Duck Soup Recipe - How to Make Smoked Duck Soup | Hank Shaw (2024)

Home | Wild Game | Ducks and Geese | Smoked Duck Soup

4.77 from 17 votes

By Hank Shaw

February 18, 2016 | Updated July 04, 2020


Jump to Recipe

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Duck Soup Recipe - How to Make Smoked Duck Soup | Hank Shaw (2)

This is a duck soup with two stories behind it, not one.

The first has been a long time coming. I live in Northern California, and hunt ducks and geese in the Sacramento Valley, where we grow more rice than anywhere else but Arkansas — another excellent duck hunting state, and no, that is not a coincidence.

Hunting flooded rice fields is one of the main ways we chase these birds, and many is the day I stareat rice grains still on a stray plant, drying in the winter sun, while I am waiting for a wigeon or pintail or teal to fly by.

And no matter whether you are in the rice or in a natural marsh, you will be surrounded by wild mustards of various species. Every year, as the season closes at the end of January, the marshes and orchards explode with a canary carpet ofmustard blooms. And, you should know, those mustard greens are the same variety you buy in the supermarket.

Interspersed among the mustards, hiding in wetter places, is the invasive three-cornered leek, a wild onion you should learn to identify, as it is as tasty as it is environmentally friendly to pick.

Duck Soup Recipe - How to Make Smoked Duck Soup | Hank Shaw (3)

After a good rain, underfoot grow masses of meadow mushrooms, our local cousin to the plain ole’ button mushroom you buy in the store. Whenever I find them, I pick them.

For many years, I’ve wanted to put all these ingredients together, along with wild duck, to make a dish that celebrates duck hunting where I live. But it took the carcasses of a fat canvasback and pintail to make it happen.

Duck Soup Recipe - How to Make Smoked Duck Soup | Hank Shaw (4)

I don’t leave too many of my ducks whole these days. I prefer to cook legs and wings slow and low, and breasts hot and fast. But when I do keep my waterfowl whole, it is mostly to smoke them over fruit woods. I love my recipe for smoked duck, but the fact is the legs and wings are often too tough to eat without further cooking if you smoke the breasts to perfection. What to do?

Make this soup. I used the meaty carcasses of two fine ducks, with the legs and wings still attached (I used the breasts for another dish) to make a clear broth, and then I shredded the meat remaining on the bones for this soup. Added to that are roasted button mushrooms and foraged green onions and mustard; actually in the picture I used sea rocket, a maritime cousin of arugula that works just as well.

The result was worth the wait.

Rice cooked in the broth, nicely roasted mushrooms, the peppery bite of the mustard, a little gentle onion-ness from the chives, and above all the slightly salty, smoky broth and duck meat. A squeeze of lemon juice from a backyard lemon tree tied the duck soup all together.

It is both the perfect use for leftover roasted or smoked duck and a lovely hat tip to our NorCal duck hunting grounds. I couldn’t be happier with this recipe.

4.77 from 17 votes

Duck Soup

There's a certain jazz involved with this soup. I use rice, but any grain you'd like to eat will do. Only be sure to cook the grain separately in the broth -- if you cook it in the soup, the grains will turn the pretty clear broth cloudy. Button mushrooms are easy to get and are very close to the mushrooms that grow in our duck hunting grounds, but any mushroom will do. I roast them in the oven first and then add them to the soup. Doing this will give you a better texture. Finally, you want a pungent green thing. Mustard is my choice, but arugula, watercress or turnip greens are all good alternatives. Finish the dish with a squeeze of lemon juice at the table.

Save RecipePin RecipePrint Recipe

Course: Soup

Cuisine: American

Servings: 6 people

Author: Hank Shaw

Prep Time: 3 hours hours

Cook Time: 20 minutes minutes

Total Time: 3 hours hours 20 minutes minutes



  • 2 quarts of premade duck or chicken broth or water
  • Carcasses of 2 or 3 smoked ducks, chopped into a few pieces


  • 1 pound of fresh mushrooms, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons melted duck fat or olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups rice
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 3/4 pound mustard greens, chopped small
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped chives
  • Juice of 1 or 2 lemons


  • Start by making the broth. Heat up the premade broth or water to the steaming point, then add the chopped up smoked duck carcasses. If you are using water, feel free to add a chopped up onion, carrot and celery if you have them lying around. Let this steep at the steaming point -- don't let the broth simmer or boil -- for 4 hours. Then strain the broth. Put a sieve over a large bowl. Set a piece of paper towel in the sieve, then ladle the broth through this into the bowl. Keep the strained broth warm.

  • While the stock is cooking, preheat the oven to 375°F. Toss the mushrooms with the melted duck fat or oil and salt them well. Set them in a roasting pan and grind some black pepper over them. Roast for 15 minutes and then turn off the heat. Let the mushrooms continue to roast as you do other things. They can sit in the oven for up to 3 hours.

  • About 30 minutes before the broth is ready, pour off 2 cups and put that in a small pot. Add the rice and another cup of water and bring it to a boil. Cover the pot, lower the heat to its lowest setting and cook the rice. When the rice has absorbed all the water, about 15 minutes, turn off the heat but leave the lid on the pot.

  • While the rice is cooking, fish out the legs and carcasses of the ducks and pick off as much meat as you can.

  • To finish the soup, add the chopped mustard greens to the strained broth and let them cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Put some shredded duck meat, rice and mushrooms in individual bowls and ladle over some of the broth and greens. Sprinkle chives on top and add lemon juice and black pepper to taste.


Note that most of the prep time is to make the smoked duck broth.


Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 113mg | Potassium: 881mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1787IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe? Tag me today!Mention @huntgathercook or tag #hankshaw!

Categorized as:
American Recipes, Ducks and Geese, Featured, Recipe, Wild Game

You May Also Like


British Game Pie

How to make hand-raised pies with game. This one is a huntsman’s pie, an English classic hand pie made with a hot water crust.

Ducks and Geese

Seared Canada Goose Breast

This is the best Canada goose breast recipe if you want to eat it like a steak or a London broil. Reverse seared goose breast sliced thin and served simply.


Duck Terrine

Making a duck terrine is not as hard as you might think, although you do need some equipment. Why bother…


Duck Noodle Soup

A Cantonese duck noodle soup recipe that works with wild or farmed duck. Roast duck with noodles, a duck broth, mustard greens and ginger. Simple and refined.

About Hank Shaw

Hey there. Welcome to Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, the internet’s largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods. I am a chef, author, and yes, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook.

Read More About Me

Duck Soup Recipe - How to Make Smoked Duck Soup | Hank Shaw (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Velia Krajcik

Last Updated:

Views: 5921

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (54 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Velia Krajcik

Birthday: 1996-07-27

Address: 520 Balistreri Mount, South Armand, OR 60528

Phone: +466880739437

Job: Future Retail Associate

Hobby: Polo, Scouting, Worldbuilding, Cosplaying, Photography, Rowing, Nordic skating

Introduction: My name is Velia Krajcik, I am a handsome, clean, lucky, gleaming, magnificent, proud, glorious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.