8ounceseggplant or other vegetablesdiced (see note)
1poundsliced okrafresh or frozen
1 16-ounce canchickpeasdrained
1teaspoonsalt or to taste
1/4teaspooncayenne pepperor to taste
1 1/2teaspoonsdried thyme
1/2teaspoonliquid smoke flavoringor chipotle chile powder to taste
2-3cupsadditional broth or water
In a small skillet, toast the flour over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until it is a uniform tan color, about the color of whole wheat flour. (If you use whole wheat flour for this, it will of course be darker.) Be very careful not to burn it. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Heat a large non-stick pot and sauté the onions, pepper, and celery over medium-high heat. When the vegetables begin to get brown, add the garlic and browned flour and stir to combine. Add the vegetable broth and tomatoes, stir, and add all the remaining ingredients. The gumbo should have enough liquid to resemble a chunky soup; if it is too dry, add some more vegetable broth or water.
Cook for at least 30 minutes, until the flavors have a chance to mingle. Remove the bay leaves and serve over rice.
Served without rice, one serving is zero points on Weight Watchers Freestyle program.