saltto taste; add the Cajun spice before you taste
2tablespoons tomato paste
1poundsmall raw peeled and deveined shrimp
2teaspoonsLouisiana hot sauce
2tablespoonschopped Italian parsley
gumbo fileoptional garnish
Saute okra in a large skillet until browned; stir in the onion, celery, green pepper, bay leaves, garlic and thyme and cook until vegetables soften, adding the garlic the last minute so that it does not burn.
Place vegetable mixture in a heavy bottomed pot large enough to hold 2-1/2 quarts.
Whisk the roux into the vegetables. We are using light roux here, and you may use homemade or use a purchased type, whichever you prefer. Generally, roux is half flour, half oil, cooked and stirred over low heat until it is the color of peanut butter.
When roux is mixed into the vegetable, stir in the broth.
Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer over low heat for about an hour.
Stir shrimp, hot sauce, parsley and scallions into gumbo and cook just until they brighten and begin to curl; do not overcook.
Serve gumbo with steamed white rice, garnished with extra parsley or scallion and gumbo file if desired.