Cajun Vegetable Gumbo
2 lbs. greens (collard, mustard, or turnip), washed and stemmed
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/4 cup flour
2 large onions, finely diced
1 green bell pepper, finely diced
4 stalks celery, finely diced
1 16-oz. can plum tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup liquid hot sauce (such as Texas Pete’s)
3 bay leaves
1 tsp. file powder (a Cajun spice)
Cayenne pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. each thyme, oregano, and basil
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 cups vegetable or faux chicken broth
1 10-oz. package frozen okra
1 16-oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups cooked white rice
• Place the greens in a large soup pot with enough water to just cover the greens. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Drain, reserving 2 cups of the cooking water. On a cutting board, coarsely chop the greens and set aside.
• In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk 1/4 cup oil and the flour together and cook, stirring constantly, until the roux is a dark reddish-brown, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
• In the large soup pot, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and sauté the onions, bell pepper, celery, and tomatoes for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are wilted.
• Add the hot sauce, bay leaves, file powder, cayenne, thyme, oregano, basil, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper and cook for 5 minutes.
• Add the roux, vegetable or faux chicken broth, and the reserved greens-cooking water, stirring well to blend in the roux.
• Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Add the cooked collard greens, okra, kidney beans, and rice and cook for 5 minutes.
• Remove the bay leaves and serve warm.
Makes 4 to 6 servings