This week I’m cooking “Green Gumbo” or “gumbo z’herbes.” What is “Green Gumbo?” It is a thick, flavorful soup traditionally served in Louisiana Catholic homes during Lent. On Fridays during Lent, a meatless version of gumbo is made by omitting meat and chicken and substituting vegetable broth or water for chicken stock. On Holy Thursday before Easter, a generous amount of meat (usually sausage, smoked ham) is added to the gumbo. As many types of greens that a person can find are added to the soup (but always an odd number of greens). The greens are symbolic and for every green added to the soup, you will find a new friend in the coming year. The greens add a zesty, peppery flavor to this gumbo. With smoked ham, sausage and chicken broth for flavor and with Tabasco sauce for zip, this very tasty version of gumbo is worthy of being served any time of the year.Continue reading
Years ago, I visited a friend on Christmas Eve night since I was not returning to my family gathering in Virginia over the holidays. My friend served “Chicken and Sausage Gumbo.” How interesting, I mused, to serve a simple soup on this special occasion. Since that dinner, I have eaten gumbo at other Christmas Eve night celebrations. And I have learned that gumbo holds a very reverend traditional place in Cajun and Creole families on Christmas Eve. I am attempting to reproduce my friend’s gumbo — a deep colored, flavorful soup with chicken and sausage. It was, by far, one of the best gumbos that I have ever eaten.