Gordon has been cooking and experimenting with food since childhood. He loves coming up with new and tasty culinary creations.
Any traditional meat-based soup recipe usually begins with the process of boiling down the bones to form a rich stock from which the soup is subsequently prepared. When the meat in question happens to be wild game, it can happen that the intense gamey flavour is a little bit too powerful for the tastes of many people.
This pheasant breast soup recipe came about when a pheasant breast was being cooked by poaching for later inclusion in a wild game pie and consideration was given to what to do with the cooking liquid. It produced a soup that still had that familiar gamey flavour but not to the extent of what would have been produced had the stock been made from the bones.
Cook Time for Pheasant Breasts and Stock
- Prep time: 10 min
- Cook time: 20 min
- Ready in: 30 min
- 2 skinless pheasant breast fillets*
- 2 celery sticks
- 1 large carrot
- 1 medium white onion
- 1 large red chilli
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 4 pints cold water
*Only 1 of the pheasant breast fillets was subsequently used in the soup and the other was used to prepare a wild game pie.
- Lay the pheasant breast fillets in the bottom of a large soup or stockpot.
- Peel the onion and chop it into wedges.
- Wash, top, tail and roughly chop the carrot and celery sticks.
- Cut the top from the chilli, seed and roughly chop.
- Add all the vegetables to the pot with the pheasant and season with the black peppercorns and around a teaspoon of salt.
- Lift the pot on to your stovetop if you haven't already done so before pouring in four pints of cold water and turning on the heat to its highest setting.
- When the water starts to boil, reduce the heat to achieve a gentle simmer for fifteen minutes only. The scum that forms on top of the water can be carefully skimmed away if you wish but it's not really necessary as it will cook off anyway, or any remaining can be removed when discarding the veg after cooking.
- When the fifteen minutes are up, turn off the heat under the pot and lift the pheasant breasts from the water with a large slotted spoon. Sit them in a flat bottomed bowl or deep plate, cover and leave to rest and cool. The stock should also ideally be left to partly cool before it is strained for safety reasons.
Cook Time for Soup
- Prep time: 40 min
- Cook time: 20 min
- Ready in: 1 hour
- Yields: 6 servings
- 1 poached pheasant breast fillet
- 3 pints strained stock
- 4 medium carrots
- 4 medium parsnips
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to garnish
- Salt and pepper
- A large slotted spoon should be used to remove and discard the chunks of vegetables from the stock.
- Suspend a very fine-meshed sieve over a large bowl and carefully ladle the stock into the sieve to remove the peppercorns and any other residual vegetable pieces.
- Wash out the soup pot and measure out three pints of the stock back into it. Any remaining stock can be chilled or frozen in a suitable container for future use. It can be stored in the fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months.
- Wash three of the carrots and three of the parsnips (keeping one of each in reserve) and cut off and discard the tops and tails. Roughly chop and add them to the stock before bringing the stock to a simmer for fifteen minutes until the vegetables are just softened.
- Turn the heat off under the pot and allow the soup to cool for thirty minutes before blending until smooth and returning to the pot.
- Peel the remaining carrot and parsnip and coarsely grate into the blended stock.
- Bring back to a simmer for five minutes.
- Shred the partridge breast fairly finely with your fingers. Take the opportunity at this stage to feel for any potential lead shot which may remain in the flesh.
- Add it to the simmering soup with the two tablespoons of chopped parsley.
- Stir well and simmer for five final minutes before ladling into bowls for serving, garnished with the last of the parsley.
© 2018 Gordon N Hamilton