The south-west of France has its traditional garbure. It appears day after day, meal after meal, on the tables of the Béarn and of the Landes. It can be made in many different ways, according to the part of the country and the time of the year, but it always contains certain principal ingredients, which are: pork in some form or other, goose fat, cabbage, beans or potatoes.
Cook the haricot beans in salt water (about half a pound of beans to a large cabbage), having previously soaked them if necessary, then add the cabbage cut in small pieces, a few carrots, and boil on a quick fire. Put in also a ham-bone or a piece of bacon, salt, pepper, a bouquet of parsley, thyme and bay leaf (to be removed with the meat, before serving); add more boiling water when and if necessary, always allowing for reduction. You can put peas instead of haricot beans, or broad beans, or turnips. In fact, the cabbage is the foundation of the garbure, the pork gives it a special flavour, and the beans or potatoes, which should be reduced to a pulp, give it the necessary consistency. The final touch is also very important: a few minutes before serving put in a tablespoonful of goose fat.
At Christmas time Southern French people, having just killed the pig, made their stock of fat, their confits, their hams and their rillons, put into the garbure a piece of the spine of the pig. Apart from the fact that it gives the soup a delicious flavour, the flesh which adheres to it is particularly delicious to eat.