This wonderful soup of duck confit, cabbage and omelet is adapted from D’Artagnan’s Glorious Game Cookbook by Ariane Daguin, George Faison and Joanna Pruess (Little, Brown & Co., 1999) The recipe calls for a prosciutto rind, which can be found at many deli counters. It’s an optional ingredient, but worth trying, as it is considered an essential flavor in southwest France. You make your own duck confit with the recipe that follows this one or buy it in specialty markets.

Wine recommendations: For the shot of red wine that goes into the garbure just before it is finished, Gascons like a 100 percent Tannat wine. A Malbec (also called Côt) from Cahors, with its fine tannic structure, is also a good match for the hearty, rich soup.

  • 3 pounds duck bones, chopped into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons rendered duck fat
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrot
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 quarts water
  • 4 springs flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large clove garlic, unpeeled
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 2 quarts duck stock
  • 6 large cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup rendered duck fat
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1/2 pound ventreche or pancetta, diced
  • 1 prosciutto rind, about 1/4 pound (optional)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 pound raw duck or pork sausage meat, casing removed, broken into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 duck legs confit, cut in half at the joint
  • 1 head Savoy cabbage, trimmed, cored and cut into 4 to 6 wedges
  • 4 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 duck gizzards confit, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound peeled garlic cloves (about 12 fat cloves)
  • 1/2 cup rendered duck fat

To prepare duck stock: Preheat oven to 375F. Spread bones on a heavy baking sheet. Drizzle on fat, tossing to coat. Roast for 30 minutes, turning occasionally. Add onion, carrot and celery, turn to coat with fat and continue roasting until vegetables are richly browned but not scorched, approximately 25 minutes.

Transfer bones and vegetables to a stockpot. Deglaze roasting pan by adding enough hot water to dissolve all browned bits and add resulting liquid to stockpot. Add salt and 2 quarts water or more if needed to cover bones. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer briskly, uncovered, for 45 minutes, skimming off any fat and impurities that rise to the surface.

Add parsley, thyme, bay leaves, garlic and peppercorns. Simmer uncovered for 3 hours, adding hot water as necessary to keep bones and vegetables covered. Pour through a fine sieve into a pot or large bowl, pressing with a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids and pour liquid through a strainer lined with several layers of dampened cheesecloth. If you have more than 2 quarts of stock, boil to reduce in volume to 2 quarts. Stock may be refrigerated for 3 to 4 days, or frozen for several weeks. Remove the solidified fat from the surface before reheating.

To prepare garbure: Chop 6 cloves garlic. Heat 2 tablespoons duck fat in a large stockpot or Dutch set over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onions, celery, ventreche or pancetta and prosciutto rind and sauté for about 5 minutes or until tender. Pour in duck stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer.

Meanwhile, beat eggs with sausage meat and parsley. Heat 2 more tablespoons duck fat in a large nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Pour in egg mixture and cook for about 10 minutes until golden brown. Slide omelet onto a large plate, cover it with a second plate and invert it, then slide it back into skillet. Cook the second side until brown, about 5 minutes. Slide omelet and duck legs confit into stock. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add cabbage and cook for 5 minutes, then drain well. Heat 2 tablespoons duck fat in a saucepan. Add cabbage, turning to coat evenly, adding more fat if needed. Transfer cabbage and carrots to soup pot and cook for 30 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The recipe may be made ahead at this point and refrigerated for several days—it gets better as it sits.

To make the garlic confit: Combine garlic and duck fat in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until garlic is completely tender. Remove garlic with slotted spoon.

To serve: Heat soup. Ten minutes before serving, add sliced gizzards and garlic confit. Remove prosciutto rind. Ladle garbure into warmed bowls, dividing duck, omelet and vegetables evenly.

Published on June 24, 2010