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--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Celery Root Bisque

I used to know a woman who said that she ate plenty from the four food groups--salt, fat, alcohol and chocolate.

She would have loved Celery Root Bisque.

Why? Because in spite of its bland-sounding name, this soup is a celebration of duck confit--not just the meat, but the cracklings. If you don't know what cracklings are, it's this--duck skin peeled off and sliced, then rendered in a pan over low heat until golden, crispy brown. Drain grease off on paper towels, and salt to your little heart's content. People who talk about heaven on earth surely must be including duck cracklings in their equation.

I made Celery Root Bisque for the below-mentioned (Profiteroles! Hot Fudge Sauce!) birthday luncheon, and it was a smash hit. It's actually a perfect make-ahead soup--the bisque itself is nothing more than celery root, celery and shallots sauteed in butter, then simmered in water until tender. Puree, puree, puree, add lemon juice, salt and pepper, and you've got your bisque.

The duck confit can be shredded ahead of time, and likewise the cracklings, if you can keep yourself from eating them. All that's required is a gentle rewarming with the confit, and a sprinkling of cracklings on top.

You know, I'm looking at this recipe and seeing that it also calls for an optional garnish of (unsweetened) whipped cream. I must have been so overcome by the duck that I completely ignored that suggestion, but thinking about it I'm not sure what it would add. Hmm.

Oh, and save your pennies if you want to make this soup. My one and only source for duck confit (The Fruitful Basket) sells those babies for $11/leg.

In the flavor department, here's why this recipe is a home run. You've got a smooth, lemony-neutral soup base, with slightly ropey, chewy, meaty duck leg, with crispy, greasy, salty cracklings on top. You can't go wrong.

1 comment:

Eve said...

Even though I did not have the cracklings, the celery root bisque was really good!