Recipe: Soup of White Beans, Cabbage, Ham and Duck Confit

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Sometimes there’s nothing better than a big bowl of warm, comforting soup.  That’s exactly what I was thinking when I dipped my spoon into this amazing cabbage and bean-studded creation that I enjoyed last week at CulinAerie.  I loved this little cooking school in Washington, DC, where we cooked our own lunch (which featured a delicious pork tenderloin with tart cherry sauce).  This soup was ready for us when we sat down, so we didn’t make it during class.  But this recipe is a keeper.

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut in medium dice
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely diced
1/2 green cabbage, quartered
3/4 pound red bliss or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut in medium dice
6 cups chicken stock
2 cans white beans, such as cannellini or Great Northern, drained
2 ounces best-quality ham, such as Parma, diced
2 pieces duck confit, removed from the bone


In a large flameproof casserole pot, combine oil and onion and sweat over medium heat for 3 minutes. Season with salt.  Add carrot, garlic, cabbage, potatoes and stock and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the beans and cook an additional ten minutes.  Add the duck confit and ham and simmer until heated through, about 3 minutes.  Serve immediately in warm soup plates.  Serves 6.

Salad of Roasted Butternut Squash, Arugula, Pine Nuts and Balsamic Vinegar

We didn’t make this salad during our class, but it’s featured as the Recipe of the Week at CulinAerie.  It includes some of my favorite ingredients, so I thought it was something I would definitely try.  Maybe this weekend!  Hope you’ll enjoy too.

5 cups ½ -inch cubed peeled seeded butternut squash (from about one 2-pound squash)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of dried crushed red pepper
coarse kosher salt
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
4 ounces arugula (about 8 cups lightly packed)
3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup pinenuts, lightly toasted

Preheat oven to 450.  Toss squash, olive oil and crushed red pepper on large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Roast 15 minutes until golden brown on one side.  Using spatula, turn squash over.  Roast until edges are browned and squash is tender, about 10-15 minutes longer.  Sprinkle with coarse salt.  Let stand at room temperature.

Whisk orange juice, olive oil and lemon juice in a large shallow bowl.  Add arugula, pomegranate seeds, toss to coat.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Spoon warm or room temperature squash over salad.  Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with toasted pinenuts.  Serves 6.

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