A previous conversation.
'What are we having this evening?'
'Ouillade. Oui-ARD. But with a soft d. And spelled A-D-E at the end.'
'Right. And what the flying *?&! is weeard when it's at home?'
'It's a kind of soup, you ignoramus.'
'Oh, terrific. Sell it to me, why don't you? Any other compelling reason I should come home tonight?'
'Yes, it's Wednesday. So it's Torchwood on telly.'
'I'm getting my coat.'
Ouillade, my friends, is the kind of thing that will never sell itself to a crowd. If you don't frighten your diners off (particularly if they're rampant carnivores) with the mention of cabbage, you might just do so with the word 'beans'. Your only hope is to give a big shout out for the bacon. So perhaps shout 'BACON!' bacon first, and whisper the other two quickly afterwards.
So that's the essence of ouillade - cabbage, beans, and bacon (or ham). It's less of a soup, really - more an entire meal in a bowl. There are as many versions of ouillade around as there are excuses for coming home late, so I'm not going to bore you with the long-hand version of mine. (Google is your friend.) All I'll say is that I used carrots and potato in with my soffrito of shallots, carrots and celery, puy lentils instead of beans, and bacon instead of ham hock. The cabbage is the traditional savoy cabbage. Other than that, my top tip is to use the best stock you can make or buy - it needs to have a good, deep, rich flavour. A thin stock won't give the oomph the ouillade really needs. It's got to be gutsy - warming, tasty, and full of flavour. So that the carnivores don't complain.
If they do, tell them they can get their coat.