Pheasant Barley Soup

Hunting season is in full swing, and nothing tastes better than freshly harvested game. And just back from a successful four-day pheasant hunting trip to western North Dakota, I had my eyes set on some homemade soup.

So, after the final cleanup on a dozen pheasants and the freezing of the legs, thighs and breasts in vacuum-sealed bags, I started the process of making some pheasant barley soup.

First, I used the backbones and necks to make a broth for a pheasant barley soup. Next, I took the meat off the bones, placed them back in the pot and added the remaining ingredients, all of which we had on hand, including carrots, onions, tomatoes and cabbage from our garden.

The result was nothing short of mouth-watering. A slice or two of Cheddar cheese with a couple of homemade biscuits completed the meal.

Pheasant Barley Soup
2 cups pheasant, cut up (see note)
1 onion diced
1 stalk celery, diced
3 medium carrots, sliced thinly
½ cup pearled barley
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup chopped cabbage
12 cups water
1 cup peas (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook raw pheasant in water for 1 hour. Add remaining ingredients and salt and pepper to taste. Cook on medium heat for 1 to 2 hours.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8.
Note: I used a dozen backbones and necks from recently harvested pheasants.