Thicken gravy and soup using a roux, which is a mixture of fat and flour. In a traditional gumbo, flour is added to the fat and heated until it reaches a reddish-brown color. It is important to stir while the mixture is browning.
When I needed to come up with a soup for a potluck years ago, this was the result. I adapted a cream of broccoli recipe I'd used often, and put in plenty of vegetables left over after a dinner party.
Just this past Lent, I made 3 gallons of my soup for a church function. Several people told me it was the best soup that they'd ever had. The biggest compliment I ever receive, though, came from my 93-year old grandfather. He usually ate as few vegetables as possible—but he asked for a second bowlful!
I'm a military wife...my husband's a chaplain's assistant at Fort Hood. We have two young children, 7 and 5.