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Gumbo – tiršta šamo sriuba

Gumbo - thick catfish soup

Number of servings: 10. Preparation time: cooking 60 60 min.

Gumbo is a thick soup cooked in the south of the United States in Louisiana. Onions, celery stalks and peppers, which are special ingredients in Creole cuisine, are essential in the gumbo. Gumbo can be cooked with fish, meat or shrimps. It is served with boiled rice and seasoned with spicy cayenne pepper.


  • 1 kg catfish
  • 1 plate of chopped onions
  • 1 plate chopped celery stalks
  • 1 plate chopped sweet peppers
  • 1 plate of chopped fresh tomatoes
  • a few garlic cloves
  • 1 chilli pepper
  • 1 onion for the broth
  • bay leaves, peppercorns for pea stock
  • cayenne pepper, salt to taste
  • cooked whole rice for serving
  • oil for frying
  • chopped fresh parsley and thyme
  • 1 glass of cooked rice to serve


After receiving the catfish, I searched the internet for a long time for a fish soup recipe that could be cooked over a campfire and flavoured with fresh end-of-summer vegetables. My eye fell on a soup-stew gumbo that I hadn't heard of or tasted before. By the way, I was very surprised to learn that there is even a National Catfish Day in the USA, which is celebrated on 25 June, and that the catfish is called catfish in English, and I wondered why it was called that, perhaps because of the similarity between the catfish and the catfish whiskers 
I gutted the catfish, separating the fillets from the bone and skinning the fish. Although this process sounds like a real feat, with the right sharp knife, it goes quite smoothly, even with no experience. I cut the catfish fillet into small pieces and set aside the fish backbone with the tail and head for the fish stock.

First, I boiled the stock. I boiled about 2 litres of water in a cast-iron pot over a campfire, in which I put the fish backbone with tail and head, the whole onion head, the bay leaves, the peppercorns and salt. I cooked the broth over the fire for about 30-40 minutes. I strained the boiled stock through a sieve into another pot.

I fried the chopped onions in oil in a cast-iron pot, and when the onions were browned I added the chopped peppers and the chopped celery stalks. Then I added the chopped garlic and chilli and finally the chopped (peeled) fresh tomatoes. I simmered the vegetables for a few minutes, stirring from time to time, and poured in just over 1,5 litres of the fish stock I had previously cooked. If you want a thicker soup, you can add less stock and freeze the rest for another time.

I cooked the soup for about 30 minutes, then added the chopped catfish fillet and cooked it for another 15 minutes. I seasoned the soup with salt and cayenne pepper, chopped parsley and thyme.

Once the soup was cooked, I served it with rice. The result is a rich, spicy and fragrant fish soup that smells of autumn.

Tasty fish soup!

Recipe source.

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