Gumbo Z'Herbes

Stirrin' It Up: Gumbo Z'Herbes (March 29, 2018)

Air date: March 29, 2018

Prep Time: 3 hours

Yields: 8 to 10 servings


Chef Leah Chase, owner of Dooky Chase's Restaurant in New Orleans, has the best recipe in the world for Gumbo Z'Herbes, which she calls Gumbo Des Herbes. Leah, the Queen of Creole Cooking, serves this famous gumbo every Holy Thursday at her restaurant on Orleans Avenue. Throughout time, similar recipes have been called many names, but the main ingredients remain the same.


1 bunch mustard greens

1 bunch collard greens

1 bunch turnip greens

1 bunch watercress

1 bunch beet tops

1 bunch carrot tops

½ head lettuce

½ head cabbage

1 bunch spinach

3 cups diced onions

1 cup diced celery

1 cup diced bell peppers

¼ cup minced garlic

2 gallons water

5 tbsps flour

1 pound Vaucresson's smoked sausage

1 pound smoked ham

1 pound brisket or pork butt, cubed

1 pound beef stew meat

½ tsp thyme leaves

salt and cayenne pepper to taste

1 tbsp filé powder


Clean all greens 2–3 times under cold, running water, making sure to remove bad leaves and to rinse away any soil or grit. Remove large center stem from leaves and discard. Coarsely chop greens. In a 12-quart stockpot, combine greens, onions, celery, bell peppers, garlic, and 2 gallons water and bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to simmer, cover, and cook 30 minutes. Strain greens and reserve liquid. Working in batches, purée greens in a food processor. Transfer puréed mixture into a mixing bowl and continue until all greens are processed. Blend in flour and set aside. Slice all meats into 1-inch pieces and add to stockpot. Add reserved liquid to pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover and cook 30–45 minutes. Strain, reserving meat and stock separately. Into the empty pot, add puréed greens, meat, and just enough reserved stock to create a soup-like consistency. Season to taste with thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring to a low boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to keep greens from sticking. Cook 45 minutes, adding reserved stock or water to retain volume during cooking process. Add filé powder, stir well, and adjust seasonings if necessary. May be served over white rice or enjoyed alone.