I've know T since I was 9 and he was 11. We dated in high school, lost touch for 8 years, and have now been together for just shy of 2 1/2 years. In all the time I've known him, I had no idea he LOVES gumbo. Until now.
As I said a few days ago, I'm trying to use up the food in our pantry before going on the big haul shopping trip again. I had the andouille sausage left from the chili, and I had a 2 lb bag of shrimp in the freezer. What to make? At first I thought about making a yummy shrimp and grits dish with a chocolate red eye gravy (don't act like you're not interested!), but T turned up his nose at the red eye gravy. And then he suggested gumbo. Why didn't I think of that?!?
T's Infamous Gumbo
1 half link of andouille sausage, chopped small (by link, I mean the u shaped package in the meat section)
2 lbs 21-30 count shrimp (use whatever and however much you like! I say the more the better)
30 oz. V8 juice, spicy if you like...we used regular low sodium
2 cups of water
celery, diced or rough chopped
carrots, diced or rough chopped
onion, diced or rough chopped
garlic, rough chopped or pressed (I feel like I don't get all of the garlic when I press it, so I just rough chop)
Ms. Dash hot and spicy seasoning
Knorr Chicken Stock
2 cans veggies (we used 1 can of corn and 1 can of green beans)
**T did the broth part of the soup, and honestly he just went through the cabinet and grabbed what he thought would be good. I encourage you to do the same, just to see what you come up with for YOUR tastes**
1. Start with garlic and your holy trinity: diced celery, carrots, onion. Get them sizzling in the pan and then add in your sausage and brown.
2. In your big pot, mix in the V8, chicken stock, 2 cups water, and all seasonings to your liking (obviously the spicier you want it, the more Texas Pete and spicy seasonings you add). When the sausage is browned, add to the pot.
3. While the soup is simmering, get your rice cooking.
4. In the pan you browned the sausage in, add more garlic (you can never have too much vampire protection!) and more of your holy trinity. Get those sizzling and starting to get a little translucent. Add in your shrimp, a little salt and pepper. If you have lemon or lime juice, throw in a splash of that, too. Once the shrimp are nice and pink, toss them into the simmering soup.
5. Let the soup simmer while you wait for your rice to finish cooking, stirring occasionally. Then serve over rice.
***DISCLAIMER: I know that this is probably the least concise recipe I've posted yet, but that's the thing about my cooking, especially when it comes to soups, stews and gumbos. I almost never measure, and I think that my cooking comes from my heart. I hope you can go into your kitchen and pantry and come up with some great soup for your family, based off my loose recipe here. And if you come up with something super awesome, shoot me an email so I can try it, too!***