French pork and cabbage soup

This is hearty peasant food at its best. I like to put a piece of toasted French bread, rubbed with garlic, in each person’s bowl and ladle the soup on top.

1 lb (appx) pork shoulder (Boston butt) cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 lb bacon
6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 coarsely chopped onions (about 2 cups worth).
2 c dry white wine
1 qt pork or beef stock
1 qt water
Boquet garni (a big one!)
1 head of cabbage, shredded.
1 c each cubed turnip, boiling potato, and carrot
1 lb Polish sausage (kielbasa)

For best flavor you want to cook a pork bone with this soup. I like to buy a pork shoulder (bone-in, obviously) and trim the meat, using the bone and 1 lb of the meat for this soup and freezing the remaining meat for other uses. But, even without a bone this is delicious!

Cut the bacon crossways into 1/2″ wide strips. Simmer in 1 qt of water for a few minutes (to remove excess smoky flavor) then drain.

In a large, heavy soup pot, cook the bacon until it is crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve, leaving the fat in the pan. Over high heat, brown the pork well in the bacon fat, and remove it from the pan. Add the onions and garlic over medium high heat and cook until softened, 5-10 min. Add the wine and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Return the pork and bacon to the pot, add the stock and water, the pork bone (if you have it), and the boquet garni. Cook at a very low simmer for 1-1/2 hours.

Add the cabbage and cook for an additional 30 min.

Add the turnips, carrots, potato, and sausage (whole) and cook for another 30 minutes.

Skim any excess fat and remove and discard the pork bone. Remove the sausage and slice into 1 inch pieces, and return to the pot. Add salt and pepper as desired and serve.

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