1poundYukon gold potatoespeeled and cut into chunks
1small cabbage, chopped(Ideally a Savoy cabbage)
Salt and black pepper
If you are using dried beans, pour boiling water over them and let them sit. If you are using canned beans, rinse them and set them aside.
In a large soup pot, add the water, duck legs, bacon and garlic and bring to a boil. Drop to a simmer and cook until everything is soft, about 2 to 3 hours. The garlic will be done after 1 hour. Fish it out and set it aside.
When the duck legs are tender, fish them out and strip the meat from the bones. Discard the bones. Reserve the bacon and strain the stock. Set it aside. Clean out the pot with a paper towel; no need to scrub it.
Heat the duck fat in the pot over medium-high heat. Cook the onions, leek and celery until soft, but don't brown them. Add the beans, picked duck meat, the turnips, potatoes, carrots and cabbage and pour all the strained stock over it. Bring to a simmer and season with salt. Let this cook until the vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the cooked garlic and bacon, along with the cayenne and parsley in a blender. Add a few ladles of the soup stock, or water, to the blender and puree. Pour this into the soup pot. Season with black pepper and serve.
Keep in mind that this should be a thick stew, and it is impossible to cook it too long, so err on cooking it longer, not shorter.
Keys to Success
This is a great use for skinned goose legs, turkey legs or duck legs. If you have skin-on legs, it will make the broth richer, but you will want to chop the skin small before it goes back in the soup pot.
You can add other vegetables, if you'd like, such as parsnips, rutabagas, root parsley, salsify, big radishes, and even chestnuts.
That last puree of parsley, garlic and the cooked bacon or salt pork really adds a lot of flavor, so don't skip it.
If you are using salt pork, you might not need any additional salt in the rest of the stew, so be careful before adding any extra.
Drink a big white wine, like a white Cotes du Rhone or Bordeaux, or a lighter red such as a pinot noir or merlot here. For beer, choose an amber or something malty, but not too heavy.