Heat a completely dry skillet over medium-high heat and add flour to the pan. Stir it and spread it over the surface of the pan. Stir it often, moving it around the pan so it browns evenly. Watch it closely and once it begins to smoke, stir it constantly and reduce the heat. Cook until it is nicely browned but not burned. Important: If it burns, throw it out and start again. It should take 8 - 10 minutes.
Once it is browned, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool while you begin to prepare the gumbo. When you're ready to add it to the gumbo, whisk in 2 cups of water.
Heat a 4-6 quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, peppers, and celery and saute until soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add water by the tablespoon if they begin to stick. Add the garlic and saute for another minute.
If you haven't already, whisk 2 cups of water into the browned flour. Add it to the vegetables. Add all the seasonings, soy sauce, bouillon, and 4 more cups of water. Stir in the okra, corn, soy curls, and mushrooms. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add extra water if it looks a little dry.
Check seasonings and add more to taste. Season to taste with smoked salt. Remove the bay leaves, ladle into a bowl, and serve with a scoop of rice.
Easy Variation with Frozen Vegetable Blends
You can substitute 1 12-ounce package of Cajun-style Mirepoix mix for the onions, peppers, and celery, and use 2 12-ounce packages of Gumbo blend vegetables instead of the okra and corn. This variation only works if you use both frozen vegetable blends.
The nutritional information below uses Better Than Bouillon, which has 670mg sodium per teaspoon. You can reduce the sodium by using a different bouillon and replacing the soy sauce with low-sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos.Each large serving is 3 points on Weight Watchers Freestyle program (not including any rice you add.)