Lemony Gumbo Z’herbes

Source: food52.com


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
  • 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped 
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery, preferably the innermost ribs (reserve the leaves for later) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne 
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced 
  • 4 cups water, vegetable stock, or chicken stock 
  • 2 pounds assorted greens: collards, turnips, beets, mustard, chard, kale, or spinach, coarsely chopped 
  • All the celery leaves from your head of celery, finely chopped 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped 
  • 2 bay leaves (preferably fresh) 
  • Juice of one lemon 
  • Fruity olive oil, for serving 
  • 1 scallion, white and light green parts only, finely chopped 
  • Cooked white or brown rice, for serving
  • 1-2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (leave out if you want this to be vegetarian) 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 
  • 2 small links smoked andouille sausage, cut into small pieces (optional)   
  • Filé powder (optional) 
  • Hot sauce, such as Tabasco (optional) 


Serves 4

In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions, celery, bell pepper, and salt. Sauté it, stirring occasionally, until softened, but not browned. Stir in garlic and let it sweat with the other vegetables for a minute or two. Add water or stock to the Dutch oven. Raise heat until it comes to just below boiling. Add greens and celery leaves a little at a time until they are all wilted into the soup. Add thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves. Halve and juice a lemon, and put both lemon halves into the soup. Add 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (if using).

Reduce the heat to low and simmer the soup, uncovered, for at least 1 hour, up to 3 hours. The vegetables will become mushy and the soup will be very green. This is what you’re going for. Taste and add the salt, freshly ground black pepper, and more Worcestershire sauce to your taste. Fish out the bay leaves and the lemon halves and discard them. Stir in the andouille sausage (if using).

To serve, place a scoop of rice into a bowl, pour soup over the rice, and add about a teaspoon of olive oil on the top. Sprinkle with scallions. Pass around the filé powder and hot sauce to use if desired.