Jerusalem artichoke soup with a hazelnut milk froth and a cigarette of wild duck and sloes – by Robert Thompson

11 September 2006
Jerusalem artichoke soup with a hazelnut milk froth and a cigarette of wild duck and sloes – by Robert Thompson

(Serves six as a starter)

For the duck 2 wild duck legs, lightly sprinkled with rock salt and left in fridge for 12 hours with…
2 bay leaves
6 peppercorns
2 juniper berries, and
4 sprigs of thyme
Duck fat
300ml sloe gin
100g sloe berries (pictured)

For the soup 500g Jerusalem artichokes
3 medium shallots, sliced
150ml dry white wine
1 litre light chicken stock

For the milk 500ml whole milk
250g hazelnuts, peeled and toasted
200ml double cream
1 lemon

For the "cigarette" Freshly grated nutmeg
6 large sheets of filo pastry
1 egg

Method Rinse salt off the duck legs and then pat dry. Place in a deep pan and add enough duck fat to cover. Bring to a gentle simmer and confit until very soft.

Place the gin and sloes into a pan and bring to the simmer. Reduce until sticky and the sloes very soft.

Peel the artichokes. Cut the artichokes into small chunks and immediately place in water with a little lemon juice. Sauté the shallots in a little oil until soft. Add the artichoke and sauté for a further five minutes. Add the wine and cook until evaporated, then add the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer until artichokes are soft.

Bring the milk to the simmer and then take off the heat, add the toasted hazelnuts and leave to infuse until milk has taken on the hazelnut flavour.

To finish the soup, blitz the artichokes and pass through a fine sieve into a pan. Add the cream and bring back to the simmer. Season well, adding a little lemon to finish.

Flake the duck legs, and in a bowl mix the duck with the sloe gin and berries. Season well, adding a little nutmeg. Make up six "cigarettes" using the filo pastry and seal the edges with a little beaten egg.

Strain the hazelnut milk and season. Add a little sugar to taste. Fry the cigarettes until golden and crispy. To serve, three-quarters fill six martini glasses with the artichoke soup, froth the hazelnut milk and fill to the top of each glass. Sit one cigarette on top of each glass.

Robert Thompson, head chef, Winteringham Fields, Lincolnshire

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