Gumbo, a peppery chicken or meat stew, is a mainstay of Creole cooking. The traditional preparation is thickened with okra of filé powder and thickened further and flavored with a browned flour mixture called roux.
Bay leaf, the dried leaf of the bay laurel tree native to the Mediterranean, adds pungent flavor to soups, stews, dried bean dishes and more. Along with parsley and thyme, bay leaf is a component of the classic French seasoning blend known as bouquet garni. Because the edges are sharp, bay leaf should be removed before the soup is served.
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