If you’ve never been to Duckfat, in Portland, Maine (home to tons of amazing restaurants) you’re missing out big time.
Located on Middle Street, it bills itself as a little sandwich shop, but it’s so much more. I go there to be comforted and I always am. It’s usually lunchtime and I like to sit at the bar, not to have a drink but because I like to watch what’s happening in the kitchen.
One time I was so comforted I practically rolled out the door. I ordered the fries — hand-cut Belgian fries, which you MUST try. You get a choice of five flavored mayos. I’m most apt to get the garlic mayo. Then I ordered a vanilla milkshake. Not just any milkshake. Check out the ingredients: Vanilla gelato with crème anglaise & fresh Tahitian vanilla bean.
And on this particular afternoon, a bowl of tomato soup rolled me over the edge (in a good way.) Cream of tomato fennel with grilled cheese croutons. Comfort food and then some! Please don’t lecture me about anything, especially calories. It’s a once in a while indulgence.
Duckfat was kind enough to share a soup recipe with Catching Health. As you will see, in addition to being delicious, it’s dairy-free.
Smoked Chicken, Barley & Winter Squash Soup
Yield: 24 Quarts
Variations: Substitute smoked chicken with lamb or beef
Olive oil, to coat bottom of pan
4 Spanish onions, diced small
4 celery stalks, diced small
2 pounds carrots, quartered and sliced
1 TBS dried sage
2 TBS smoked paprika
½ bulb garlic, chopped
1 cup sherry
½ cup sherry vinegar
1 quart + 1 pint uncooked barley
6 pounds winter squash, peeled and cubed, ½”
20 quarts chicken stock
5 pounds smoked chicken, ½” dice
- In a large pot, combine barley and 4x water. Bring up to a boil, then lower heat to medium and cook until barley is soft (about 35 minutes).
- Meanwhile, heat a large stainless pot over medium-low heat. Add olive oil to coat bottom and add onions, celery, carrots, sage, and garlic. Cook over medium-low heat until carrots are soft. Deglaze with wine and vinegar and cook until dry. Add stock, squash, and cook until soft. Add barley, season to taste with salt.
- Add chicken, bring up again. Taste for seasoning.
- Garnish with sage.