The best pheasant stock and soup recipe should be in everyone's repertoire. If you are cooking the birds then making stock is simple

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The best pheasant stock and soup recipe is a stalwart on the the top 10 best pheasant recipes list. The other pheasant recipes on the list use pheasant breasts, such as parmesan pheasant breasts with crispy ham  or whole birds, such as in the perfect roast pheasant recipe.

So what do you do with the rest of the pheasant carcass or the leftover bones? I am a great advocate of making stock. So this is a two-part recipe – first stock and then soup. My granddaughter swears that the latter is a sovereign remedy for curing colds; and it is true that it is a sort of version of Momma’s Jewish Chicken Soup. Whatever medicinal properties the best pheasant stock and soup recipe may have, it is certainly perfect for a cold winter’s day and everyone always asks for seconds.

THE BEST PHEASANT STOCK AND SOUP RECIPE

PHEASANT STOCK

500ml serves 3 to 4 people
■ Raw pheasant carcasses or leftover bones from a roast
■ Per carcass: an onion (skin on, cut in half and pierced with 2 cloves), 1 stick celery, 1 unpeeled carrot, 2 peppercorns and 1 bay-leaf
■ Some water

Carcasses should be roasted in a hot oven for about 20 minutes with the onion, celery, carrot, peppercorns and bay-leaf. You will not need to do this with bones from a roast.

Put the carcass, bones, juices, any crunchy bits from the roast and the vegetables into a large pan. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer over a very low heat for several hours with the lid on, tasting and checking water levels periodically.

When the stock tastes full and pheasanty and looks properly brown, and the bones have all fallen apart, strain into a large bowl, cover with cling film and leave to cool. Refrigerate.

THE BEST PHEASANT SOUP

Ingredients are per 500ml of stock
■ Salt and black pepper
■ 50ml-75ml (13⁄4fl oz-21⁄2fl oz) vermouth or sherry
■ 30g (1oz) butter
■ 1 diced shallot or red onion
■ 1 handful basmati rice
■ 1 large diced carrot
■ 1 small potato peeled and diced
■ 2 sticks chopped celery (or 1⁄2 bulb fennel)
■ Handful finely chopped parsley

Skim any fat off the cold stock, then heat it. Taste and add salt as needed and the vermouth. Bring to the boil for 3-5 minutes; when the alcohol has evaporated, keep it simmering. In a separate pan, melt the butter, add the onion and rice and then season. Sweat over a low heat with the lid on until the onion is soft, then add the rest of the veg. Now pour in a little stock and bubble furiously for a minute; then add the remaining stock and boil until the rice is cooked but still a bit nutty. Taste and season again and stir in all the chopped parsley.

Serve with crusty hot bread and butter. The best pheasant stock and soup recipe is perfect for wide-necked thermoses and an ideal warming treat on the hill, accompanied by woodpigeon sausage rolls.