Anytime I get to throw some wild game in a dish I jump at the opportunity. When a friend of mine sent me this recipe and said she really liked it but would like to see what kind of wild spin I would put on it I was intrigued. The original recipe was very straight forward and called for smoked trout. With the exception of a good Chowder I am usually not a big fan of using fish in soup. I went to the freezer to see what I had available and the first thing that jumped out at me were three pheasants I had been given by my buddy Eric.
I figured I could really fortify the soup base if I roasted some pheasant carcasses and add them to the stock. Along with the pheasants I threw in a handful of dried lobster mushrooms I had from last year and some store bought shittakes. I also had some dried ramp leaves from last year so I added them as well. What I ended up with is a hearty stock that is packed with Umami flavors. The soba noodles and the pheasant made this one of my new favorite soups.
Pheasant and Soba Noodle Soup
6 ounces Japanese soba, cooked and tossed with 2 teaspoons sesame oil
3 broccoli crowns, cut or broken into small florets
1 pound of pheasant meat cut into one inch cubes
3 pheasant carcasses, roasted
5-6 dried ramps
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds for garnish
6 dried shittake mushrooms
1 cup dried lobster mushrooms
1 bunch scallions, sliced
1 4- to 6-inch stick of kombu
8 cups water
2 inch knob of ginger, skinned and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
3 tablespoons Soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine (mirin)
Salt and sugar to taste
Start by making the stock, put the roasted pheasant carcasses in a stock pot then cover with 8 cups of water. Add the mushrooms, dried ramps, soy sauce, rice wine and the ginger. Cook the stock for about 45 minutes, covered. then add the pheasant pieces to the stock and cook for 10 minutes more.
Pour the stock through a strainer lined with cheese cloth and reserve the mushrooms and the pheasant pieces. Put the strained stock back on the stove over medium heat and add the mushroom and pheasant back in. Add in the Broccoli and cook for 5 minutes more taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Place a portion of the soba noodles in a bowl and pour soup over noodles. garnish with black sesame seeds and thinly sliced scallions.