Preheat a large Dutch oven, or heavy bottom pot, over medium heat. Add the olive oil, then sprinkle in the flour when the oil is hot. Toast the garbanzo flour in the oil, unstirred, for a few minutes until it turns golden brown. That’s your roux!
Add the onions to the roux, followed by a sprinkle of sea salt, and stir. Cook until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes, then add the garlic, celery and green pepper.
Add the chickpeas to the pot along with the diced tomatoes and stir well.
Add the vegetable broth as well as the bay leaf.
Bring the gumbo to a simmer, and allow to cook uncovered for about 30-45 minutes (depending on how thick you want it).
While the gumbo is cooking, take this time to make your brown rice. Add 1 ½ cups of rice (I prefer medium-grain brown rice) to 3 cups of boiling water. Add a dash of salt, reduce heat to a low simmer, and cook with the lid ajar for about 30 minutes.
Once the gumbo has thickened up, remove it from the heat and add the final spices. Add smoked paprika, black pepper and dried thyme. Stir well, season to taste, and serve over brown rice.