SOUPE AUX CHOUX — GARBURE [Main-course Cabbage Soup]
This fine and uncomplicated peasant soup is a comforting dish for a cold winter day. In the Basque country, a good cabbage soup must always include a chunk of lard rance, their slightly rancid and much appreciated salt pork; otherwise, the dish is considered to lack distinction. In neighboring Béarn, confit d’oie—preserved goose—is added to the pot to warm up in the soup at the end of its cooking.
Place the water, potatoes, and meat in the kettle and bring it to the boil.
Add the cabbage and all the other ingredients. Simmer partially covered for 1½ to 2 hours or until the meat is tender. Discard parsley bundle. Remove the meat, slice it into serving pieces, and return it to the kettle. Correct seasoning. Skim off accumulated fat. (*) If not to be served immediately, set aside uncovered. Reheat to simmer before serving.