Pheasant Soup

This winter soup is a combination of the tasty remains of roast pheasant, sweetened with cranberry sauce and ‘bodied up’ with the addition of a variety of seasonal vegetables.



It is a treat in our house, not only for the flavours but also because it is made from the remains of a ‘special’ meal, i.e. our Christmas eve dinner, and associated good memories. But, of course, you can treat yourself to pheasant any time in season.

Alastair’s response to theturkey rhyme we received from a friend:

                                This little note I send to say
                                Hope all is well and pleasant
                                And don’t forget on Christmas Day
                                Enjoy a meal of pheasant.

Two 500gm birds provide a roast meal and a salad supper; and then Alastair and I have five soup meals. Unlike many of my recipes, preparing the soup does require quite a bit of kitchen time – about an hour in total; but this is split into three ‘chunks’….and keep in mind that the end result is up to five light meals for two requiring no more than defrosting and heating through.

The recipe below is to be used as a guide. While we use pheasant, quail or partridge are also suitable. Add vegetables that are in your larder and seasonal. However, I avoid the addition of cabbage or Brussels sprouts because I find their flavour is over-powering in this soup.

If you want a thicker soup adjust the proportions, ie. decrease the volume of stock or increase the quantity of pheasant and/or vegetables (in particular, potato which is the main thickener). Salt and pepper are best added after the soup has cooked as they may not be necessary.

Diets for which are suitable:

Diabetic, Diary Free, Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Fat and Nut Free.

STOCK

Ingredients

Preparation: 5 + 15 mins | Cooking: 70 mins | Serves: 3 litre (100 fl oz) stock

2 pheasant carcasses (including any skin and bones)
Any leftover gravy from the pheasant dinner
1 bay leaf
water to cover – approximately 3 litres (12 cups/100 fl oz)

Method

PLACE the carcasses, gravy and bay leaf in a large pot/casserole and cover in water.
BOIL and reduce the temperature to simmer and cook for 1 hour.
COOL to a temperature to enable you to handle the carcasses.
REMOVE any fat that has settled on top.
STRAIN off the liquid into a large bowl.
REMOVE all the meat from the carcasses. (Take care that small bones are removed from the meat, they can be hard to detect.)
ADD to this pheasant as necessary remaining meat from the previous roast dinner to a total weight of approx 200 gm (7 oz).
DISCARD the skin and all the bones.

SOUP

Ingredients

Preparation: 15 + 10 mins | Cooking: 60 mins | Serves: 8+ serves

3 lt (12 cups/ 102 fl oz) stock
200 gm (7oz) pheasant
250 ml (1 cup) port or full bodied red wine (eg Shiraz)
1 tbsp red currant jelly
2 sticks celery
1 onion (red or white), medium
2 leeks, medium
2 turnips, medium
2 carrots, medium
2 baking potatoes, medium
Salt (optional)
Pepper (optional)

Method

PEEL onion, turnips, carrots and potatoes and chop coarsely.
CHOP coarsely the celery and leeks.
COMBINE the stock, pheasant, port, red currant jelly and vegetables in a large saucepan. (I recommend you add salt and pepper after cooking.)
BOIL and lower the temperature to simmer for an hour or until vegetables are tender.
LIQUIDISE the soup to the desired texture. (I like it fine so the consistency of the meat and vegetables are similar.)

Serve

– Hot, good with bread and cheese.
– Freezes well for later use.

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