Twelve Months of Monastery Soups
by Victor-Antoine D'Avila-Latourrette
1 pound navy beans
4 quarts water
2 leeks, cut julienne style
2 turnips, sliced
1 small carrot, sliced
1 small cabbage, coarsely chopped
20 green beans
6 potatoes, peeled and left whole
bouquet garni (1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs thyme, and 4 sprigs parsley, tied together and removed before serving)
6 sweet Italian sausages
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 pound salt pork (bacon fat)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Soak the navy beans overnight or at least for several hours. Drain and rinse them. Wash and prepare the vegetables. Pour water into a large soup pot and add all the vegetables except the potatoes, bouquet garni (bay leaf, thyme, parsley tied together), and garlic. Cover the pot and cook the soup slowly over low-medium heat for about 1 l/2 hours. Add more water as necessary.
2. Add the whole potatoes, herbs, sausages, garlic and bacon fat and continue cooking slowly for another hour and 15 minutes. At this point, taste the seasonings and add salt and pepper. (It may need very little salt because of the salt pork). Take out the whole potatoes, sausage, and pork and keep them in a warm place. Simmer the soup for 15 minutes, remove the bouquet garni, and then serve it hot, accompanied by slices of French bread.
3. After the soup, serve the potatoes and the sausages on a separate plate (1 for each person), accompanied by a fresh green salad and more slices of French bread (you may pour some vinaigrette over the potatoes).
Garbure should be served at the table steaming hot, and it should be accompanied by plenty of French bread and red wine.
Excerpted from TWELVE MONTHS OF MONASTERY SOUPS by Victor D'Avila-Latourrette Copyright© 1998 by Brother Victor-Antoine d'Avila-Latourrette. Excerpted by permission of Broadway, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.