Melissa Bastian's Gumbo Z!

These are trees.  Do not eat them.
Per a request on the Vegan New Orleans community page, I am sharing my recipe for Gumbo Z'herbes (green gumbo).  It's loosely based on the recipe by the illustrious Kittee Berns of Cake Maker to the Stars fame.  Gumbo Z is a dish traditionally eaten during lent here in Nola, but it's a hearty soup and a great way to use up greens from, say, a CSA box.  Whatever greens you use, make sure there's an odd number of them for luck.  :)

Melissa Bastian's Gumbo Z!

-a really big freakin soup pot
-a nonstick frying pan
-a long wooden spoon
-a nonstick-safe whisk
-an immersion blender (you can also use a food processor or regular blender / vitamix, but it'll be a lil harder!)

-four different large bunches of greens plus a small box of baby spinach (any greens will do - I've used turnip greens, kale, beet greens, collards, dandelion, you name it.  One of the bunches should be parsley though!)
-10 to 12 cups of water, depending on how thick you want your soup
-1/3 cup vegetable oil
-1/3 cup flour
-one large onion, chopped
-2 to 3 tablespoons chopped garlic (more if you like)
-3 spears chopped celery
-1 tablespoon of Tony Chachere's original seasoning salt
-1 tablespoon salt
-1 tablespoon liquid smoke
-Tabasco sauce

-Clean and coarsely cut your greens - remove any very big stems.
-Put your water in the big soup pot and bring it to a boil.
-Put the greens in the boiling water and let cook down.
-While your greens are boiling, make your roux:
  • Put the oil in your nonstick skillet and heat to medium-high.
  • Once the oil is hot, slowly add in your flour (take about a minute to add it all, stirring constantly with your whisk!).
  • Stand there and stir it CONSTANTLY.  For the first five or so minutes, you'll be like, why am I doing this?  And then suddenly it will take on a whole new consistency.  Keep cooking your roux until it's a nice blonde or very light caramel color.
  • Once it's the right color, add in your chopped onion, garlic, and celery.  cook while stirring for about another five minutes.
-Your greens should be pretty well boiled down and soft by now.  Add your roux, Tony's, salt, and liquid smoke to the soup pot.
-Let everything simmer together in the soup pot for about 15 minutes.
-Then, CAREFULLY use your immersion blender to puree everything in the pot.  It will take a lil while.  (If you're using a food processor or blender, you may need to let the soup cool for a little while so that it's safe to pour.  This will not hurt your soup; it is just annoying.)
-Once everything is pureed (and you've brought the soup back up to simmering if you had to take it out of the pot), add the box of baby spinach.  This will give your soup a nice, green-ey texture.
-Continue simmering everything together for 30 to 45 minutes.  Once it's all cooked, add Tabasco sauce to taste.  (Don't even talk to me about Crystal.)
-Serve hot or chilled, over rice or not.  (My favorite is over baked brown rice!)

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to try this! I've never made gumbo before!


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