Pheasant and Wild Rice Soup

Pheasant and Wild Rice Soup

Have I mentioned that we have amazing neighbors? Well, we do! We consider them as family and spend a lot of time discussing and sharing food with each other. Our friends Kate and Ryan of The Barn Iowa live right across the road from our farm. It’s been a wonderful winter to live nearby because Ryan has been sharing the meat he’s hunted with us! We’ve received an amazing assortment of local, wild meats such as venison, pheasant, and rabbit. I have some great recipes coming your way! Cooking with locally hunted meats was something that I really wanted to dive into in 2019. I am beginning to become more and more interested in eating not only locally farmed meat raised on pasture but also sourcing local game. It feels very pioneer to me, and reminds me of the way that our ancestors ate, wholly and locally. Their animals were raised in small amounts on pasture, just for their family. They hunted in the winter months when the animals were fat and the population was overrun.

My first recipe was pheasant, which is hunted in the late autumn months through January in Iowa. We have seen so many on the country roads this year! My dad actually hit one with his truck accidentally leaving for work in the dark, early morning hours. Though we couldn’t eat it ourselves, we made good use of the carcass and fed it to our cats, saving the tail feathers. Oh, the beauty of farm life! I feel like I am entering new territory here with our tales of meat. I have new viewpoints on the subject this year. I read a great article that spoke about how farming animals is beneficial to the soil and environment as a whole, though in a sustainable and small scale fashion. I hope to convey that message in a respectful and helpful way in the future months! While my views may differ from yours, I hope that I can always be a person that is open minded about this subject and all that entails, remember everyone that it affects. Meat is… confusing. But at this time in my life, I am open to it again.

Recipe + Ingredients |

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 wild pheasant, chunked

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced

  • 2 carrots, diced

  • 2 celery ribs, diced

  • 1 large sweet potato, diced

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 tsp thyme

  • 1 tsp rosemary

  • 3 tbsp butter

  • 1/4 cup flour

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk

  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock/broth

  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice

  • 1-2 handfuls spinach or kale, roughly chopped or ripped

  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Toss in the pheasant and cook until no longer pink, about 8-10 minutes.

  2. Add the garlic, onions, mushrooms, carrot, and celery. Cook until veggies are soft and the onion is translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Do not worry if the carrots are still hard.

  3. Add the sweet potato chunks, bay leaves, thyme, and rosemary. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss in the oil and cook, about 1-2 minutes.

  4. Melt the butter with the pheasant and vegetables. Sprinkle in the flour and toss to coat. Allow the flour to brown until it has a nutty fragrance.

  5. Slowly begin to pour in the milk in a steady stream. Stirring constantly, allow it to come to a boil and thicken. Add in the chicken stock in a similar fashion, allowing it to come to a boil after the addition of each cup.

  6. Add in the rice and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked.

  7. Add in the spinach or kale and let simmer for a few minutes or until the greens have wilted. Season with salt and pepper.

  8. Serve warm!

Delicious! I had never eaten pheasant before trying this recipe, and I was not disappointed! I love trying new meals, especially if they are coming from a source that is around my farm. It’s really a magical and important feeling. Does your family hunt? Have you ever had wild pheasant before? I know that some folks farm pheasants! I wonder how different the tastes are.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you do not have pheasant available to you, you can substitute in chicken instead. Still delicious!

xoxo Kayla

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