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Reprinted with permission from Southern Vegan by Lauren Hartmann, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020. Photography by Lauren Hartmann and Julie Grace
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).
2. To make the gumbo, heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, jalapeño, carrots, onion, celery and bell pepper. Season the vegetables with a pinch of salt and sauté for about 10 minutes, until the onion and celery are translucent and the carrots are soft.
3. Once the onion is translucent and the other vegetables are starting to brown, add the tomatoes, 4 cups (960 ml) of the broth and Cajun seasoning.
4. Bring the mixture to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes to develop the flavors and finish cooking the vegetables.
5. While the gumbo is simmering, make the Cajun-spiced potatoes. Put the potatoes on a medium-sized baking sheet, drizzle them with the oil and sprinkle them with the Cajun seasoning. Toss to coat all the potatoes and roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are brown and crispy.
6. Once the gumbo has simmered for about 15 minutes, heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted, add the flour. Whisk to combine and form a roux. Simmer the roux for 1 to 2 minutes.
7. Whisk in the remaining 1 cup (240 ml) of broth with the roux, making sure there are no lumps. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture is thick.
8. Add the roux to the gumbo and whisk to combine. Simmer the gumbo for about 5 minutes to thicken. Taste and adjust the seasonings with additional salt and the black pepper.
9. Serve the gumbo with the potatoes over the rice (if using) and topped with the sausages (if using).