We are nearing the exciting conclusion of the duck soup saga — the transformation of duck stock into actual, finished, ready-to-eat duck soup. Get your spoons ready!
You may recall that at the end of the Day Two process, I showed you a stock pot full of somewhat fatty duck stock and bones. Once that had cooled, my wife Jan pulled out all the bones, and stripped the duck meat from them. Then she chopped the meat into nice chunks, and saved it in the fridge for the following day. Meanwhile, the bones went into the garbage, while the stock went into the fridge for an overnight chilling.
And now, let us begin the soup. First, Jan removes and discards the congealed fat that has surfaced in the pot. The stock now goes on the stove to begin heating, as Jan prepares the vegetables — leeks, carrots, parsnip, celery and parsley. (Plus cooked rice, if we have some leftover rice available.)
Standing by is a bowl of duck meat — the meat that Jan removed from the bones the day before. Here it is:
Carrots are essential in a duck soup, and Jan likes to use them two ways. First, she dices some carrots into little bits. Then, she grates some additional carrots to add to the stock, as the grated carrot virtually dissolves and adds to the sweetness of the soup. Here’s the grating process:
Sliced leeks are another veggie for the soup, and Jan likes to use both the white parts of the leek as well as some of the darker green leaves. She slices them fairly fine, like this:
All the veggies go into the soup to cook (although the chopped parsley can be added later), along with the duck meat. Once that’s done, Jan adds some salt as well as white pepper. Here’s how the soup looks in the early stages of cooking:
And now, at last, we’re done. The vegetables are cooked through, the carrots are soft, and the whole soup is simmering with just a trace of duck fat on the its surface — perfect! Correct the seasoning, and it’s ready to be served.
A bowl for dinner is all that’s needed, provided that you’ve had a large enough lunch. Which, trust me, we usually have.