We often offer a soup called Gumbo z’Herbes as our Gumbo du Jour, particularly on days when our Soup du Jour is not vegetarian. People often ask where that name comes from, and I have to confess, I have no idea. However, I do know that Gumbo z’Herbes is a Lenten tradition in and around New Orleans, and it comes down, in essence, to boiled greens smothered in a meatless gumbo.
Down by the Delta, it’s perfectly acceptable, even in Lenten practice, to drop a ham bone in the gumbo and call it meatless. Even though I can endorse this practice as a great way to make gumbo, I’ve found that by adding a little umami to the gumbo base, with extra onion, garlic, tomatoes, and a secret vegetable addition to our stock pot, the ham bone isn’t missed at all. Since we start with a corn oil roux and use a vegetable pot likker as our liquid, what we are left with is a gumbo that is not only vegetarian, but completely vegan, and super savory and satisfying. We steam our greens lightly to keep the texture and taste fresh, and the nutritional content high. Great stuff, and a personal favorite.
Soups & Appetizers
- Spicy Black Bean Soup with Tasso and Creme Fraiche
- Gumbo z’Herbes
- Shrimp Lafourche: Texas Coast wild shrimp in spicy crab meat and mushroom cream, with toasted baguette 10
- Sauteed Wild Striped Sea Bass (Virginia) with celery root puree, and sauce Bonne Femme 22
- Crispy seared duck breast with cornbread & giblet stuffing, wilted greens with crisp bacon, whiskey sauce 22
- Oyster Stew: Gulf oysters stewed in organic cream with tasso, trinity, and white wine, with Parmesan toast and grilled frisee 18
- Peacemaker: Fried Oysters on baguette with remoulade slaw, home made pickles, grape tomatoes, and hand-cut fries 14