Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Duck Confit Relish
One spoon full makes your eyes roll back into your head, as a warming sensation wraps around like the feel of cashmere against your skin. Baby. OH. BABY!
- Chef knife
- Large sheet pan lined with foil
- Small sauté pan
- Large sauce pan
- Measuring spoons and cups
- Medium large stock pot or large dutch oven
- Large rubber heat-resistant spatular
- Blender, hand mixer, or Burr Mixer
- 6 C pumpkin or 2 large pie pumpkins, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes *
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Drizzle of cane syrup or honey
- Salt and pepper
- 4 T butter
- 2 C onion, sliced thin
- 4 bay leaves
- 8 C chicken stock
- 2 t cinnamon
- 1/2 t whole nutmeg, freshly grated *
- 2 C heavy cream
- 1/2 C peanut butter, smooth *
- 4 T chives, chopped
- 2 C duck confit, shredded *
- 1/2 C pumpkin seeds, roasted
Chef Gerrie’s Notes:
* Pie pumpkins: I recommend that you purchase the the small pie pumpkins because they are sweeter. They’re small and dense with a medium or dark orange color. They usually appear around September and are available until the end of November. The most common variety is the delicious flavor sugar pie. If they’re not available, try canned organic pumpkin puree.
* Whole nutmeg: I use whole nutmeg because it releases a wonderful delicate aroma and a slightly sweet taste when freshly grated. It’s a wonderful addition to a dish and you really can tell the difference in whole vs. already ground nutmeg. Actually, freshly ground spices always have an extra kick of flavor and aroma so when possible, buy fresh and grind just before using.
* Peanut butter: Not all peanut butter is created equal so be sure to get a pure paste variety for this recipe. You want the smooth consistency that comes from dry roasted peanuts without sugars, salt, sweeteners, or emulsifiers.
* Duck confit is a big fat flavor bomb of preserved duck that was originally created by the French. It’s usually duck leg and thigh connected (leg quartered) seasoned with kosher salt, black pepper, garlic, juniper berries, sprigs of thyme, and bay leaf in a zip locked bag or container with a lid for 24 to 72 hours.
After marinating, seasonings are brushed off and the meat is laid in a single layer with the skin side down before being roasted with melted duck fat. The duck is cooked at a low 225° F for 3-4 hours, or until the meat is easily pulled from the bone. To preserve, pour fat over cooked duck to submerge completely, allow to solidify, and refrigerate.
Now, if you don’t have time for all that (and I don’t blame you if you don’t), head over to Maple Leaf Farms for their already-done, all natural duck leg confit.
1 Preheat oven to 400° F.
2 Toss pumpkin in olive oil and cane syrup. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
3 Place pumpkin on foil lined sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes or until just tender. Remove and cool.
4 Sauté onions in melted butter until nicely caramelized. Season with salt and pepper. This will take about 20 minutes.
5 Add garlic, bay leaves, and stock. Stir in pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until pumpkin is very tender, about 25 minutes.
6 Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Remove bay leaves and puree in blender * in small batches slowly adding the cream.* CAUTON: Blending in a blender can be dangerous when pureeing hot soups because the heat of the soup and the blender’s emulsification speed can cause the top to fly off and you could get burned. Avoid that catastrophe by pureeing in small batches with a towel and your hand covering the lid. If you’re using a hand held, stick, or burr mixer you don’t need to worry about that catastrophe. Just puree directly in the sauce pot or pan.
7 Return soup back to large sauce pot (if necessary) and whisk in peanut butter.
8 Heat shredded duck confit in a sauté pan and keep warm.
9 Ladle into bowls and garnish with duck confit, roasted pumpkin seeds, and chives.
Roasted pumpkin soup with duck confit relish