I made this soup/stew a couple of weeks ago, and it turned out very well.
My husband thinks I could open up a soup restaurant, but truthfully soup is one easy thing to make, requiring very little measuring. You just want to get the general amounts close and then let your creativity add the rest.
Given that winter is upon some of us all ready (it’s even cold here in southern New Mexico), such dishes are welcome and hearty on cool evenings.
1/2 tablespoon of bacon drippings or butter
1 cup of chopped onion
1/4 cup of chopped green bell pepper
1 stalk (rib) of celery, chopped
1 poblano or Anaheim chile, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 teaspoons of chopped garlic
1/2 pound of ground pork or beef
1/2 pound of mild andouille or other spicy smoked sausage
6 cups of water
3 teaspoons of chicken or beef bouillon or base (like Better Than Bouillon)
1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 medium head of cabbage, halved, cored and sliced
1large carrot, scraped and diced
1large potato, peeled and diced
Splash of apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp of fresh basil
2 tbsp fresh parsley
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning, or to taste
Brown your ground pork or beef (or frankly a combo would be fine) until no longer pink.
Add the vegetables except for the cabbage and potato and saute until softened.
Add the water, cabbage, potato, and canned tomato
Bring to a light simmer and cook for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are done.
Add the balance of the ingredients save the sausage and cover, letting the soup sit for a couple of hours if possible.
Add the sausage an reheat.
NOTES: you can use a milder sausage if you prefer and leave out the chiles, but I wouldn’t. Also I leave the sausage out until the end because I like the taste of Andouille and don’t want it all washed out by the cooking process. This freezes up well if you have leftovers!
This is one of those recipes that you can find everywhere, some more authentic than others. This makes no real attempt to be so, but goodness we loved it to death.
And because I don’t cook the rice IN the dish, you can make huge batches of this and freeze up meals for those wintry days when you are tired from fighting the elements and want a great meal in minutes.
Of course you can substitute other seafood for the shrimp, or add crawfish or fish if you wish. All should be added late in the game and just cooked. Sticking them in too early will result in rubbery tasteless crustaceans.
The same is true of the sausage. I buy cooked sausage and love the taste, so I don’t let it sit and cook out it’s flavor. Do as you wish about this.
Okra is up to you. I like it. Some don’t.
Filé gumbo powder is not to be added during cooking, but only at the end. I use it as a table condiment and let folks sprinkle it on if they like it.
So get busy, and go Cajun!
4 chicken thighs (or other chicken parts to equal about 2 – 4 c cooked)
5 tbsp canola oil, divided 2 and 3
1 1/2 lg sweet peppers (I used 1/2 of a red, green, and yellow)
1 med. onion, diced
3-4 ribs of celery diced
1 c of diced okra (optional)
1 tsp salt (adjust depending on whether you use salted tomatoes and stock)
2 tsp each black and cayenne pepper (again, adjust given what you want in heat)
3 cloves garlic, microplaned
2 15 oz cans of stewed tomatoes
2 bay leaves
2 cups (at least) chicken stock
1 lb andouille sausage cut into chunks (or other sausage you like)
1/2 lb shrimp, cleaned
3 tbsp flour
4-5 scallions, chopped
filé gumbo powder
2 c dry rice (for 4 cups cooked)
Heat 2 tbsp oil and add the thighs, browning well and turning to brown the other side. Remove to a separate plate.
Add the trinity: onions, bell peppers and celery, reducing heat to medium and sauteing until fairly softened.
Add the seasonings, garlic and tomatoes, and bay leaves. Return the chicken to the pot, and cook on a simmer for about 30 minutes until the chicken is done.
Remove the chicken pieces to cool.
Make the roux: 3 tbsp canola oil and flour in a small pan. Cook while stirring often until it is a medium brown. Set aside.
You can cover the pot and let it all sit now until near dinner time. I typically cook what I can in the morning, and stop here.
When you are getting ready to eat, turn on the burner and begin reheating the jambalaya. Add your sausage now.
Remove the meat from the chicken bones, discard the skin, chop the meat or shred. Return it to the pot now too.
When its bubbling, add the roux in chunks and stir to thicken. When it’s all incorporated, then add the shrimp on top and cover for 5 minutes.
Serve! Over rice, with the chopped scallions and filé powder on the side