Gumbo Z’Herbes for #SundaySupper

A bowl of steaming greens in a creamy roux is what warms my soul. As the warm days seep away, an array of cool-weather greens comprise a magical soup with a name that I love to say out loud with Southern attitude: Gumbo Z’Herbes. The “Z” slides into the “H” and although it sounds a bit funny, there is nothing laughable about this vegan version of Gumbo Z’Herbes. Traditionally, Gumbo Z’Herbes contains lard and bacon or pork brisket, but this vegan version highlights the greens, which are organic and flavorful on their own–with help from from aromatics–onions, garlic, leeks–and vegetable broth instead of water. 
I’m happy to feature this gumbo for this week’s Sunday Supper theme, “Soul Warming Dishes.” My fellow Sunday Supper bloggers are also featuring their best dishes to warm you up. After the recipe for Gumbo Z’Herbes, see the blog list for soul-warming dishes for every taste.
Recipe: Gumbo Z’Herbes

1/2 pound collard greens
1/2 pound turnip greens
1/2 pound kale
1/2 pound Swiss chard
1/2 pound dandelion greens
1 medium yellow onion, minced
1 small leek, white end sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons basil-infused grape-seed oil (or plain grape seed oil)
3 tablespoons unbleached, unbromated flour
1 32-ounce container of vegetable broth (reserve 1/2 cup)
1 red pepper, diced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1-1/2 teaspoons gumbo file (crushed sassafras leaves)
salt and cracked pepper to taste
2 scallions, green parts diced

  1. Clean and rinse greens and cut or tear into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Spoon flour into a 3-quart pot (or larger) and add oil. Over medium heat, stir flour and oil to pot and heat until flour and oil browns to a caramel color. 
  3. Pour vegetable broth into browned flour and oil and whisk to remove clumps. Set aside.
  4. Saute onions, garlic, leeks, and bell pepper in oil over medium heat in a medium skillet or saute pan. Add sauteed vegetables to pot.
  5. Add the reserved, 1/2 cup of vegetable broth and the gumbo file to the pot. Add the red pepper flakes. 
  6. Add the collards, turnip, and kale and pour in the remaining broth.
  7. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and cook greens over medium heat for 20 minutes until greens sweat and lose half their volume.
  8. Add the Swiss chard and dandelion greens, cover the pot, and continue cooking greens for an additional 20 minutes. 
  9. Season the greens to your taste with the salt and cracked pepper. Taste greens for doneness and cook for an additional 10 minutes if any needed.
Join the Sunday Supper group all day today on Twitter by using the hashtag #SundaySupper. At 7 p.m. ET, join the weekly Twitter live chat. Share your own “Soul Warming” recipes on the group’s Pinterest Board.    
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  1. says

    I am seriously loving all the greens you have in the gumbo. I’ve never thought of a vegan or vegetarian gumbo and this makes me want some right now. Beautiful dish.

  2. says

    OMGoodness … I can practically feel the health benefits of those greens jumping off the page and into my blood stream. And ooooh … the wonderful flavor combinations! I have one (dumb) question … I’ve never used gumbo file before … when, in the cooking process, should it be added? Thank you so much for sharing another vegan dish … I can’t wait to try this out! :-)

  3. says

    Wow! You have combined 5 of our favorite greens! We’re going to feature this on our Facebook page and link here so people can see how you made it. If you wish, come LIKE us on Facebook for more recipes and tips on greens like kale, chard, beet, mustard, turnip, collard, escarole, dandelion and other healthy green leafies.

    –Your friendly Southern California farmers at Cut `n Clean Greens


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