Hare Soup Recipe
Hare is a very low-fat, wild game meat, which makes it perfect for a clear, non-greasy soup. Perhaps surprisingly, hare meat is quite different from rabbit meat. While rabbit meat is light in colour, gentle in flavour and often compared to chicken, hare is dark in colour, rich in flavour and perhaps more accurately compared to beef. As with most types of wild game, cooking it long and slow, on the bone, will see the meat become super tender, ready to fall off the bone at a touch, and truly melt in the mouth. This means that while this soup recipe is a little bit lengthy to prepare, the end more than justifies the means.
Stage 1 - Cooking Hare and Preparing Stock
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 2 hours 30 min
Cooling time: 2 hours minimum
Ready in: 5 hours, approximately
- 3 pound fresh hare, cleaned and jointed
- 8 celery sticks
- Leaves from one head of celery
- 8 medium carrots
- 3 medium to large onions
- 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 5 fresh bay leaves
- 9 pints cold water
The cleaned and skinned hare has in this instance subsequently been chopped in to six parts, consisting of the four legs and the saddle chopped in half. These sized pieces are perfect for this recipe. Just do take a couple of minutes to ensure there is no fur or stray hair patches still sticking to the meat before you begin the cooking process. Add the pieces to a very large soup or stock pot.
Wash, trim and roughly chop the celery sticks and carrots. Wash and roughly chop the celery leaves. Peel and quarter the onions. Add the lot to the pot with the hare, along with the bay leaves, peppercorns and salt. Measure in the cold water and put the pot on to a high heat until the water begins to simmer. Cover and adjust the heat to achieve as gentle a simmer as possible for two and a half hours.
When the cooking time is up, turn the heat off under the pot and leave for at least a couple of hours or until completely cooled.
Use a slotted spoon to lift the cooled hare pieces to a plate. Similarly, remove the pieces of vegetable from the stock and discard.
Pluck the meat carefully from the bones in smallish pieces and add to a clean bowl or deep plate. Take your time doing this, ensuring you feel for and discard any small bones or bone fragments. They must not be allowed to get in to the soup. Discard the bones.
Strain the stock carefully through a kitchen paper lined sieve, suspended over a clean pot or very large bowl.
Stage 2 - Preparing the Hare Soup Proper
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 45 min
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: 16 to 18 servings (approximately)
- Strained hare stock
- 3 pounds floury/starchy potatoes
- 1 pound celery
- Medium sized leek (approximately ¾ pound)
- 1¼ pounds carrots
- 3 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Cooled hare meat
- 2 ounces celery leaves
Pour the hare stock back into the washed and dried original pot. Peel the potatoes, chop to around one-inch chunks and add them to the pot with the stock. Wash and trim the celery sticks before very finely dicing. Add around two-thirds of the diced celery only to the pot, cover the remainder and reserve in the fridge for later use. Put the pot on to a high heat and bring to a simmer for about twenty to twenty-five minutes, until the potatoes are softened.
A hand blender should now be used to blend the soup until completely smooth. Alternatively, it can be allowed to cool slightly before being blitzed in batches in a standalone blender (it's not a good idea to attempt this latter option when the soup is too hot in case of accidental spillages).
Wash the leek, trim and thinly slice across the way into discs. Wash, top and tail the carrots and moderately finely dice. Add both to the blitzed soup, along with the remaining celery, the salt and black pepper.
Bring the soup back to a simmer for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally with a large wooden spoon.
Wash the celery leaves and roughly chop before adding to the soup along with the hare meat. Simmer for five further minutes and the soup is ready to serve.
© 2018 Gordon N Hamilton