbo I'm used to eating and, it could easily be vegan (this particular time I added a small can of oysters, leftover from ages ago when I made oyster artichoke bisque, yumm... I would sub some sliced Cajun soy sausage for next time, and I also didn't think to check the ingredients on the boxed mix, so who knows. I think when I add sausage, it would go in to saute with the onions, celery and garlic in the beginning.)

Vegetable Gumbo
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 c. celery, chopped
1 c. onion, chopped (1 medium)
1 Tbsp. minced garlic

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 boxes Zatarins Gumbo Mix with Rice
1 (28-ounce) can small red or kidney beans, drained and rinsed

4 c. vegetable broth
8 c. water
3 c. (16 oz. bag) frozen cut okra
2 c (12 oz. bag) frozen mixed vegetables
Optional: 2 cans (8 oz.) whole oysters
Heat olive oil over medium heat in large pot. Add celery, onion, and garlic and sauté until soft.
Add tomatos and gumbo mix and cook for a few minutes, stirring.
Add 6 c. water, vegetable broth, and beans and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
Add frozen okra, mixed vegetables, oysters and 2 cups water, and bring back to boil. Boil for 5 minutes.

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