Shrimp Gumbo

By • March 5, 2010 • 85 Comments



Author Notes: It was snowing this morning so I thought this would be a good night to make a hearty soup. I had some shrimp in the freezer so my thoughts turned to gumbo. In Louisiana, gumbo is practically religion. I wanted a lightened-up version of traditional seafood gumbo, and this is what I came up with. As with most soup, the seasonings can be adjusted according to your taste. (And as you all know by now, I didn't put a bay leaf in because you-know-who hates bay, but bay leaf is great in gumbo, so go for it.) - drbabs drbabs

Food52 Review: This may be the perfect weeknight gumbo. Drbabs, a former New Orleansian herself, has streamlined and lightened the Cajun classic while still pulling in all the right flavors and kick from a smoky dark roux and well-chosen cocktail of spices. By design, this recipe could be made year-round from pantry staples, but you can always put a little Mardi Gras in it by adding andouille or tasso. - A&MA&M

Serves 2-4

  • white or brown rice, cooked separately and kept warm
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined; shells rinsed and reserved
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 large onions, chopped fine
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped fine
  • 1 clove garlic, put through garlic press
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes (fresh is best but since it's winter, I used Pomi chopped tomatoes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste and as described in the recipe
  • Tabasco sauce to taste, and to be used as a condiment
  1. First make a roux. In a large cast iron dutch oven, heat the grapeseed oil over medium-low heat. Sprinkle flour over the oil and stir till it's completely blended. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, over medium low heat, until the flour-oil mixture browns and is dark caramel-colored. (Be careful not to let it burn.)
  2. Stir in the onions, celery, and garlic. Sprinkle in 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a few turns of freshly-ground pepper. Stir well. Cover dutch oven and let vegetables cook in roux until softened.
  3. While vegetables are cooking, put shrimp shells into a saucepan and cover with 2 cups of water and good pinch of salt. (Shrimp shells should be barely covered; add more water if they're not.) Bring water to a boil and then reduce heat so that it simmers. Continue to simmer until shells are bright pink.
  4. To the vegetables in the dutch oven, add the tomatoes, thyme, oregano, paprika, cayenne, lemon, and Worcestershire sauce. Strain the shrimp stock into the soup, stir, and let simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes.
  5. Stir in the shrimp and let simmer in the soup till just firm and cooked through, about 3-5 minutes, depending on size. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste.
  6. Stir in chopped parsley, a couple of drops of Tabasco (a little goes a long way!) and serve in bowls with a large scoop of rice.
  • This recipe is a Wildcard Contest Winner!

Tags: wildcard, Wildcard Winner

Comments (85) Questions (2)

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3 months ago salena

just wanted to thank you for this easy and delightful recipe. It just seemed perfect for tonight, springtime, cooler than expected, but warm enough to eat in our outdoor space, a wonderful starter. The gumbo was light but had tons of flavor.

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3 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you, salena, for commenting. I so happy you enjoyed it.

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4 months ago Jordan McNary

Making this tonight, adding orange bell pepper for some color, and a little extra garlic. Yum!

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5 months ago Bevi

Delish, drbabs! I made this today for Fat Tuesday, and added a pound of andouille sausage that I browned in the pot. Just a touch more grape seed oil, and then it was onward and upward! Thanks for a delightful meal!

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5 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi Bevi! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

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9 months ago LYNN LORING

Can easily find lots of different file powders on AMAZON!

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9 months ago fearlessem

Made this tonight, with the addition of Tasso. So delicious, and so easy! Thank you!

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9 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I'm so happy that you enjoyed it!

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over 1 year ago Arpy

I make a gumbo with andouille, oysters, shrimp, okra and whatever fresh fish I can find to throw in there. I call it my six million dollar gumbo. I love the simplicity of this one. A couple of questions--would file' be a good addition? I use it in my concoction. Thanks.

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over 1 year ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Yes, I've added file when I've had it. I hope you enjoy! (Yours sounds fabulous.)

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over 1 year ago Corky_H

I found this dish over the top deelish! Couldn't believe how fast it went together after the roux was made. Think I needed a minute more on the roux for more color but was afraid of burning. I will do this again and again! Big thank you;)

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over 1 year ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for commenting.

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almost 2 years ago Aktommey

I adore this recipe! I took Arathi's advice and sauteed andouille in my dutch oven and wiped it clean before making the roux. Added okra in toward the end of softening my onions and celery. Added two spoonfuls of tomato paste in with the shrimp shells. Love love love the flavor. Shocked at the short time it takes to make delicious gumbo!

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almost 2 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Oh, I just saw this. What great suggestions--i'm glad you enjoyed it.

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about 2 years ago Tarragon

My husband loves shrimp, and this recipe really delivered! I had everything on hand and this was pretty easy to put together, even on a weeknight. We both really enjoyed the meal, and your recipe will now go into my weeknight shrimp rotation. Thanks for posting this!

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about 2 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Oh, Tarragon, I'm so happy you and your husband enjoyed it. Thanks for letting me know.

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over 2 years ago lorigoldsby

My mom called and asked for my old gumbo recipe and I couldn't find it...after searching here, I can't remember if my recipe called for shrimp stock...but it does now!

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over 2 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi, Lori--thanks for letting me know! (This is very simple shrimp stock...)

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over 2 years ago littlesister

I just made this for a Fat Tuesday dinner with my husband and a friend and it was really good. It took some time, especially to get the shrimp peeled, but it was certainly not difficult. I did add okra and andouille which may have caused it to take longer with the extra chopping. This will be my new go-to gumbo recipe - thanks for sharing this!

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over 2 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi littlesister--sorry i missed this before. Yes, shrimp peeling and deveining can be a pain, but otherwise, it comes together pretty easily. I like your additions a lot--I recently added andouille to it myself. Thanks for commenting!

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over 2 years ago lyonesset

Tasty, comforting, spicy and easy! Loved it, really happy to find an accessible gumbo recipe which I could throw together in well less than an hour. Someday I might move on to the more complex versions - but then again, I could just tweak this one to add other goodies. Yum!

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over 2 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks, lyonesset, I'm glad you liked it!

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over 2 years ago molls to the wall

I'm somewhat of a novice and I wanted to test my rather boring limits and this came out great!

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over 2 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for letting me know!

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over 2 years ago chop chop

Very delicious. Used a bit more tomato and celery. Red pepper flakes instead of cayenne. Put some chorizo sausage in that had been on the grill. I also confess that I was thinking about shrimp creole originally but did your gumbo. I decided to cook down the gumbo more to make something of a "crumbo". The GF raved about it.

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over 2 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I just saw this--thanks for commenting--what great adaptations! I'm so glad you and your GF enjoyed it.

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about 3 years ago PFossil

This is so delicious, and relatively quick to put together. If I decide to use andouille next time, you andouillers -- when do you put it in? Would you chop it up and cook it with the vegetables? Thanks.

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about 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

True confession: I've never made it with andouille--I've never found it here in New York, and my husband doesn't eat pork. But, yes, I think I'd saute it with the vegetables. Thank you so much for trying my recipe--I'm really glad you liked it!

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almost 3 years ago Arathi

I sliced the andouille and browned it in the pot before making the roux. It didn't render a whole lot of fat, so i just wiped the pot clean with a paper towel and then made the roux in the same pot. Then I just threw it back in shortly after adding the shrimp stock and let it simmer with everything else. The other thing you can do is, if you're adding okra and sauteing it in a separate pan (I do this and just add it to the gumbo towards the end) you can brown the andouille in that pan first - I did this the second time I made it.

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about 3 years ago kmartinelli

Oh this is just the gumbo recipe I've been searching for! It is simple but still flavorful and I can't wait to try it! I have almost all of the ingredients on hand, including andouille chicken sausage in the freezer. I also have some frozen okra so may add that as well.

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about 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi--I just saw this--thanks so much! I hope you liked it. I love okra in gumbo also!

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over 3 years ago Arathi

drbabs, I made this a couple of days ago and it was excellent! I added andouille and okra and threw in some file powder I happened to have at the end. It was so, so good! Thank you so much for the recipe, I will make this again and again.

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Your version sounds wonderful! Wow--file powder--I haven't had that in the house in ages! I'll have to get some the next time I'm in New Orleans.

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over 3 years ago melissav

Just had this for dinner and IT ROCKED! So so good. This one is a keeper.

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I'm so happy that you liked it!

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over 3 years ago Midge

Congrats drbabs! I'm going to try this soon if I can get my hands on some Maine shrimp.

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks, Midge! i hope you enjoy it.

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Congrats, Dr B!! What a great recipe. I'm so glad it will be in Book Two. ;o)

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks, AJ!

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over 3 years ago Lizthechef

Beautiful - and pretty healthy too - love your flavors!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks, Liz--it is pretty healthy!

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over 3 years ago pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

Cooked a big batch up myself for Valentine's Day, and yes I did use tasso, and I did use okra and a dark roux. Got raves except for two wimpolas who only eat bland foods. It's a mean old world if you are a food wimp.

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

pierino, I am honored. I love okra in gumbo, too.

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about 1 year ago The Fiery Epicurean

Love this..."two wimpolas who only eat bland foods. It's a mean old world if you are a food wimp."

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you all--so much--what a week this has been! I hope you try the gumbo and that you like it! (I support the addition of andouille or tasso!) Happy Mardi Gras!

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over 3 years ago inpatskitchen

Congratulations drbabs! I'm always looking for new versions of gumbo...this looks fabulous!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks!

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over 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

It's raining outside here, making it the perfect weather for this great-sounding dish!!! Many congrats, drbabs!!!!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you, Susan! I hope you enjoy it (and that the sun comes out soon!)

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over 3 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

Congrats drbabs - it looks comforting, especially with the cold snap hanging around. Well done

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks, KB.

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over 3 years ago TasteFood

Congratulations drbabs! This sounds delicious.

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you!

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over 3 years ago MyCommunalTable

Congratulations! What a fun surprise. I love Wildcard pics! Well deserved.

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

It was so fun to get everyone's tweets today!

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Big congrats on the wildcard win, drbabs! This looks divine.

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you!

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over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Congrats on the wildcard win drbabs!!! That's awesome.

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks, mrslarkin.

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over 3 years ago TiggyBee

drbabs!! Love this!! (and I made a version of your gumbo just 4 days ago!!) Congrats!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Wow, I'm so honored! Thank you!

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over 3 years ago Bevi

Congrats drbabs! This looks so easy and delicious.

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks, I hope you make it and enjoy it.

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over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

Great, drbabs! Congratulations.

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks so much!

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over 3 years ago melissav

Yeah, Dr. B. So happy for you and can't believe I missed this recipe. It sounds great. Can't wait to give it a try.

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks, melissa. I hope you like it.

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over 3 years ago Sadassa_Ulna

Congratulations, yum!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you!

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over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Congrats drbabs! This looks awesome! I haven't made gumbo in ages, so this will be so welcome on my table.

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

It's great for this time of year.

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over 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

YAY Dr Babs! Love gumbo and this is perfect timing for Mardis Gras!!!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks, aargersi! Let the good times roll!

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over 3 years ago thirschfeld

congrats on the wild card win. Great looking recipe

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks, Tom.

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over 3 years ago eateronly

You know who loves this...without bay.

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks, Love. I'll leave out bay for you any time.

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Congratulations, drbabs!! This looks and sounds amazing. Looking forward to trying it!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I hope you do--let me know!

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over 3 years ago pauljoseph

Congratulations, drbabs!! glad it will be in Book Two

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over 3 years ago nannydeb

Congratulations drbabs!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks, deb!

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Congrats, drbabs! This looks wonderful. I'm a huge gumbo lover - dark roux is magical to me.

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you, and congratulations on your big fondue win!

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over 4 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Still trying to figure out the photography. Sorry the photos are so messy.