Duck and Cabbage Garbure Soup
D'Artagnan | Yield: Serves 8
Garbure is a hearty rustic soup beloved throughout Gascony that combines slow-cooked vegetables of all kinds and savory preserved meats like duck confit, ham, and salt-cured ventrèche. This is French country cooking at its best: deeply nourishing, satisfying – and easy to make.
- 1 tablespoon Duck Fat
- 3 Duck Leg Confit
- 6 ounces Ventrèche (salt-cured pork belly) cut in ½ in squares
- 8 cloves garlic, minced except one
- 1 medium yellow onion, half thinly sliced and half whole, studded with 8 cloves
- 1 celery branch with leaves, minced
- 1 small leek, minced
- 3 tablespoons Duck and Veal Demi-Glace
- 10 cups water
- 3 sprigs parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 medium carrots, cut into big cubes
- 1 large turnip, cut into big cubes
- 6 to 8 leaves of Savoy cabbage
- 1 1⁄2 cups dried Tarbais Beans soaked overnight and drained
- 1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into big cubes
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 slices of toasted country bread
- Heat duck fat in an 8-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the ventrèche, then the duck legs skin side down. Cook, flipping once until meat starts to sizzle, about 2 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic, onion, leek, and celery; cook until translucent and beginning to sear, 2 minutes. Add carrots, the half onion with cloves, the turnip, parsley, and bay leaves. Add water and the 3 tablespoons of demi-glace.
- Bring to a boil. Add the beans; return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, slightly covered, until beans are tender, about an hour. Meanwhile, blanch the cabbage leaves in salted water. Uncover and stir in cabbage, potato, salt, and pepper; cook until vegetables are all tender, about 30 minutes. Discard bay leaves and the half onion with cloves. Rub the toasted slices of bread with the remaining garlic clove, lay one slice of bread in the bottom of each bowl, and ladle soup over them.
- If you want to follow tradition, you will make chabrot: once you have enjoyed all the solids in the soup, keep only a couple of tablespoons of the broth in your bowl. Add about a tablespoon of red wine in it, directly from your glass; swirl, then, with your elbows on the table, lift the bowl to your lips and drink up. You are now, officially, a true Gascon!