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Duck and mushroom soup - Sun, 19th Jul 2009
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A rich and luxurious soup, French in preparation, but Chinese in flavour. Takes a couple of days, so be sure to start well in advance.

Carcass of one peking duck (have peking duck for dinner and use the left over bones) 1 fresh whole duck.
8 brown onions, sliced about 1 kg of mushrooms, whatever floats your boat. I like a combination of Swiss browns and shitake.
2 carrots, diced 2 sticks celery, diced.
3 lemons 2x 5 cm piece ginger, peeled and chopped.
fresh chives and parsely, to serve 6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
4 star anise 2 cinnamon sticks
Olive oil Salt, pepper and brown sugar
3 shallots, peeled and halved 1 tsp all spice ground
Cream, to serve. 2 tsp Chinese five spice
100ml dry white wine 1 cup chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 180C. Stuff the raw duck with 1 lemon (cut in half), 2 cloves of garlic, one of the ginger pieces, a cinnamon stick, two star anise, the shallots and half of the five spice and all spice. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 1 hour, or until cooked. Meanwhile, in a huge pot (it'll have to fit two ducks, remember), heat some olive oil and add 6 of the sliced onions, reserving the other two. Sauté for a few minutes while chopping and adding the carrot and celery. Add two cloves of garlic, finely chopped, the rest of the ginger, spices and one lemon, halved and squeezed. (Yes, the whole thing!). Sauté for about 5 minutes, then add the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and add the peking duck carcass, chopped into 3 or 4 smaller pieces.

When the second duck has finished roasting, remove it from the oven and chop into pieces (I normally remove the maryland cuts, the wings, leave the breast fillets attached and chop the main carcass into 4 pieces). Add to the stock, with the stuffing ingredients. Add enough water to cover all the duck, plenty of salt (about 2 tbsp rock salt), pepper and a couple of tbsps brown sugar. Simmer for 3-4 hours, stirring and removing the fat from the surface every so often.

Allow to cool and leave overnight to let the flavours develop. When cool., remove the meat and set aside. Strain the stock and discard non-meat solids. Pick the meat from the bones and roughly chop. Then we start again: heat some oil, saute the remaining sliced onions and add the mushrooms, chopped. Add the duck meat and the white wine, then pour in the strained stock. Bring to the boil before serving. (Actually it's best if you leave the soup for another day before serving). When ready to serve, place a slice of lemon in the bottom of each bowl and pour the soup over it. Top with fresh cream and finely chopped fresh herbs.

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