Duck and Jalapeño Lime Soup - by Jeff Benda

Duck and Jalapeño Lime Soup - by Jeff Benda

Duck and Jalapeno Lime Soup

By Jeff Benda

Instagram: @wildgameandfish


Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

This Duck and Jalapeno Lime Soup is my wild game twist on a classic Mexican tortilla soup. It’s also one of the simplest and most crowd-pleasing delicious dishes I’ve ever made.

I love hunting ducks here in North Dakota. I often wake up in the middle of the night to drive the two hours from Fargo to my favorite Waterfowl Production Area. I drag a couple of dozen decoys down to the bank, toss them into the water, and then stare up into the pre-dawn sky at the constellation Orion seeking some wisdom from the supernaturally strong hunter of Greek mythology. How would a demigod set up a decoy spread?

It was a cool October morning and the sun had just begun to rise when a flock of gadwalls approached and swirled above me like multicolored flakes in a snow globe before they began to land in the gaping hole I left in the middle of the decoys. Inside my merino gloves, my fingers clenched the shotgun as I swung the muzzle in the direction of the birds. My eyes looked down the barrel and rested on the heads of two fluttering gadwalls that hung tightly together like a pair of twins. I pulled the trigger to release a shower of steel shot and dropped both into the glistening water. Another gadwall soared in behind them, and I got that one too.

Minutes later, a huge flock of blue-winged teal blew in like a storm and I knocked down a few of them to fill my mixed-bag limit of six ducks. It was only 8:00 a.m. and my North Dakota duck hunt was complete.

A great hearty soup and duck hunting are both great things to look forward to in the fall. But using some delicious duck meat from a hunt makes this recipe a NEXT LEVEL dish. It adds an amazing flavor and a comfort food vibe to this family-friendly meal.

For this recipe I used the breasts from three gadwalls which weighed a total of 8 ounces. If you are using mallards, you should only need two ducks. However, if you are going with a smaller duck like a teal, you’ll probably need four ducks.

A handful of chopped Duck Breast meat.


  • 8 ounces boneless skinless duck breasts (from 3 ducks)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 jalapenos, ribs and seeds removed, finely diced
  • half of a red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 7-ounce can salsa verde
  • 1 14-ounce can white beans (cannellini or great northern)
  • juice of 2 limes
  • fresh cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheese, and tortilla chips for serving
an assortment of all ingredients necessary to make duck and jalapeno lime soup


  1. Place the duck breasts on a cutting board and tenderize using a Jaccard meat tenderizer or meat mallet. Then using a sharp knife, cut the duck breasts into 1-inch pieces.
  2. Transfer the duck meat to a bowl and toss with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt.
  3. In a soup pot over medium high heat, add the olive oil and duck meat and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring often. Remove the duck meat and transfer to a plate and set aside.
  4. In the same soup pot over medium heat, sauté the jalapeno and red onion for about 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic and the other 1/2 teaspoon of salt and sauté for another 2 minutes. 
  5. Add the chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. 
  6. Add the salsa and white beans to the pot and stir well to combine. Simmer for another 10 minutes over medium heat.
  7. Add the duck meat back to the pot along with the freshly squeezed lime juice and stir well to combine. 
  8. Taste and add a little more salt if needed.
  9. Serve with fresh cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheese, and tortilla chips.


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