garbure from the supermarket {ffwd}

A bowl of garbure

Winter continues… This week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie was just perfect for a cold week! Garbure is a meaty vegetable soup that truly sticks to your ribs. In Southwest France, where this soup hails from, garbure typically includes duck confit. Here in the US, though the ingredient list is long, this version can made from ordinary supermarket ingredients.

This is the kind of soup that’s best prepared on a lazy afternoon. You start by soaking some little white (Navy) beans. Then, you brown a pork shoulder. That’s when I realized my large Dutch oven wasn’t going to be big enough for the batch of soup, so I switched over to the giant stock pot.


A variety of alliums (onion, leek, shallots AND garlic) are sautéed before adding big chunks of carrots, turnips, potatoes, and celery, the browned pork shoulder, a duck leg, the beans and lots of liquid. I used just 1 quart of chicken broth diluted with water because I felt the ingredients would add enough flavor. Oh, and I can’t forget the cabbage, piles of shredded cabbage. This simmers for an hour before adding some sliced sausage.


I’m never quite sure what type of sausage to use when a recipe calls for “garlic sausage”. Is it kielbasa, bratwurst, or something else entirely? Google didn’t help. I found a fresh garlic-herb sausage at Whole Foods, so I used that. Because it wasn’t precooked, I pan-fried it before slicing and adding to the pot. Then, we had to wait for another hour of simmering.

Finally, the pork and duck meat is shredded and added back to the pot. I’m not sure why my pork shoulder didn’t falling apart. Maybe it needed to cook longer? I had to chop the meat into thin strips rather than just shredding it with a fork.

I know that food safety-wise, it’s not a good idea to put a big pot of hot soup into the refrigerator, warming up the rest of the food in there. I followed Howard’s favorite advice for this time of year: “Use the winter!” That means putting the pot out on the porch for a few hours or in the trunk of the car overnight. I opted for the car, though I’ll admit it reeked of cabbage for a couple of days afterwards.

This recipe makes A LOT of soup. We enjoyed it for several satisfying lunches and dinners, and I froze 3 quart-sized containers for later.

I also like this soup’s connection to charcuterie, at least at our house. The pork shoulder was the leftover half from a recent adventure making pork rillettes. And, the optional duck leg called for in the soup was the catalyst for Howard to make another batch of duck confit (his favorite, or should I say my favorite, of his kitchen DIY projects). The duck confit wasn’t ready to use in this soup, but it will be delicious next week served over lentils, a favorite dinner around here.

Thumbs up from both of us. Every spoonful is full of flavor, lots of different flavors. I love ending the month on a winner!

If you want to try this delicious soup, you can find the recipe in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table. To see what the other Doristas thought, check out their links here.

beans in the pot


Posted on 28 February 2014, in French Fridays with Dorie, Soup and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. What a great post! I halved it and left a few meats out, but it was still plenty. That kind of dish (almost a boiled dinner) isn’t typical in my world, but it was delicious, particularly with a slice of home made bread! Happy you enjoyed.

    You two have me intrigued with the rilletes and confit. Never made either.

  2. This was SO flavourful, wasn’t it? I used kielbasa for my sausage, since it was added later on in the cooking. Worked well.

  3. We use our outdoor refrigerator (i.e. the snow banks) all the time this time of year :-) Howard is a smart man…
    I ended up using a smoked Louisiana sausage, just because I already had some.
    A batch of duck confit sound wonderful!

  4. I often use the “winter” for keeping things cold, too! What better use of all that snow! We loved this meal…it was definitely one of my favorites from AMFT!! I used fresh bratwurst, but would have loved to find some French garlic sausage…next time! I love that Howard makes his own Duck confit! I would love to give that a try! Your dinner looks delicious, Betsy…glad you both enjoyed it! Happy Weekend!

  5. Why the heck not, if the outdoors turns into a big refrigerator, you might at well use it.

  6. We loved this one, too…what a coup when both our hubbies are in agreement! LOL about your cabbage scented car :)

  7. teaandscones

    The whole thing almost didn’t fit in my dutch oven. But I had packed away my HUGE pot so I was just careful. LOL on the car!

  8. Betsy, would you do a post on Howard making his duck confit? If you’ve already done this, I missed it. But, I would love to know his technique. I also enjoyed the garbure (over and over and over again) and feel it was especially enhanced by being able to buy all the vegetables at our farmer’s markets. California is spoiling me. Your statement, “I’m never quite sure what type of sausage to use when a recipe calls for “garlic sausage”. Is it kielbasa, bratwurst, or something else entirely.” hit home with me. I didn’t know either. I think our French Fridays team was all over the map with that. I needed choriso a few weeks ago and stumbled with that one also. I hope your winter takes a rest soon. I know it’s been a tough and long one.

  9. I think that is so funny using a car to keep things chilled. When I am preparing my 7 fish meal there are times I need a lot more cold room. Hubby always tells me to use the garage, but God knows what’s out there. The car is perfect, next time. I was just reading
    a recipe for cassoulet and could not believe how long it takes to make one. It must be
    delicious though with all the pork. Have a great weekend, I think we have more snow on the way.

  10. Love the outdoor fridge but I would be afraid where I live that raccoons and fishers would get into. I really think is awesome that your husband makes confit. So glad to hear this was very enjoyable to you too.

  11. Betsy, I’ve never made duck confit but I’ve been thinking about it. I couldn’t find any here and when I was in Dallas the supermarket was out of it but it was $24.99 a pound! The outdoor fridge is one thing I love about winter. At the moment I can’t think of anything else good about it. We have ice and snow and its 12 degrees. That’s cold for an Okie! We enjoyed this and I’m glad you did too.

  12. I am so impressed that Howard can make confit- I was all proud of myself that I even found one at the grocery store :) And that is hilarious (and very , very wise) about “using the winter”. For some reason we tend to only stick bottles of champagne outside in the snow and now that I think of it, we don’t do it nearly often enough ! Unfortunately it is snowing as I write this so I will have many more opportunities. Luckily I still have some garbure- the lovely comfort soup/stew. My shoulder also did not shred and I think the smoking process may have changed its consistency. Yours looks amazing. Stay warm !

  13. I had to switch from my dutch oven to my stockpot half-way through too. I hate when that happens! It never occurred to me to make my own duck confit. That sounds like a really fun project.

  14. I love seeing the different combinations of meats everyone is using. I froze some of our soup too – it will be a nice treat!

  15. It’s great that Howard’s kitchen adventures complement yours so well. It’s good to know that this is a stockpot recipe, rather than a dutch oven one. I’m going to have to make it when I’m feeding a crowd.

  16. Yay! I love the fact that yours turned out very chunky like mine. I adored this flavoursome dish.

  17. I’m glad you had a big stock pot to use! we just nixed ours in jan to use for dying fabrics so we stopped at halfway and kept adding water everyday essentially making the soup bottomless but at least we loved it so it wasnt a problem! :)

    we keep all our canned beverages outside during the winter too which is nice, since we have more room for leftovers that way in the winter months – which we always seem to have since we make lots of soups, stews, chilis and the like :)

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