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Mediterranean Slow Cooker Gumbo

This soup is perfect for the season of Lent. Substitute chicken bouillon cubes with vegetable bouillon cubes, vegetable broth, or anything else. You can use fresh or frozen, cooked or uncooked, peeled or unpeeled shrimp. Whatever you choose. I prefer to use unpeeled shrimp to obtain the additional flavor imparted by the shell. The shrimp peeling, which my husband abides by, is left to the individual who is eating them. Alternatively, you can do what I recommended in the Note below.

This is a fascinating recipe. I purchased Easy Home Cooking Slow Cooker Recipes for a couple of dollars from a local library’s sale of unsold used books during one of our International Women’s Club meetings. Orange juice and fennel seeds are utilized. With the recipe book’s suggestion, I would have thought to include these two ingredients, which added delightful flavors to the dish.

The book was published in the 1990s when spices such as cayenne pepper were not popular, but tastes have evolved since then, including mine. I added cayenne pepper to satisfy my desire for heat in the gumbo, which completed the dish for me. Carrots and celery were added to the ingredient list for added bulk, flavor, and nutritional value.

This flavorful and simple soup is perfect for meatless Fridays during Lent or any other time of year.

Ingredient

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can whole tomatoes, undrained and coarsely chopped
  • 2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (2 1/2 ounces) jar sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup ripe olives, sliced
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients except shrimp in slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on LOW 4 to 4 1/2 hours.
  3. Stir in shrimp. Cover and cook 20 to 30 minutes or until shrimp are opaque. Remove and discard bay leaves.
  4. Makes 6 servings.

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