100 gms whole baby carrots, tops removed and scrubbed
1 small zucchini, sliced into 1/2-inch thick half circles
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
In a medium saucepan, bring the vegetable stock to a simmer. Lower the heat to keep warm.
In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, peppers, and celery and cook until soft, 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and rice to the pan and cook, stirring, until the rice is toasted and coated with oil, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, mushrooms, okra, baby carrots, zucchini, bay leaf, and thyme, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Add 2 cups of the warm stock, salt, black pepper, and cayenne, and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding the stock, 2 cups at a time, as the previous addition is absorbed, cooking and stirring, until all the stock is used and the rice grains are plump and tender.
Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf. Stir in the parsley and adjust the seasoning,to taste.