Sunday, March 19, 2017

Slow Cooker Mediterranean Gumbo

This is a wonderful soup to have during lent.  Just use vegetable bouillon cubes or vegetable broth or none at all instead of the chicken bouillon cubes.  You can use shrimp that are fresh or frozen, cooked or uncooked or peeled or unpeeled.  What ever you prefer.  I like to use shrimp that are unpeeled and add them that way in order to get the added flavor from the shell.  I just leave to the one eating to peel the shrimp which my husband hates to do.  Or you can do what I suggested in the Note below.

This is an interesting recipe I obtained from a book, Easy Home Cooking Slow Cooker Recipes, I bought for a couple of dollars from the sale of unsold used books from a local library during one of our International Women's Club meeting.  It uses orange juice and fennel seeds.  These two ingredients added delightful notes to the dish which I would not have thought to add if not for the suggestion in the recipe in the book. The book was published in the nineties when spices like cayenne pepper were not in vogue but the palate nowadays have changed including mine. I was hankering some heat from the gumbo so I added cayenne pepper to the dish and that made it complete to me.  I also added carrots and celery to the list of ingredients for added bulk, flavor and nutritional value.

This is an easy soup to prepare packed with flavor and excellent for meatless Fridays in lent or anytime of the year.

Slow Cooker Mediterranean Gumbo

Adapted from the book Easy Home Cooking Slow Cooker Recipes

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red or green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 2 celery stalks. sliced
  • 4 shitake mushrooms or 1 jar (2 1/2 oz) sliced mushrooms
  • 4 tbsp olives with pimento centers, whole or sliced
  • 1- 14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1- 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes or vegetable bouillon cubes
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup beer or white wine (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp fennel powder
  • 1 tsp dry basil
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1 lb shrimp. peeled or unpeeled which I prefer (Note 1)

Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker except the shrimp.  Cook at low for 4 1/2 hours or at high for 2 hours.  I cooked mine in an Aroma brand rice cooker/slow cooker for two hours at slow cooker setting. Stir in the shrimp at the last 15 minutes of cooking or you can microwave the fresh or frozen shrimp in 1/4 cup water for 3-5 minutes till cooked and stir in the cooked shrimp with the broth to the soup at the end of cooking. See note.  


I prefer to use unpeeled shrimp so the juice of the shell can add flavor to the broth.  Or if you prefer peeled shrimp, peel the shrimp and cook the shells with the shrimp.  Discard the shells, and just add the flesh of the shrimp and its broth to the soup.

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