Posts Tagged ‘soup’

Roux-La-La … Gumbo!

It’s still cold here in Nashville. So we’re still eating soups and stews … and probably will be until May! You might start to think this is a soup and stew blog. Promise it’s more!

Seafood Gumbo

Right behind French Onion Soup is Seafood Gumbo on my list of favorite warm-up, (almost)-one-pot dinners. Seafood Gumbo has the added benefit of being a little bit spicy which helps with the warming quality. Will’s is delicious. It’s seriously as good as any gumbo I’ve had in any restaurant anywhere.

He’s got a couple of tricks up his sleeve. One trick (and this is the one that adds a second pot into the mix) is pan-frying the okra before dropping it into your gumbo. This trick significantly reduces the slimy factor that many people don’t care for but it’s totally optional. I, for one, like okra slime!

The other trick is in the roux. Lots of folks shy away from making a roux because they’ve unknowingly burnt the roux in the past and the resulting flavor is, in a word, HORRIBLE. Luckily, avoiding horrible with a roux is easy. Just make sure you don’t have the heat up too high (medium is good) and that you stir it non-stop.

We love this recipe so much that Will makes up a big batch of it and withholds the shrimp. Then we’ll bag up individual serving sizes and toss them in the freezer. When we’re in a gumbo mood, he just pulls out a couple of frozen servings, some frozen shrimp and sometimes he makes up a pot of rice. Dinner’s on the table in no time.

Below is Will’s secret recipe. Roux-la-la!

Will's Spectacular Seafood Gumbo
Shrimp and sausage gumbo with slime-free okra. Great served over rice or nix the rice for a low-carb option.
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  1. 4 Tbsp canola oil
  2. 4 Tbsp flour
  3. 3 cups okra, diced
  4. olive oil
  5. 2 medium white onions, diced
  6. 1 green bell pepper, diced
  7. 1 jalapeño, minced
  8. 8 cloves garlic, minced
  9. 16 oz. andouille sausage, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  10. 2 whole tomatoes, peeled and seeded or 1 can of diced tomatoes
  11. 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  12. 1 tsp garlic salt
  13. 1 tsp onion powder
  14. 1 tsp black pepper
  15. 1 tsp smoked paprika (regular paprika ok)
  16. 6 cups chicken stock
  17. 1 lb. peeled, deveined and thawed shrimp
  18. Salt
  19. Long-grain rice (optional)
  1. Cut your okra into 1/2 inch pieces. Dust the okra in salted flour.
  2. Put a Tbsp of olive oil in a non-stick pan and heat over medium heat. Drop one okra in the heat. If it sizzles, the oil is hot enough.
  3. Brown the okra in the non-stick pan in single-layer batches. Transfer to a paper towel to drain excess oil. Add another Tbsp of olive oil for the next batch.
  4. Next, combine the canola oil and the flour in a 12-quart cast iron dutch oven. Cook over medium heat until blonde, stirring constantly.
  5. Add onions, bell pepper and jalapeno. Add a tsp of salt. Sweat over medium heat until onions turn translucent, stirring constantly.
  6. Add the cayenne pepper, garlic salt, onion powder, black pepper, and paprika and stir.
  7. Add the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  8. Add the andouille sausage, and cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Your roux mixture should be light brown at this point.
  9. Add the tomatoes, and cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  10. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Add chicken stock, salt and other seasonings to taste. Bring this to a boil.
  11. Add the fried okra to the dutch oven.
  12. Add the shrimp. Put the lid on the pot and turn off the heat. Let sit for 5 minutes or until the shrimp are done. It's ok to peek early!
  13. Serve straight or over long-grain rice.
  1. If your gumbo is too thin, mix 1 Tbsp of flour, 2 Tbsp of water and a pinch of salt in a separate dish and then stir into to the boiling soup.
  2. If your gumbo is too thick, add chicken stock and salt.
  3. The seasoning mixture in this recipe can also be replaced with Tony Chachere's Famous Creole Seasoning. As always, taste your gumbo to insure balanced seasoning!
Bless Her Hearth

Cold Night? Warm French Onion Soup. BOOM.

When the weather turns cold, bring this girl a soup, stew, chowder, bisque or gumbo pronto. Will knows this and is a master at all of the above. Tonight was French Onion Soup. Lordy it’s good.

French Onion Soup

French Onion is one of my very favorite soups. It’s warm, satisfying and simple. With just a few ingredients and a little elbow grease, you can have a delicious homemade French Onion soup all yourself. The below recipe was created by Will after tasting a delicious French Onion soup on our trip to Paris 2 years ago. We went back to the restaurant twice so he could memorize the flavors and I’ve got to say, I think he nailed it.

Le Castiglione Restaurant, Paris


Will’s cooking has little to do with measuring and lots to do with seasoning to taste so don’t be afraid to follow his lead and do the same. Bon appétit!

Will's French Onion Soup
A delicious, traditional French Onion soup requiring just a few quality ingredients.
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  1. 2 lbs. sweet onions
  2. 1 red onion
  3. 6 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 6 stems fresh thyme
  5. 1 cup quality red wine
  6. 6 cups of beef stock
  7. toasted crusty bread
  8. gruyere cheese, cubed
  1. Cube up some gruyere cheese and bread in roughly 1/2 inch square pieces. Put 6 cubes of gruyere and 6 cubes of toasted bread in the bottom of each oven-safe bowl.
  2. Cut onions in thin strips (a mandolin helps but isn't necessary).
  3. Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a few pinches of salt in the bottom of a dutch oven. Saute all of the onions for about 15 minutes.
  4. Add the thyme and the garlic and continue to saute for another 15 minutes until onions start to turn brown. Do not let them fully caramelize.
  5. Add the wine and the beef stock. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Ladle the soup mixture over the gruyere and toast in the oven-safe bowls.
  7. Cut toast pieces to fit each bowl, cover with more gruyere.
  8. Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until melted and bubbly.
Bless Her Hearth