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Lentil Soup with Partridges

  • 2 Partridges
  • 1 cup Lentils
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound veal bones
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled
  • 1 Parsnip, peeled
  • 1 Celery knob, peeled
  • 1/4 pound of smoked bacon
  • 2 tablespoons of all-purpuse flour
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon of prepared mustard
  • 1/3 cup of heavy cream

Soak the partridges in cold water for 3 to 4 hours. Place the lentils in a soup pot with the chicken broth, veal bones, carrot, parsnip and celery. Slowly bring to a boil.

Cut the smoked bacon into small dice and render the fat. With a slotted spoon, remove cracklings and set them aside.

Dry partridges. Very quickly brown the whole bird in the bacon drippings, giving them some color. Remove the partridges and place in the soup pot with the lentils.

Make a roux with the flour, onion, and the same fat used to brown the partridges. Add 1/2 of a cup of cold water and whip until smooth. When the partridges and lentils are done (about 2 hours), add the liquified roux. Cook for an additional 10 minutes. Take out the partridges and bone them. Place the meat chunks into the soup. Just before serving, whip the mustard and cream into the soup.

Note: partridges can be one of the toughest birds in the world, and the 2 hour cooking time may take longer. This is an excellent way to prepare what would otherwise be a very tough bird.

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