- 1 duck (4 to 5 pounds), trimmed of excess fat
- 1 medium-size yellow onion, quartered
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 pound sliced bacon, chopped
- 2 cups chopped yellow onions
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
- 1 pound dried navy beans, picked over and rinsed
- Put the duck in a large, heavy pot and cover with water. Add the quartered onion, garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons of the salt, and the red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium, partially cover, and cook for 2 hours. Remove the duck, transfer to a platter, and let cool.
- Remove the skin from the duck and pick the meat off the bones, discarding the skin and bones. Shred the meat and set aside.
- Strain the duck broth through a fine-mesh sieve. You should have about 2 1/2 quarts. Add enough water to make 3 quarts. Set aside.
- In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, fry the bacon until slightly crisp, about 7 minutes. Add the chopped onions, celery, carrots, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, the black pepper, and bay leaves. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are slightly soft, about 3 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and beans and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
- Add the reserved duck broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Remove and discard the bay leaves. Add the duck meat and heat for about 2 minutes. Serve hot in soup bowls.