Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, jalapeno, onion, celery, carrots, bell peppers and saute for 10-15 minutes until vegetables are very soft, stirring often.
Add in the cajun seasoning and stir until combined, letting the spices bloom- about 30 seconds.
Add in the tomatoes, broth and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover, letting simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Right before the gumbo is almost done simmering, cook the rice and make the roux. Melt the butter over medium heat and add in the flour, then stir and cook until flour is golden brown and slightly toasted. Add in the salt and whisk until very smooth and not grainy. Keep whisking, adding in the milk, a little at a time, until completely incorporated and then simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
Add the roux to the gumbo, stirring to combine, then add in the beans and the sausage, if using. Let simmer for another 10-15 minutes, adding more broth if needed/desired. Season to taste, adding more salt/pepper/cayenne as you want. Serve over rice!
If you don’t have cajun season, use this: 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon oregano
I originally made this gumbo with vegan kielbasa sausage, but it’s so hard to find that I decided to make it optional. If you can find it- it’s super yummy! Add it in when you add in the kidney beans and heat until warmed through. You can also brown it before adding, if you want extra flavor.