I feel as though I’m channelling the Marx Brothers here and I should at the very least be booking tickets for A Night At The Opera.
But I roasted a wild duck recently and on the waste-not, want-not principle I simmered the carcass with vegetables and herbs. It produced a very deep-flavoured stock and that’s the basis for this recipe.
You could make something similar with a good-quality chicken stock. In fact as all the leftover duck meat had already gone into a risotto, I added a cooked chicken breast to the soup to make more of a meal out of it.
It was bursting with flavour, with a nice crunch from the just-cooked vegetables. It was healthy and cheap and nothing went to waste.
As Groucho once said: “I worked my way up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.” This one won’t break the bank.
Duck Noodle Soup
You can add bean sprouts to this as well – mix and match the veg according to what you like and have handy but please don’t omit the garlic, ginger and spring onions.
Around 700ml duck stock, skimmed of any fat
1 small thumb of ginger, peeled and cut into very thin matchsticks
1 medium clove of garlic, peeled and very thinly sliced
4 or 5 spring onions, trimmed and sliced on the diagonal
A small handful of mushrooms, sliced
A handful of mange touts
1 or 2 pak choi, roughly sliced
A small handful of fresh coriander or parsley, roughly chopped
1 cooked chicken breast, sliced on the diagonal and lightly dusted on both sides with Five Spice Powder
1/2 a bundle of noodles (use more if you’re hungry), cooked according to packet instructions, rinsed under cold water to arrest cooking and drained
1 tbsp oil
Soy sauce to season at the table (optional)
Heat the stock to a simmer in a saucepan large enough to take all the ingredients. Throw in the garlic and ginger and cook for four minutes.
Meanwhile heat the oil in a frying pan and quickly heat the chicken slices until they’re tinged with gold on both sides. Set aside to keep warm.
Add the mange touts, mushrooms and spring onions to the broth (reserving a few bits of spring onion for a garnish) and cook for three minutes.
Throw in the pak choi and cook until it has wilted but still has some bite, about a minute. Stir through the parsley or coriander. Place the noodles into the soup and heat through for one minute, then divide between two bowls.
Arrange the chicken in overlapping slices on the top and serve sprinkled with the reserved spring onions.
Variations on this theme are among my favourite soups: though it’s more often a chicken carcass at this house. And I do like just a hint of fresh chilli too. I often think that having a carcass to bag an extra meal for free from is the best bit about having a bird in the house.
I couldn’t agree more. I’ve got a vat of guinea fowl stock sitting in front of me as I write. Agree on the chilli, too, although I left it out of the duck soup.
Delicious. I wonder if it is my vintage but, the Marks Brothers movies certainly break me up. There was a time when Channel 4 would run them in the mornings over Christmas. Duck Soup is one of my favourites. Yours would be a crowd pleaser too.
Bracketed with the Marx Brothers? That’s one club I’m happy to be a member of!