Classic Garbure 8.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

DIY Pressure Canning Jan 28, 2015

This thick souplike stew or stewlike soup is said to be done when a ladle "stands in the pot." Use any combination of root vegetables, but be sure to include a potato for the way it contributes to the texture of the final dish. Stir in the beans in the end to keep them whole, or earlier if you want them to integrate into the broth.

If your refrigerator includes the heel of a country ham, a ham bone, a chicken carcass or other flavoring ingredients, add them along with the bacon to flavor the broth. If you prefer a vegetarian garbure, begin the recipe with the next step, adding the garlic and herb bundle to the vegetables, then proceed.

A salad of bitter greens and a bold red wine are perfect accompaniments.

Make Ahead: The garbure can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; freezing it is not recommended.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8 servings

  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 1 stem rosemary
  • 10 stems flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 ounces thick-sliced smoked bacon, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, plus 1 large clove, crushed for the bread
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 leeks, white and light-green parts only, cut into 2-inch pieces and cleaned well
  • 2 medium onions, cut into quarters
  • 3 medium carrots, scrubbed well and into 2-inch chunks
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 3 small turnips, trimmed and cut into quarters
  • 1 medium parsnip, trimmed and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 small savoy cabbage, quartered, cored and sliced in ribbons
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt, or more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns, or more as needed
  • 2 pints (32 ounces) pressure-canned borlotti, cannellini or other white beans (see related recipe)
  • 4 duck confit leg quarters, at room temperature (optional)
  • 8 thick slices country bread, stale or lightly toasted, for serving

Related Recipes


Use kitchen twine to tie together the thyme, rosemary and parsley stems.

Toss the herb bundle in a 6-quart or larger Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed soup pot, along with the bacon, 2 cloves of the garlic and the water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low; cover and cook for 30 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally, while you prep the vegetables.

Add the leeks, onion, carrots, celery, turnips, parsnip, cabbage and potato to the pot. Season with the salt and pepper. Stir well and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat; cook uncovered for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Discard the herb bundle (plus any bones or inedible pieces of meat that have been used to flavor the soup). Chop any other meat into bite-size pieces and return them to the pot as needed.

Stir in the beans and any liquid from the jars they were in. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring a few times.

If you're using the duck confit, crisp the duck legs skin side down in a skillet over medium-high heat; this will take about 8 minutes. When the skin has crisped well, turn and heat through, about 5 minutes more. Remove from the pan; if desired, bone the duck, shred the meat and chop the crispy skin.

Rub the slices of country bread with the garlic, then place a slice in each wide, shallow bowl for serving. Ladle a generous amount of the garbure over each one. Top with the crisped duck confit, if using. Serve hot.

Rate it

Recipe Source

From Cathy Barrow, author of "Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year-Round Preserving" (Norton, 2014).

Tested by Cathy Barrow.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at