Garbure (French Ham and Vegetable Soup)


Garbure is a hearty French ham soup. This is perfect for using up leftover ham! Recipe by Ashley of

Ham soup is a tradition.

Ever year after we eat our holiday ham, we make ham soup. In the past, I’d always make a “ham and 15 bean” soup, but now, every year I try to come up with a new ham soup that’s just as filling.

Last year, I shared a recipe for Cantonese Ham and Lotus Root Soup – it’s delicious! This year, I’m sharing a recipe for a French soup: Garbure. It’s pronounced: GAHR-boohr. Garbure originated in Gascony and is a simple French soup that’s loaded with salty meat and veggies. It typically calls for white beans too, but with all these vegetables, you won’t even notice that the are missing (did my trick work? did you notice I intentionally left out the word “beans” in that sentence?).

I used carrots, celery, sweet potatoes, turnips and cabbage in this recipe. You can add other veggies if you want: parsnips, kohlrabi, potatoes, peas etc. There are no rules when it comes to what vegetables you can add to this peasant soup – use what you’ve got.

Garbure is a hearty French ham soup. This is perfect for using up leftover ham! Recipe by Ashley of

Garbure soup is so hearty and thick that the word “soup” should really be in air quotes. You’re supposed to eat this “soup” with a fork.

Yes, really. This soup is meant to be eaten with a fork.

That’s actually how this soup got its name: Garbure. The word “garb” is used to describe a big bundle of grain (technically: sheaves of grain) on a coat of arms in heraldry. Giant pitchforks were used to pick up these big bundles. I guess the big bundles of grain are analogous to the bundles of vegetables in this soup which require the use of a fork (unless you have some serious spoon skills like me).

Ironically, this soup is grain-free – despite “garb” meaning a bundle of grain. I suppose that’s not really the point though…

Garbure is a hearty French ham soup. This is perfect for using up leftover ham! Recipe by Ashley of

Doesn’t this soup look delicious? I mean, move over chicken soup. This is what I want the next time I’m feeling under the weather, or well, whenever.

Garbure is usually made with salted meat – I obviously used ham but duck is an option too. I had white wine on hand, so I used a little of that but you can use red if you want or leave it out altogether. That’s the beauty of this soup – there’s really no set way to make it. This is my recipe but you can easily adapt this to become your own. You just need broth, vegetables and time.

Garbure is a hearty French ham soup. This is perfect for using up leftover ham! Recipe by Ashley of

Time is key. Cook this soup slowly over a long period of time. You can even keep the soup in the slow cooker for several days, adding more broth and vegetables as needed to make this stew last you longer. That’ll mean less time in the kitchen and more time for netflix and chill. And to clarify, by netflix and chill, I literally mean binge-watching what’s on netflix and nothing else…

Serve this Garbure with a side of buttered (gluten-free) toast/flatbread. I hope this soup warms your insides with every slurp you take!

Garbure (French Ham and Vegetable Soup)

Garbure (French Ham and Vegetable Soup)

5 from 6 reviews
Pin Recipe Print Recipe


  • 1 leftover ham bone with meat
  • 10 cups water enough to cover the ham bone
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 1 Serrano pepper sliced but still intact
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 medium leeks chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • ¼ cup dry white wine I used Chardonnay
  • 1 large sweet potato diced
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 2 celery diced
  • 2 turnips diced
  • ½ head napa or savoy cabbage cut into strips
  • 1 small handful of parsley chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


  • Add the ham bone, water, apple cider vinegar, bay leaves and serrano pepper to the slow cooker. Set on high for 5 hours.
  • Remove the bone from the pot and take the meat off of it. Add the meat and bone back to the pot and cook for another 2 hours on high.
  • Next, add oil to a saute pan over medium heat, then add the onion, leeks and garlic cloves. Saute for 7-8 minutes, or until the onions have started to caramelize.
  • Add this to the slow cooker along with the remaining ingredients.
  • Cook for 3 hours on high, or until the vegetables are tender.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

Pin This Recipe

Like this recipe? Pin it to your favorite Pinterest board now so you will remember to make it later!

Pin Recipe Now0

For more Leftover Ham Recipes, you might like:

Ham and Red Lentil Soup
Creamy Ham and Wild Rice Soup (instant pot)
Cantonese Ham and Lotus Root Soup

Need to make a ham first? Here’s my recipe for ham with a spiced honey glaze (instant pot).

Related Recipes


Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


Subscribe to get our latest content by email. We won't send you spam. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Reader Interactions

Leave a Comment & Rating

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. Anna says

    5 stars
    I have tried several recipes from Ashley and they’re all wonderful! I figure it’s time to give my rating! This soup was so warm and nourishing and worth the extra steps of making the stock. I used my instant pot so it didn’t take long. I’m pretty sure every time I ate a bowl I talked out loud to myself about how good the soup was 😉

paneer lababdar

Ashley's Secrets



Favorite tips & tricks to

easy & delicious Indian cooking