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Duck and green split pea soup

Serves 4-6

This is a great way to use up a half-eaten duck carcass, or you could use a whole mallard if you have plenty in your freezer from a shoot – or alternatively you could simply buy a couple of raw duck legs. Serve this as a substantial lunch dish, a dinner party starter or it's perfect on a chilly day to take fishing or shooting.

25g butter
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
A few sprigs of thyme
A couple of raw duck legs or leftover duck
250g green split peas, soaked overnight in cold water or according to instructions
1-1.5litres chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan and cook the onion in it for a few minutes until soft, without allowing it to colour. Add the thyme, duck legs and chicken stock, season, bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the split peas; continue simmering for an hour or until the duck is falling away from the bone and the peas are soft. Remove the duck and leave to cool.

Blend half of the soup in a liquidiser or with a stick blender as coarsely or as smoothly as you wish and return to the pan. Add a little water or stock if it is too thick, or simmer for a little longer if too thin. Check the seasoning and add a little salt and more pepper if necessary.

Remove the meat from the cooked duck leg and either shred it or just break it up and add to the soup. Simmer for a couple of minutes and re-season if necessary before serving.