Garbure (gahr-burr) is a classic, very thick meat and vegetable soup from the Basque country of France. Traditionally, especially in the neighbouring Bearnais district, pickled goose is added to the soup. Our adaptation is a somewhat simplified version of the original but loses none of its fine flavour. Served with lots of crusty bread and a tossed salad, it makes an excellent and sustaining main meal.
1 ham bone
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon hot chilli powder large bay leaf pints chicken stock 1 pint beef stock medium-sized green cabbage, coarse outer leaves removed, washed and coarsely shredded large onions, sliced
3 large carrots, scraped and sliced
12 oz. French beans, washed, trimmed and sliced, or
12 oz. frozen French beans 8 oz. frozen petits pois 3 large potatoes, thickly sliced 1 celery stalk, cut into 2-inch slices 1 lb.
French garlic sausage, skinned and thickly sliced croutons, made from day-old white or French bread
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
In a very large flameproof casserole or heavy saucepan, place the ham bone, thyme, salt, chilli powder and bay leaf. Pour in the chicken-and beef stock. Stir well and place the pan over high heat. Bring the stock mixture to the boil, stirring constantly.
Add the cabbage, onions, carrots, beans, peas, potatoes and celery. Bring the soup back to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.
Remove and discard the ham bone and bay leaf. Add the sausage slices and simmer the mixture for a further 20 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and pour the soup into a large warmed soup tureen. Float the croutons on top, sprinkle on the parsley and serve immediately.