Winhill Herb-Salad Soup

Flower Restaurant in Winhill“Can’t make this place famous. Too much publicity and you get all those tourists and stuff.”

Laguna Loire, FFVIII

When you make Besaid Smoked Duck, save the bones and innards for stock. Toss them in a pot with the shallot ends and peels, bring to just under a boil, and simmer, covered, for about two hours. Strain into another pot using a colander lined with cheesecloth. Refrigerate overnight. Skim off and discard the fat. Warm the stock on the stove and use it for this recipe. (The leftover stock can be frozen and saved indefinitely.)

  • 4 tablespoons duck fat
  • 4 shallots, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 head of garlic (about 8-12 cloves), peeled and halved
  • 2 leeks, white and light-green parts only, chopped and rinsed (about 2 cups)
  • 2 sweet Italian sausages, uncooked, casing removed and cut into 1″ pieces (about 7 oz. total)
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • About ½ bottle of white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc (1½ cups)
  • 1 15-oz. can of white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 12 oz. cauliflower florets
  • 4 cups duck stock
  • 2 or 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5 oz. herb salad mix

Heat duck fat in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add shallots, garlic, leeks, and sausage. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes, until sausage is browned on all sides, reducing heat as necessary to avoid burning the shallots and garlic.

Raise the heat and slowly pour in the wine, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Stir in the beans, cauliflower, and stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, add the thyme sprigs, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, until cauliflower is tender.

Remove from heat and discard thyme sprigs. Stir in herb salad. Serve immediately with a sturdy bread like Pain Pascal.

Makes about 7 heaping 1-cup servings.  Per serving: 277 calories, 16.2 g. fat, 5.4 g. saturated fat, 1.2 g. poly. fat, 4.1 g. mono. fat, 27.1 mg. cholesterol, 320.9 mg. sodium, 287 mg. potassium, 23.1 g. carbohydrates, 7.2 g. fiber, 10.4 g. protein, vitamin A 32%, vitamin C 49%, calcium 11%, iron 17%