Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Peking Duck Soup With Pancakes

Last Tuesday it was pancake day, and someone on twitter asked me why I wasn't making pancake soup.  A few thoughts went through my mind - the first of which was Wow, what an awesome idea, closely followed by Pancake Soup? That sounds awful, surely.  This was then followed by a quick Google search which revealed that yes, pancake soups do exist and yes, they seem very nice.

At about the same time, Mrs Soup returned from the market with a duck (Why does this sound like it is turning into a fairy tale?  Perhaps I should have checked to see if the duck laid golden eggs before I cooked it...) and several things clicked into place.  Duck... pancake... duck and pancake soup!

So after Sunday Lunch, where the majority of the duck was consumed, I set about making duck stock in preparation for the soup

For the stock
1 Duck Carcass
1 Onion
2 Carrots
2 Stalks Celery
2 Bay Leaves
1tsp Black Peppercorns
2 Cloves
4 Egg Whites

To make the stock, simply put all the bits in a large pan. Don't worry about chopping the vegetables too neatly, just rough bits will do.  Then add 2l of water, bring the pan to the boil, cover and leave for 3 hours.  This will make your whole house smell wonderful - I did it before I went to bed and ended up having dreams about this very soup!

Let the stock cool and then strain all the bits out.  You can skim off the fat at this point, or let the stock cool completely, when it turns into a jelly.  Then the fat can be collected and used, either for the soup recipe, or for making rather wonderful roast potatoes to go with your Sunday Roast.

To clarify the stock, you will need the four egg whites, whisked and then stirred into the COLD stock, otherwise they just cook straight away and you end up with a horrible mess.  Stir the egg whites into the stock and then slowly bring the pan to a boil.  Don't stir it at all, but the eggs will start to cook and form a scum on the top. After about 5-10 minutes on a gentle boil, you can skim this scum off the top and you will be left with a nice, clear stock.  Passing it through a fine sieve or muslin bag wouldn't hurt either!

Once the stock was done, I could start on the soup itself.

250g Shredded Duck Meat
25g Fresh Grated Ginger
1.2 l Duck Stock
1 Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
Duck Fat
1 Orange
2 Star Anise
1 tsp Sechuan Peppercorns
2 tbsp Plum Sauce
1 Red Chili

For the pancakes 
55g Plain Flour
1 Egg
Pinch of Salt
100ml Milk
35ml Water
25g Butter

1.  Chop the onion roughly.  Heat some duck fat, or oil (about 2tbsp) in a pan.  Add the onion, garlic and ginger and fry gently for 3-5 minutes, until the onions have softened but not coloured.

2. Remove the zest from the orange.  Add this, and then the juice from the orange to the pan, along with the half of the duck stock (500ml), Star Anise and Peppercorns.

3.  Bring the soup to the boil and then cover and simmer for 30 minutes

4.  Let the soup cool slightly, then sieve out all the vegetables, return to the pan and add the rest of the stock, the shredded duck meat and season to taste.

Disclaimer : I hate making pancakes.  There was swearing!
5.  Prepare the pancakes, roll them up and slice them into thin strips.  Place a pile of the sliced pancakes in the middle of warmed dishes, then serve the soup over these.

[I'm sure you don't need telling how to make pancakes, but if you need a reminder, let Auntie Delia guide you.  I made half the quantity she makes]

6. Garnish with chives and thinly sliced red chili. Serve and enjoy!


  1. Wow, this sounds just amazing. Out of interest, was there any reason that you didn't add the star anise when cooking the original stock?


  2. Actually, I hadn't completely decided on the soup recipe when I was making the stock, so I just made generic duck stock. There is no reason why you couldn't put the star anise and sechuan peppercorns in at the stock making stage I suppose

    1. And then I guess that you could still use the duck stock for other dishes too. Good plan! :)

  3. That's an interesting soup with a duck stock. And a lovely idea with pancakes. Well done!

    1. It was sort of an experiment - to see if I could take an existing meal and make soup out of it. I have since found out that there is a 'proper' peking duck soup, which doesn't really resemble this recipe much! Next on my list of soup-ized meals is going to be an English Fried Breakfast soup, which could be awful, or it could be brilliant. We shall see...

  4. Yum, what a great idea….love soup, and just starting to see some cooler weather in this part of the world...

    1. Soup is the best in cold weather! I love coming home to a hearty bowl of soup-y goodness!

  5. Looks nice I did an asparagus soup recently http://caroleschatter.blogspot.co.nz/2012/01/asparagus-soup.html

    1. I shall have a look at it! Love asparagus soup...

  6. This sounds so good. I've got to make this very soon!

    And on another matter, I've also awarded you the Versatile Blogger Award. You've probably received this already countless times, but I don't care. I love your blog! Check out my blog at http://bangermashchat.wordpress.com/ for more info...

  7. Thanks for that! Someone else sent me it as well, and I WILL get round to posting the award and doing my piece. Im just glad someone reads my blog! Thanks again