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Kate Hill's Garbure


Soups Soups & Stews

(Photo: Tim Clinch)

From Kate: "Consider garbure as the Gascon lagniappe, that little something
extra that a shopkeeper gives a good customer. Garbure can be made
on its own or it can be the perfect use for leftovers after making a
good and generous cassoulet. (I always seem to have a few beans left
in my cassole at the end of a good cassoulet, so it’s a perfect place to
begin a quick version of this classic Béarnaise dish.) Or just toss some
soaked or fresh beans in the broth as it starts to cook; the beans will
be done by the time your garbure is done.
Garbure is neither soup nor stew and not baked in an oven. But it
shares the same elements of a cassoulet, with the addition of some
more vegetables: turnips, leeks, potatoes, and a curly green Savoy
cabbage. More vegetable than meat, this warming, thick soup gets
a leg of confit stirred in at the end to enrich the broth. Serve garbure
in a wide soup plate over a slice of rustic bread that has been rubbed
with garlic. It will transport you straight to your grandmother’s
kitchen… that is, if your grandmother lives in Southwest France."

Recipe from Cassoulet: A French Obsession by Kate Hill (Rancho Gordo Press, 2015)

QUANTITY: Serves 6.
Timing: 30 minutes to chop and prepare; 1.5 hours to cook.

Total time: 2 hours.

400 g (14 oz) ventrèche demi-sel*
cut into large chunks, about 3 cm (1 in) wide
2 leeks cut into knuckle-size pieces
2 carrots peeled and cut into big chunks
2 onions peeled and coarsely chopped
2 turnips peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves peeled and chopped
100 g (4 oz) Rancho Gordo Cassoulet or other white beans, soaked overnight
1 bouquet garni (made of several bay leaves, celery, or lovage leaves, parsley stalks, and, fresh or dried thyme, tied with string or placed in cheesecloth bag
coarse sea salt & whole black peppercorns
4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 savoy cabbage, cored, halved, and cut into strips
confit de canard, 1 leg or a couple of wings,, with some duck fat
pain de campagne or other rustic loaf; 1 thick slice per serving
grating cheese (optional)

1. Place the ventrèche, leeks, carrots, onions, turnips, garlic, and beans in
a lidded soup pot and cover with 2 liters (2 quarts) of fresh water. Add the
bouquet garni, a spoonful of salt, and a dozen peppercorns.
2. Cover, place over high heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer
for about 1 hour.
3. Add the potatoes and cabbage; cook 45 minutes more.
4. Add the confit de canard and a little of the duck fat and continue cooking
for 10 minutes.

5. Toast the bread, if you like, and place each slice in a wide bowl or soup
plate. Remove the ventrèche and confit from the soup and serve on a hot
plate. Ladle the soup over the bread and pass the meat at the table.
Alternately, you can place all the bread in a wide oven-proof bowl; ladle
the soup and vegetables over it, sprinkle it with a hard grating cheese
place in a hot oven until brown. Serve immediately.

* Fresh pork belly that has been salted for about 2 hours before using;
alternately you can use just fresh pork belly, cured bacon, ham hock, or
ends of ham.

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