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French Farmer Soup

A French Classic: Farmer Soup

  • Author: Carrie Pacini
  • Category: Soups


This recipe is a lighter version of a French Farmer Soup. It’s typically served during the chilly months but I like soup and stews all the time and wanted to try it out. This recipe is an adaptation from Jacques Pépin. He typically served this in his restaurant La Potagerie in New York.

I was initially intimidated by the amount of ingredients and time required, but it is totally worth It. Once you get it down it becomes quite easy, and you’ll fall in love with it as a staple in your home.

If you like wine serve it with a glass of Pinot Noir and taste how it enhances the flavors.  I can’t explain how deeply satisfying this soup is. You will have to make it.

Note: You will need to spend some time chopping but it’s not a huge deal. The final result will have you making this soup more than you think you would!

French Farmer Soup

Makes 12 Servings



3 Quarts of Water
1 1/2 pounds of Ham Round with bone in middle (See pic #2)
1/2 pound of dried navy white beans
4 Cups of Chopped Green Cabbage
3 Medium Carrots Chopped
2 Medium Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 Large Parsnips, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 Large Leeks, white and tender green parts only, halved and cut into rounds
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 loaf of French Bread cut into thick slices 5 oz of Gruyere Cheese (sliced)


1. In a large pot, combine water, round of ham (whole), and dried navy beans and bring to a boil and simmer (covered) for 1 hour.

2. Skim the top if there is any “fat” rising to the top

3. Take out the round of ham and cut into slices and cubes. Add the ham back to the pot.

4. Add the following to the pot: Green cabbage, carrots, potatoes, parsnips, leeks, and salt and pepper to taste.

5. Cover and simmer for about another 45 minutes to an hour. You will want the vegetables to be tender.

6. Preheat the broiler and arrange the slices of bread on a baking sheet with a slice of Gruyere.

7. Broil the toast about in a middle rack for about 2 minutes until the cheese is melted.

8. Ladle the soup into bowl and top with the cheese toast and serve with a glass of Pinot Noir.

Keywords: Soups, Meals, French Dishes