Seasonal Winter warmer of cabbage soup with cured pork fat

This is a lush and very simple soup that makes the most of those cuts we disregard and wouldn’t normally eat in the UK. In Italy and Spain they utilise every part of the animal. One very important resource is the fat. In Spain cured pork fat is called speck or tocino, you could buy this from a deli, but be sure to check its certified Iberico so that you can assure its free-range.

I however would strongly recommend you make this yourself as its so incredibly easy, a fraction of the price and you can assure where the meat has come from if you buy sensibly.
Sometimes if the pork is too fatty, some of the fat has to be removed from the joint or the bacon. Ask your butcher he may even throw it away.


200g Cured pork fat, cut into cm cubes
250g white beans, soaked and cooked till very soft.
4 medium onions, diced
4 Potatoes, diced
3 carrots, cut in half length ways
1 head celery, diced (keep leaves for a salad)
2 small cabbages, shredded
3 bay leaves
3 cloves of garlic


Fry the cubes of fat gently with a little pomace oil till the fat renders out.  Then add the onions, celery, carrots, garlic and bay leaves and cook for 20 minutes. Allow to caramelise a little but not blacken Now add the shredded cabbage, beans and potatoes,  add water covering the vegetables by about inch, bring to the boil. and simmer for 30 minutes. Add seasoning to taste, serve in a wide bowl with a dash of olive oil on-top.

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