Aunt Suzy says . . .

I saw this Jacques Pepin recipe in Food & Wine recently and thought I’d try it.  It got me curious about Garbure, so I looked it up and saw that it’s basically a stew made with smoked meat and a variety of winter vegetables and served with a hearty bread – either poured over the bread or accompanied by it.  Like many peasant  dishes, there are lots of variations on how this stew is made.  My recipe builds on the versions I saw, but is not true to any one in particular.  One day I will try making this with the duck (or goose) confit I saw in many recipes, but not today! I had already done my shopping before seeing dishes with that ingredient.  In the middle of cooking this, I realized that it is a very similar in ingredients to the Old World Turkey Vegetable soup I posted in December of 2010.  The wine pairing recommendation from Jacques is a Beaujolais.  One thing that all the recipes stated was that a tradition is to pour half a glass of red wine onto the last few bites of the stew – called “a chabrot” – as a way to finish the meal.  We weren’t wowed by this :-).   (I am chuckling about my photo – one of the recipes said that this stew was definitely not photogenic!  No matter the looks – it’s a tasty bowl of comfort.)


1  1/2 cups dried cannellini or borlotti beans, picked over and rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups diced smoked meat (ham hocks, ham or smoked turkey – I used smoked turkey)
1 large leek, white and pale green parts only, thoroughly washed and sliced in ¼-inch half rounds
1 medium onion, diced
1 large celery rib, cut in ¼-inch slices
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into ¼-inch pieces
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 quart chicken stock or low sodium broth
1 quart water
Bouquet garnis of 5 sprigs each parsley and thyme, tied with kitchen string
2 bay leaves
2 whole cloves
2 medium red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled and cut into ½ -inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into ½ -inch pieces
1/2 medium head Savoy cabbage, cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Hearty bread and gruyere cheese for serving

Place the beans in a pot and add water to cover by 3 inches. Let stand overnight or use the quick soak method (bring the beans in the water to a boil, turn off the heat and let stand for 1-2 hours).  Drain before adding to the soup.

Coat the bottom of a large stock pot or Dutch oven with the olive oil and heat to medium high. Sauté the leek, onion, celery, carrot and meat for about 10 minutes, until soft and just starting to brown. Add the garlic and sauté another minute or two.




Add the liquid, along with the soaked beans, bouquet garnis, bay leaves and whole cloves. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer covered for 45 minutes.  Remove the bouquet garnis.



Add the potatoes, parsnip and cabbage, bring to a boil again and simmer for another 20 minutes covered until the vegetables are tender.  Remove the lid and simmer for 20-30 minutes to thicken to a stew.

Serving options:  You can serve the stew with slices of bread on the side.  Or you can toast the bread and place in the middle of the bowl and pour the stew over it.  You can toast the bread and melt the cheese on top of it.  You can place this on top of a bowl of stew or place in the bowl and pour the stew over.  It seems the most common way of serving in all the recipes I reviewed was to pour the soup over the bread (with or without the melted cheese).

Aunt Suzy says . . .

This recipe from Stephanie Meyer of Fresh Tart showed up in my Facebook feed at just the right time.  I had just made 5 quarts of turkey stock and had leftover turkey and many other ingredients on hand.  Plus, it was 9 degrees out – perfect for a hearty soup.  I added the term “old world” because it has many ingredients that fall into that category to me  – cabbage, turnip, potatoes, polish sausage, etc.  This is my riff on her original recipe, which used chicken/chicken stock.  This soup is slightly sweet, so I recommend serving it with a sour, hearty bread and sweet cream butter.  I’ll mention for you Minneapolitans that pictured is the Miche loaf from Rustica – a perfect complement!

1 medium onion, diced

1 leek, thoroughly rinsed and sliced (white part)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

8 cups turkey stock

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

1 medium turnip, diced

2 russet potatoes, diced

2 smoked sausages*, sliced

1 cup shredded cabbage

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 can great northern beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup (or so) cooked turkey, diced

salt and pepper to taste

Coat the bottom of a dutch oven with the oil and bring to medium-high heat.  Add the onion and leek, turn the heat down to medium and saute for about 5 minutes until soft.  Add the garlic and saute 2 minutes more until fragrant.  Add the stock, bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 1 hour, covered.  Add the carrots, turnip, potatoes, sausage, cabbage and thyme and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered, till vegetables are done and liquid is reduced.  I recommend that you check after 20 minutes to make sure that you don’t overcook the vegetables.  Add the beans, turkey, salt and pepper and heat to serving temperature.  This can be made ahead and reheated, but it won’t freeze well because of the potatoes.

*The recipe called for polish sausage.  I had chicken andouille sausage on hand so used it.  I think any smoked sausage would work well with this soup.

Aunt Suzy says . . .

What do you do when you’ve got a rosemary plant going wild like this?  Make this standout soup!  This is another recipe from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, which is so delicious it’s tied for first on my list of favorite homemade soups with the Chipotle-Lime Soup with Pumpkin.  Whichever one I’m eating at the moment is my favorite :-).   A nice Pinot Grigio or Soave works well as a wine pairing.

Margaux says . . .

This is one of my favorite soups to make in the winter!  Although, I’ve already made it this year, and it wasn’t even really cold out yet!  I double the pasta amount, and serve it with a lot of pasta in the bottom of the bowl in order to make it even heartier.  That also stretches the soup further, which is good when you’re on a budget! 

The Rosemary Oil

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh or dried rosemary

2 garlic cloves, sliced

Slowly warm the above ingredients until the garlic begins to color – about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.

The Soup

2 cups dried cannellini beans or 2 15-ounce cans

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary OR  2 teaspoons dried rosemary

1 onion, minced

2 carrots, finely diced

1 celery stalk, finely diced

5 garlic cloves, sliced

1/3 cup chopped parsley

2 1/2-3 quarts filtered water or chicken stock

1 parmesan rind, optional

1 small can diced tomatoes or 1 cup diced fresh tomatoes and their juice

To make with dried beans: Brine the beans by dissolving 2 tablespoons salt in 3 quarts of water in a saucepan. Add the beans, bring to a boil, turn off heat and let rest for 1 hour. Heat the oil with the rosemary in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrots and celery and cook until the onion is softened and beginning to brown a little – about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and parsley and cook until fragrant – a couple of minutes.

Drain the beans, rinse well and add them to the pot along with the liquid  and optional parmesan rind.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat, then simmer covered until the beans have begun to soften – 30 min-1 hour.  Add 2 teaspoons salt and the tomatoes and continue cooking for 30 minutes more or until the beans are cooked through but not mushy.


To make with canned beans:  After cooking the vegetables, add the beans and tomatoes along with the liquid and optional parmesan rind.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer 30 minutes.

Aunt Suzy’s Cook’s Notes:  For years I made this with canned beans. But after reading about brining dried beans before cooking, I have been making many of my bean based soups using this method. It also helps that I am now retired and have plenty of time to cook. 🙂 I also use fire roasted diced tomatoes, although this is great with plain diced. I always make this with chicken stock, but it can be made vegetarian with water or vegan by omitting the cheese that comes in the next step.  Originally this did not call for the parmesan rind, but I’ve also been using a rind in many of the soups we make here at S&SK. If you like a brothy soup, leave as is.  If you like a thicker soup, you can puree part of the soup, to your taste.  This makes a lot of soup, so you can put any extra in the freezer as this soup freezes very well.

Finishing and Serving the Soup

1 cup or more dried small pasta – elbow macaroni, shells, rotini, cavatappi, etc.

Thin shavings of Parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta al dente according to directions.  Strain the rosemary oil.  Place a little pasta in the bottom of soup bowls.  We loved this pasta (new to us), Fusilli Bucati, which had a great texture and mouth appeal!

Ladle the soup over the pasta, drizzle a little rosemary oil on top, pepper to taste and top with the Parmesan cheese.

Serve with crusty bread. Check out Randy’s idea for the garlic and rosemary used to create the oil.   I didn’t try it, but he said it was delicious, so don’t discard these after straining the oil.

Aunt Suzy says . . .

I’m not sure how I happened on the cooking blog Greens and Chocolate, but this recipe looked so good that it propelled me to the farmers market the very next day to get the fresh ingredients needed to make it.  I’m crazy for soup lately!   This may not be a “traditional” approach to minestrone, but I liked the idea of using two of my favorite ingredients – kale and winter squash.  It did not disappoint.   We served with baguette and Valpolicella – delicious!  NOTE:  see the original recipe above  for instructions for making this soup in a slow cooker.

The Squash

1 small butternut squash

Slice the squash in 3/4-inch slices, removing seeds from the bottom portion of the squash.  Brush lightly with oil.  Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  Do not overcook.  Cool, peel and cut into cubes.  You will use 3 or so cups of cubed squash in the soup.  If you have excess, set aside for another use.   NOTE:  This step was not part of the original recipe, but I got the idea from the method used in the Chipotle-Lime Soup with Pumpkin.  I think baking the squash first adds more flavor and substance.  But, you could skip this step and just cube the fresh squash and add 3 cups of cubes to the soup base with the beans if you’re short on time.

The Soup Base

2 celery stalks, finely diced

2 carrots, finely diced

1 white or yellow onion, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried or 2 teaspoons fresh chopped sage

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped

5 – 7 cups vegetable broth or chicken stock (depending on how thick or brothy you like your soup)

1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes, not drained, or 1 1/2 cups chopped oven roasted tomatoes with juice

1 fresh bay leaf

Parmesan rind (optional)

2 (15 ounce) cans cannelini beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 can cannelini and one can red kidney)

Cover the bottom of a Dutch oven or soup pot with a thin film of olive oil and heat to medium.  Saute the celery, onion and carrot until soft, 5-7 minutes.  Add the garlic and herbs and saute for 2-3 more minutes.  Add the broth, tomatoes and their juices, the bay leaf, the parmesan rind and beans. (I used 6 cups chicken stock.)  Simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Add the cubed squash.  This step can be done a day or two ahead of time.  Refrigerate if you are not moving on to the next step immediately.   NOTE:  You can also add cooked chicken or slices of a flavorful, fully cooked chicken sausage, like tomato-basil.

Completing/Serving the Soup

1 large bunch kale, destemmed, rinsed and chopped

1 cup small pasta like macaroni or ditalini, cooked al dente (whole wheat recommended)

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

grated Parmesan cheese for serving

Wash and chop the kale.  I used Lacinato (also called Dino) kale.  Regular kale would work well also, but I think a large bunch would be overwhelming in quantity.

Bring the soup base to a bubble and add the kale.  Bring back to a bubble, then turn down heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove the Parmesan rind and the bay leaf.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta al dente.  If you will use the entire quantity of soup immediately, add the pasta to the soup.  If not, put a serving of pasta into the bottom of each soup bowl and ladle the soup on top.  Either way, top with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!