1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeño–o pepper, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 teaspoons paprika
2 quarts vegetable broth
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 cups chopped fresh or frozen okra
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup dried orzo pasta
4 sprigs fresh thyme, left whole
8 scallions, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt, to taste
Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Heat the oil in an 8-quart saucepan or Dutch oven over high heat. Add the onions, celery, bell peppers, jalapeños, dried thyme and paprika and saute 3 minutes to lightly brown the vegetables.
Add the vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Add the sweet potatoes, okra, bay leaves, pasta and fresh thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 35 minutes until the potatoes and pasta are tender. Remove from the stove and add the scallions and lemon juice. Season with salt.