Duck soup and purple bread

A couple of Sundays ago, we went out for lunch with a colleague of ours, a self-professed foodie, and his wife. In addition to eating at a restaurant that they’d found the week before, we also visited a little takeaway kiosk across the street where we were able to buy a whole roasted duck for under $10. This wasn’t just any old duck though. It was Peking duck and came complete with the paper thin wraps and the soy based hoisin sauce that are part of this most famous of Chinese meals.
After choosing our duck, we watched in fascination as the proprietor used her razor sharp cleaver to cut it up and slice the meat into tiny thin slices. In a matter of minutes, she was done and there was hardly any meat left on the bones. We ate well that night and the next and had enough left over to freeze for a third meal at a later date! It was delicious!

The bones also came home with us and went into the freezer. I boiled them this morning and made broth that left the apartment smelling absolutely wonderful. Some of it went back into the freezer to flavour a future rice dish and I used the rest to make soup for tonight’s supper. I love making home made soups. Every one is a little bit different, depending on what ingredients I have on hand. This time, I didn’t even have to worry about adding any seasonings. There was enough of the skin in this morning’s pot to carry the delicious flavour of the seasoned glaze that the duck was coated with before it was roasted through to the soup pot.

At home in Canada, I would probably have made biscuits or corn bread to go with the soup but here I have neither the ingredients or an oven to cook it in. Bread would have to do but tonight’s wasn’t just any bread. The first time we went to the supermarket here, we were fortunate to find a whole grain bread that’s baked on site. We’ve been enjoying it ever since but when we went shopping yesterday, the store was out of it. The time had come to try something new, something that I’d been eying with curiosity for quite some time, purple bread! At first glance, I thought it had bits of nut in it but on closer inspection I realized that it was sweet red bean which would also explain the bread’s unusual colour. Though we’ll continue to buy the whole grain product most of the time, its slightly sweet flavour was a nice change and went surprisingly well with the duck soup.

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