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  • Writer's pictureThe Crooked Ladle

French Garden Pottage (Soup) - Hearty & Healthful

French Garden Soup - Incredibly Flavorful

French Garden Pottage (Soup)

This is a very hearty soup perfect for a cold winter's day. This is definitely a plan ahead flavorful soup that could double as your main meal. Just be aware in your planning that you’ll need to give the beans plenty of time to soak up the liquids prior to the actual cook time before it is ready to be enjoyed.

Don’t be afraid of the estimated timings below as for the most part, the beans are just hanging out on their own soaking up the liquids. You won’t have to be in the kitchen during this period. Then again, you can even serve this tasty soup for the first time the day after you make it. In fact, I make lots of soups the day before I serve them just to make my entertaining day easier on myself.

Serves: 8

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Bean Soaking: 3 to 4 hours

Cooking Time: 4 to 5 hours

Suggested Tools:

· Dutch oven or large 6-quart

or larger pot with lids

· Chopping board

· Chopping knife

· Large stir spoon

· Measuring cups

· Measuring spoons

· Can opener


Tips for this soup: My idea of a great soup that has lots of ingredients like this one does is for the recipient to taste a bit of nearly every ingredient in each bite. That way, they get the benefit of the full taste of the myriad of ingredients. With this in mind, I recommend chopping the vegetables very small and avoid rough chopping just to get the chopping over with. Trust me, your efforts will be worth it.

Dried Beans: Besides the below beans listed in the ingredients, you can also use different types of beans that you like, but just keep the bean ratio in cups the same as this recipe. Some alternative common beans include the kidney bean, chic-pea, soya, red lentil, yellow split pea, black-eyed peas and others.

· 1-pound smoked kielbasa, sliced and cut slices in half

· 1 ½ to 2 cups cooked chicken, cubed to about 1-inch pieces

· 2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes, including juices

· 8 cups water

· 3 cups chicken broth

· 1/3 cup dried pinto beans

· 1/3 cup dried black beans

· 1/3 cup dried navy beans

· 1/3 cup dried green lentils

· 1/3 cup dried split pea

· 1 15-ounce canned cannellini beans, rinsed well and drained

· 1 fresh red pepper, diced well

· 1 medium onion, diced well

· 4 celery stalks, chopped well

· ½ fresh parsley, chopped well

· 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced well

· 2-3 bay leaves (remove these after the cook, if possible)

· 2 teaspoons thyme

· 1 teaspoon creole seasoning (for more heat try chili powder)

· 1 ½ teaspoons salt

· 1 teaspoon pepper


1. If you are using dried beans that are packed in plastic bags, there is no need to rinse the beans as the manufacturers generally do a great job. Otherwise, if they are coming out of a bin, I recommend rinsing all of your beans before the soaking process.

2. Place all of the dried beans into a large pot and cover with water so the water is covering the beans by about two inches. Turn the heat on high and bring the water to a boil and boil for 3 or 4 minutes. Then turn off the heat and cover the beans with the pot lid. Allow the beans to soak up some of the liquid for 3 to 4 hours or until soft.

3. Drain, rinse and discard the liquid that has been standing in the bean pot. Return the rinsed beans to the original bean pot. Add the 8 cups of water plus the broth to the beans as well as the salt and pepper and cover the pot with a lid. Bring all to a boil; then reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer for 3 hours with the lid on.

4. Add to the pot the tomatoes and all of the vegetables (except for the parsley), the cannellini beans and spices. Simmer for 1 hour.

5. Add the chicken, kielbasa, and parsley and cook for another 20 to 30 minutes.

I recommend serving with a crusty French bread and wine and then invite me over.

- Leftovers freeze well.

The Crooked Ladle

Savor the taste


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