Sunday Night Soups: Crab And Okra Gumbo For Brian 'Smoochy' Billick

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12 live small hard-shelled crabs or 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over

4 tablespoons butter

2 rounded tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 pound okra, rinsed, stemmed and chopped into rounds

1/2 cup diced tasso, or country ham

14- to 16-ounce can tomatoes, including the juice

1 diced green bell pepper

4 garlic cloves, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt

2 bay leaves

1 thyme sprig

2 tablespoons chopped celery leaves

Cayenne, to taste

1 tablespoon filé powder (usually available with spices at good supermarkets)

Cooked white rice

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