Garbure is the old French way of making a soup out of greens, white beans, and stew meat. This Creole Garbure is from Maylie’s Restaurant and adapted from the recipe of Mme. Esparbé.
I like to think of this on some level as liquid cassoulet because it’s a variation on the theme of white navy beans and seasoning meat. The original preparations in France used preserved duck or goose confit instead of the ham hock that has become common in Louisiana.
It’s a winter dish so it’s going to have dark greens like kale or collards or cabbage (or all three) and whatever else strikes your fancy. As is the case with all soups, amounts of the vegetables are somewhat fungible. You might have only kale or only cabbage, that’s ok. Use this as a guide and scour the fridge for leftovers to include. Make sure the seasoning meat be it pork or poultry is on the bone. This makes for a silkier and more nutritious broth. The potato chunks should be on the large side if you want them to hold up during reheating.
- 1 pork shank (also called ham hock) about 1 lb.
- 1 lb. andouille, grilled & sliced into half rounds or quarters
- 1½ cups small white navy beans, soaked in water for 30 minutes
- 1 large bunch kale
- 1 cup chopped green cabbage
- 1 medium diced onion (white or yellow)
- 3 small cloves garlic, diced
- 2 medium carrots, scraped & diced large
- 2 sprigs thyme (or 1 tsp. dried thyme)
- 3 cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp. cayenne pepper (or red pepper flakes)
- 2 cups peeled & diced potatoes about 1" in size
- chopped parsley for garnish
- Simmer the shank in 6 cups of water for about an hour.
- Fry the onion & garlic in a little butter or oil till clear, about five minutes. Set aside.
- Cut up the andouille and fry in a skillet until browned. Remove and drain on paper towels and set aside.
- Remove the central membrane and stems from the kale and shred. Boil for a few minutes in water, then discard the water. This eliminates the bitterness.
- Now add the soaked beans, vegetables, thyme, cloves, and bay leaf to the ham broth. Add the drained kale and chopped cabbage.
- Simmer on a very low heat for an hour and a half. Add the potato dice and cooked andouille about 20 minutes before serving.
- Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with garlic bread.
You may substitute a can of white beans if you like.
You can substitute for the onion, one half diced onion and two diced leeks.
Also optional is a teaspoon of juniper berries.