Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Duck Confit Relish

Yield:
4 cups
Ingredients
  • 3 cups peeled and diced pumpkin (1/4-inch diced)
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pure cane syrup
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup julienne onions
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 2 cups shredded duck confit, recipe follows
  • 1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
  • DUCK CONFIT
  • 4 duck leg portions with thighs attached, excess fat trimmed and reserved (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 4 cups olive oil
Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Toss the diced pumpkin in olive oil and cane syrup. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well. Place the pumpkin on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender. Remove from the oven and cool. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onions and saute for 6 to 8 minutes, or until caramelized. Season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic, bay leaves, and stock. Stir in the pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg and bring to a boil Reduce to a simmer and cook the soup until the pumpkin is very tender, about 25 minutes. With a hand-held blender, puree the soup until smooth. Slowly whisk in the cream. Whisk in the peanut butter. Reseason with salt and pepper if necessary. Simmer the soup, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and ladle into shallow bowls. In a small mixing bowl, combine the chives, duck confit and pumpkin seeds. Mix well. Garnish each soup with the relish.

DUCK CONFIT

Lay the leg portions on a platter, skin side down. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the kosher salt and black pepper. Place the garlic cloves, bay leaves, and sprigs of thyme on each of 2 leg portions. Lay the remaining 2 leg portions, flesh to flesh, on top. put the reserved fat from the ducks in the bottom of a glass or plastic container. Top with the sandwiched leg portions. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Remove the duck from the refrigerator. Remove the garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and duck fat and reserve. Rinse the duck with cool water, rubbing off some of the salt and pepper. Pat dry with paper towels. Put the reserved garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and duck fat in the bottom of an enameled cast-iron pot. Sprinkle evenly with the peppercorns and salt. Lay the duck on top, skin side down. Add the olive oil. Cover and bake for 12 to 14 hours, or until the meat pulls away from the bone. Remove the duck from the fat. Strain the fat and reserve. Pick the meat from the bones and place it in a stoneware container. Cover the meat with some of the strained fat, making a 1/4-inch layer. The duck confit can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month. The excess oil can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and used like butter for cooking. The tinge of duck taste in the oil is wonderful and I use the oil to roast potatoes, cook green beans, and panfry veal.


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