Growing up I had never experienced eating gumbo. After meeting my boyfriend and finding that we were both huge foodies, and that he was a huge fan of gumbo, I knew I had to get familiar and creative with the festive dish. Being from California it came to me to use asparagus in place of the okra considering it still resembled the traditional gumbo ingredient.
In a large Dutch oven heat oil over high until almost smoking. Add flour and stir until dark red-brownish color is achieved about 6 to 8 minutes.
Add celery and onion and cook 3 to 5 minutes scraping bits from bottom of pan. Stir in bay leaf, salt, oregano, cayenne, broth, tomatoes and andouille. Boil lightly about 13 to 15 minutes.
Add asparagus, reduce heat to low and simmer about 12 minutes more until almost tender. Stir in shrimp the last few minutes of cooking until just pink. Serve over mounds of rice in a bowl.