Red Bean Gumbo with Greens


2-3 large bunches greens, stems off

¾ tsp. red pepper flakes


¾ tsp. pepper

1/3 C butter or safflower oil

2 large onions, chopped

½ C chopped parsley

2 bell peppers, in ½ inch pieces

1 ½ tsp. dried thyme

3 celery ribs, chopped

1 ½ tsp. dried oregano

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 T. paprika  

3 C cooked red beans or 2-15 oz cans

3/4 C flour



Cook the greens in a large pot of boiling salted water until they’re tender, about 12 min.  Scoop them out, reserving the water.  Coarsely chop and set aside.  (I cooked the greens in the same water that I cooked the beans in.) 


Meanwhile, make the roux:  In a wide, heavy soup pot, heat the butter or oil over medium-high heat.  Whisk in the flour, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring constantly with a flat wooden spoon, until the roux is dark reddish brown, 10-15 min,.  (This red roux is what gives the gumbo its distinctive rich taste.) 


Stir in the seasonings, then add the vegetables.  Cook for 5 min., then stir in the garlic, 2 ½ tsp. salt, and 2 quarts water or liquid from the greens or beans.  Continue stirring until the liquid comes to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 min. 


Add the beans and greens and cook for 15 min. more.  Season to taste.  Serve with Tabasco sauce on a bed of cooked long grain white rice, with cornbread.