ffwd – garbure from the supermarket

For our French Friday challenges, I really do try not to research what any other participants have found – I’m always hoping that I can make it, decide for myself… and then have my mind completely changed by all of the fabulous cooks in our group.

I have to admit that I did see a few comments about this dish. So I did take a bit of advice. I cut the recipe in half. And then was still worried about how much I’d be making. All the while, I was looking at using 1 carrot, 2 parsnips, a small handful of fingerlings and an onion, for a dish purporting to feed 10 (to be fair, the original is designed to feed 10, but probably lumberjacks after a hard day’s work). I had a bit of a time getting my head around the whole idea. But I made a couple of decisions – I’d stick with just pork (and so used boneless country spare ribs), and not add all of the sausages. I also wasn’t using the uber-traditional duck confit, so did add some thyme and a bay leaf (which I’d normally do for a bean soup). The one thing that threw me off (and kept me there) was the 1/2 cup (!) of dried beans. This isn’t a far cry from a soup I would typically make, so the quantity of beans was a real departure. I would have thought, um, half a pound.

Pork gets well browned, and then the aromatics get their turn.



I debated, and then I debated, and debated again – I had thought about putting this in the crock pot, but then re-read the recipe. In the end, after prepping all of the ingredients in the evening, I put them into the refrigerator, then put it all together in the crock pot in the morning just before work. I hoped that the chilled ingredients would slow down the process so that the nine hours I would be gone would loosely translate to the few hours in the recipe.

What did I use? I used dried lima beans (I like to use them in a similar soup), I did use some crushed red pepper, black pepper in addition to the aforementioned thyme and bay. For stock, I used some of Penzey’s ham soup base (it’s really great, especially for something like split pea soup, or where you want the flavor but not the meat). I did add some of the cabbage, but my pot was getting a bit full.


When I got home, it smelled divine, and I was pleased that my vegetables didn’t fall apart as I feared. But there was a lot of broth. Not surprisingly, the different types of vegetables were fairly few and far between as were the beans. All of that said, with just a little salt and a bit more pepper, this had delicious flavor. To me, it seemed more like a boiled dinner (not something I’ve ever really had much of), but all of the components were tasty, including the pork, which could have easily been overdone but wasn’t.


I’m not sure what this was really supposed to look like, mine certainly didn’t resemble the recipe, but it was tasty, and certainly if I were somewhere cold and blustery, it would be even better. We’ll certainly finish it off, with some home-made bread this time. And I was happy that the technique I tried worked.

If you’d like to see how others completed this recipe, you can find their links here.

13 thoughts on “ffwd – garbure from the supermarket

  1. If I were at home I might have given my crock pot a try, but no crock pot where I’m staying! I think yours looks very good…glad you enjoyed it! We really enjoyed this one…would definitely make it again!

  2. Yes, this was definitely sized for lumberjacks. I wish I’d done it in the crockpot. Not so much tending. In the end, it was delicious though. I like the sound of your version. I love recipes that are so adaptable. I guess this isn’t as perfect for Arizona’s weather as it is for what we’ve got going in the Northeast. Have a great weekend!

  3. This was definitely slow cooker-fare. Remember this is a classic garbure (with meat added) and French women did not have crockpots in those days. The horror of it in modern times! I halved the recipe and doubled the beans. Unfortunately I could not find a ham bone at Cambria’s Cookie Crockery (a cute name for a grocery store). I would have loved to have Pensey’s ham soup base. Although I brought most of my Pensey spices with me for the winter, my soup bases were in the fridge and couldn’t be transported. But, I’ve never had the ham version so will order that when I get home. Thanks for the tip. Even with a half-portion I am eating soup every single day – 4 days and counting. But, it’s good.

  4. I debated using the slow cooker, but decided against since this was the first time making. Next time for sure. Made the whole batch but didn’t think of using another type of pork. The use of the boneless rib meat. Lots of flavor there.

  5. I am glad it all worked for you and that you had a delicious dinner to come home to.
    It is such a pleasure to not worry about what to cook after working all day. Have a wonderful weekend.

  6. Probably because of the weather we have been having (cold and comfort food needed) but stockpots have come into my conversations a lot lately. I wish I had just used one to try this recipe. So glad that you did and that you reported back. The way to go big time. And thanks for including info about the Penzeys ham soup base- I really want to try it the next time I go there. My soup had very little (but just enough to cover the meats) liquid but I think the cabbage head I added might have been a bit on the big side. Live and learn.

  7. It’s good to know this works in the crock pot. Maybe I’ll go that route when I get ’round to this one. I’m glad you enjoyed this, even though you didn’t have any lumberjacks on hand to share it with!

  8. I do the same thing – I try not to read anyone’s posts until I have made a recipe and written my own post. I want my opinion to be my own! I was wondering if this would work in a crock pot. I am glad to know it does. One thing I liked about this recipe is that everyone made it their own way.

  9. mine was more like yous, a thinner broth, not quite as thick but i couldnt find any leeks or shallots so that might have something to do with it. 🙂 at least it was tasty!

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