I’m pretty sure it’s a law you have to eat Southern food during Mardi Gras. I’m at least 90 percent certain of that.

And you don’t get much more Southern than gumbo. Serve this veggie version with some cornbread and watch “Live and Let Die” (my favorite Bond) and you’ve got yourself one heck of a day.

This recipe comes from The Healthy Voyager’s Global Kitchen. Spice it up as much as you want, and play around by adding sausage or shrimp if you want to.

And this is no skimp recipe: This is from-scratch, serious stuff. Also, this recipe makes just a huge pot — 10 to 12 servings (it doesn’t tell me what a serving size is...). So you can eat it all week, or have a bunch of friends over. Your choice.

Editor’s note: This recipe calls for you to “sweat” the vegetables. I had no idea what that meant, so I looked up in my food-writer’s dictionary (seriously), and here’s what it says: A technique by which ingredients, particularly vegetables, are cooked in a small amount of fat over low heat. The ingredients are covered directly with a police of foil or parchment, then the pot is tightly covered. With this method, the ingredients soften without browning and cook in their own juices.

Good luck.

Cajun Veggie Gumbo

For Brown Roux:

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup all-purpose flour

Salt and pepper

For Stew base:

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 clove garlic, chopped

1/4 cup corn kernels

2 bell peppers, green and red, cut into large pieces

2 stalks celery, large diced

1 onion, large diced

1/2 cup sliced okra

1 gallon vegetable broth

1/4 cup borwn roux (above)

1 cup hole peeled plum tomatoes

2 tbsp each thyme, sage, rosemary and Cajun or Creole spice

3 bay leaves

2 tbsp sassafras leaves (gumbo file)

Lemon juice to taste

1 1/2 tbsp chile pepper paste

Salt and pepper

For stew veggies:

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 cups mixed peas and cor

2 cups peeled and cubed potatoes and yams

1 cup skinned, seeded and diced tomatoes

2 bell peppers, one green and one red, diced

1 cup torn collard greens

1 cup drained kidney beans

2 tbsp each thyme, sage and rosemary

Salt and pepper

To make the brown roux: In large saute pan, heat o8il over medium heat. WHen pan is hot, carefully whisk in flour and reduce the heat to low, being careful not to burn it. Season with salt and pepper. Stir the mixture constantly for 30 minutes until it becomes a brown, peanut-butter color witha nutty aroma. Remove from heat.

Stew base: Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-low heat, then sweat the garlic, corn, bell peppers, celery, onion and okra for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the brown and bring to a simmer. When it begins to boil, remove about 1/2 cup liquid, place ina bowl and stir int he roux, then slowly add that back to the simmering liquid. Let simmer for 15 minutes, then add tomatoes, thyme, sage, rosemary, spices, bay leaves, sassafras, lemon juice and chile paste. Simmer 10 minutes, then season with salt and pepper. Transfer in batches to blender and puree (or use an immersion blender).

To make stew veggeis: In large pot, heat oil, then sweat peas, corn, potatoes, yams, tomatoes, bell peppers and collards for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the stew base, bring to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes. Add beans, thyme, sage and rosemary. Simmer another 2 to 3 minutes.

Can serve over warm rice or pasta.