The soup is based on a consommé or vegetable stock.
You put a piece of meat (chicken or beef) in the pot, cover with a stock, and simmer for about an hour, skimming the surface.
Then you add large chunks of peeled vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, onions, or trimmed leeks, or pieces of celery. You can also add marrow bones. You simmer for another 2 hours.
If desired, toward the end of cooking, some shredded cabbage may be cooked in a separate pot with some of the broth removed from the soup.
To serve, you slice the meat up into pieces, put meat and some of the veg in bowls, and pour hot broth over them, and top with the shredded cabbage, if using. You can serve with cornichons on the side.
If the meat and vegetables are julienned in a refined fashion, then the dish gets elevated with the name “Petite Marmite Henri IV.”
If you are using marrow bones, to serve, remove the marrow at the end of cooking, and serve on pieces of toasted French bread.