YIELD: 6 servings
2 cups pre-cut, frozen okra
1/4 cup olive or avocado oil
kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup finely diced onion (~1/2 onion)
3/4 cup finely diced celery (~3 stalks)
1 cup finely diced green bell pepper (~1/2 bell pepper)
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
5-6 cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp. arrowroot
2 cups pre-cooked and shredded chicken
12 oz. fully cooked cajun or andouille sausage, sliced
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spread okra on a baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tbsp. oil and toss to coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven until golden brown, about 25 minutes. (this prevents it from getting slimy and ruining your gumbo!)
Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or large pot. Add in the diced onion, celery, and bell pepper, seasoned with salt and pepper and saute until nice and tender, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add in the garlic, cayenne, thyme and tomato paste and saute for another 2 minutes.
In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup of broth with 2 tbsp. arrowroot starch. Whisk until arrowroot has dissolved. While whisking, slowly add the arrowroot mixture, stirring constantly until well combined and thickened to a gravy-like consistency, about 3 minutes. Once thickened, slowly pour in 3 additional cups of broth, while stirring constantly. Bring the soup to a simmer and let cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and the soup to thicken a bit more.
Add in the shredded chicken, sausage and roasted okra. Add an additional 1-2 cups of broth until the gumbo reaches your desired thickness. Taste and add plenty of salt and pepper, to your taste!
Serve over cauliflower rice and garnish with parsley, if desired. Enjoy!