Heirloom Pumpkin Soup with Duck Confit & Spiced Pepitas
  • 1pound Kabocha or Red Kuri squash, halved and seeded
  • 1tablespoon sunflower oil or grapeseed oil
  • Pinchof sea salt
  • 2medium onions, peeled and diced
  • 6cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1duck leg confit (see below) or 1 cup shredded roasted turkey or pork
  • 2tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • Pinchof chili powder
  • Pinchof ground coriander
  • 2tablespoons pumpkin seed oil or extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 500°F. In a roasting pan, lightly coat the squash with oil and season with salt. Place in the oven and roast until the squash starts to color and is very tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and when the squash has cooled enough to handle, peel.
  2. In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the squash, onions, and garlic, and onions and add enough water to cover the vegetables. Boil the soup until the water reduces to three-quarters of the original volume. Transfer to a blender or food processor and purée until very smooth. Season with salt.
  3. In a small sauté pan over medium heat, warm the duck confit. When warmed, remove the leg from the pan, pull the meat from the bone, and shred it into small pieces. Place the shredded meat in a small bowl and season with salt, if needed.
  4. In a small sauté pan over medium heat, toast the pumpkin seeds with the chili powder and ground coriander until the spices become fragrant.
  5. Divide the soup into four warmed soup bowls. Top each bowl with the shredded duck and spiced pumpkin seeds. Drizzle the soup with the pumpkin seed oil and serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

Duck Leg Confit

To make a confit, fat must be rendered. I mix diced fat with an equal amount of water and cook it gently until the water has just cooked out. Keep the temperature low, otherwise the rendered fat will take on a "cooked" flavor. In a pinch, I've made confit with olive oil, the key is to keep it from getting too hot.

6 duck legs
Sea salt
4 cups duck fat, melted
1 cinnamon stick
1 orange, halved


Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Season the dug legs liberally with salt and place in a heavy-bottomed braising pan. Add the fat, cinnamon and orange. Cook over medium heat until the fat begins to simmer.

Transfer the braising pan to the oven and cook until the duck legs are very tender, 4 to 5 hours. Remove the pan from the oven to cool. Store the cooled duck in the fat in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.