Summer Lentil & Okra Gumbo (Vegan, Gluten Free)

summer lentil and okra gumbo recipe | will frolic for food summer lentil and okra gumbo recipe | will frolic for food summer lentil and okra gumbo recipe | will frolic for food summer lentil and okra gumbo recipe | will frolic for food The past week has been  a whirlwind of traveling and wedding planning. I made a big decision on Saturday. I bought a wedding dress (!!!) from BHLDN. I’m both excited about it and in awe of how dramatic and glamorous it is, and freaked out about the idea of choosing a dress at all. Can’t I haz all the dresses?! But seriously, choosing a dress in this time in history carries with it a lot of pressure. We live in an image heavy world. And the female collective consciousness that is Pinterest is telling me that a dress/wedding should be perfectly reflective of who I am as a person lest fail utterly. So on one hand that makes me want to have a gossamer, ethereal, fairy-princess sort of affair with candles that float mysteriously in mid-air, guests that wear fairy wings made of crepe silk and piano wire, and trees that whisper sweet nothings into the air when we pass by. And on the other hand I want to be a glamorous rock and roll bride and dye my dress pink and get sleeve tattoos and still be rad enough to wear a 5 pound flour crown while Logan and I play guitar solos at each other in lieu of vows. Then again I want to be a chill farmers wife bride and wear a lace frock and frolic with baby goats down the aisle and have everyone bring their favorite pie for the dessert table. And then I just want to elope. Not because I WANT to elope. But because making decisions is HARD. In other news, this soup ROCKS HARD. Sort of like a guitar solo wedding ceremony. In New Orleans. summer lentil and okra gumbo recipe | will frolic for food summer lentil and okra gumbo recipe | will frolic for food Now, this would be a pretty rad vegetable soup on its own. But the toasted sorghum flour really brings it all together. It adds an essential nuttiness and thickening quality that really makes this gumbo verses a dandy vegetable soup. Also, more fat = more awesome. I added a little dollop of ghee to my soup right before serving. It amps up the heat just slightly (the capsaicin in the habanero spreads more easily through oil) and intensifies all of the flavors.

Summer Lentil & Okra Gumbo (Vegan, Gluten Free)
  • 1 medium sweet white onion, halved and sliced into half moons
  • 4 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed, and minced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 purple peppers (any pepper will do), deseeded & sliced lengthwise
  • ¾ pounds fresh okra, tops removed and sliced into 1 inch rounds
  • 1 12 ounce can whole & peeled plum tomatoes
  • 1 cup blue lentils, soaked for at least 3 hours (and drained)
  • 2 cups water or unsalted vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds, crushed in a mortar
  • 1 small dried habanero, deseeded, stem removed and chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped roughly
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped roughly
  • ⅛ teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped roughly
  • ½ cup sorghum flour
  • coarse sea salt, to taste
  • lime halves, to serve
  1. In a large soup pot or high walled sauté pan, melt ghee or coconut oil over high heat.
  2. Once hot, add onion and fry, stirring occasionally, five to eight minutes, or until the onion just begins to caramelize & brown.
  3. Add garlic and stir to combine, cooking one minute more.
  4. Add white wine, peppers, and okra.
  5. Chop the whole, peeled plum tomatoes roughly (you want no more than 2 inch long bites of tomato). Add the tomatoes plus the tomato juice from the can.
  6. Add lentils, water or vegetable stock, balsamic vinegar, coriander, habanero, coconut sugar, oregano, thyme, and rosemary. Stir to combine.
  7. Cook 25 minutes, until the okra is soft and melting into the stew.
  8. While the stew is cooking, toast your sorghum flour in a wide, shallow pan over high heat -- I used a cast iron skillet -- until it begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma. This took me about five minutes, stirring constantly.
  9. Add the toasted sorghum flour to the pot of stew a couple of tablespoons at a time, stirring the stew constantly to prevent lumps from forming.
  10. Add sea salt and lime just before serving. Garnish with fresh green herbs, a lime wedge, and a drizzle of oil. Enjoy!

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  1. says

    BHLDN has such beautiful dresses! Congratulations on getting one. And the rest, you’ll figure it out and it will be beautiful :)

    The gumbo looks delicious, and very comforting :)

  2. says

    “and then i just want to elope.” STORY OF MY LIFE OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG. but then when i imagine myself frolicking down the aisle with a flock of rental goats, i get all smiley. HOLY CRAP WHAT DRESS DID YOU GET? i’m emailing you.

    • says

      it’s all about the goat frolicking. and the dessert bar stacked high with my truffles made straight from cacao beans, sugar, ghee, and myriad magical inclusions (dried cherries and quinquina comes to mind…).

  3. says

    What a lovely post!
    The food looks to die for and I will certainly give this one a go when it’s a little bit cooler outside 😉
    Also just read your ‘about’ page and great to see you’re a yoga teacher too!
    Plus I used to live in VA as well, went to W&M many years ago…
    All the best

    • says

      Thanks Kimberly! It’s been really cool in Central Virginia this Summer, thus the stew. So cool we have VA as a connection! I went to Christopher Newport, not too far from W&M. Nice to meet you!

    • says

      hey dee, you can use brown or white rice flour instead of sorghum. arrowroot is all starch, and so is not a good substitute. best of luck!


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