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Recipe - Grouse & Wild rice soup

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

Recipe by Jeff Benda

Editors Note:

About the Author: Jeff has appeared on the food afield podcast. Here is the episode. You can also find out more about Jeff and his wonderful wild food cooking adventures on his website Wild Game & Fish. We are so happy that he has agreed to share some recipes here on the Food Afield Podcast Gazette. Thank you Jeff!

This grouse & wild rice soup does the trick to warm up my family on a cold winter's night. For this recipe, you’ll make the stock and cook the grouse to pull apart tender in the same pot so you can utilize the entire carcass, including the legs and thighs.

Garlic and thyme add aromatic depth to this wild game soup, along with the classic base of onions, carrots, and celery. Finish it with a drizzle of lemon and cream to add a touch of richness.

I used Sharp-tailed grouse for this recipe, but you could use a different type of grouse, pheasant, partridge, or even wild turkey.



  • 2 grouse (plucked, gutted, and cleaned)

  • 2 large yellow onions, diced

  • 20 baby carrots, cut in half

  • 4 stalks of celery with leaves, diced

  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic

  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme

  • 1 Tablespoon dried rosemary

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper

  • 4 cups chicken broth

  • 10 cups water

Grouse & Wild Rice Soup

  • 2 cups wild rice

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

  • 16 ounces white button or baby bella mushrooms, sliced

  • 2 Tablespoons butter

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice

John holds up a nice Ruffed Grouse from the Boreal Forest. His 20g over/under is on his shoulder. The sky is bright blue and the sun is shining in the prairie sky.
John's plump Ruffed Grouse. Photo by Kevin Kossowan


  • Place the grouse, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper, chicken broth, and water in an 8-quart stockpot.

  • Simmer, uncovered, for 4 hours.

  • Chill the stock for 4 hours or overnight so you can handle the meat and bones. Using your hands, shred the meat and return it to the pot. Remove all of the grouse bones and discard them.

Grouse & Wild Rice Soup

  • Return grouse stock to the stovetop, add the uncooked wild rice, and bring to a boil, then simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the mushrooms. Do not move the mushrooms until they have caramelized on one side. When they are caramelized, stir them and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.

  • Add the butter to the mushrooms. Cook and toss for 3 more minutes, until beautifully browned.

  • Transfer mushrooms to the soup. Stir in the cream and lemon juice. Simmer for 5 more minutes. Season with more salt and pepper if needed. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

A sharptail grouse and shotgun lay in the grass. The sun is shining on the beautiful barred plummage.
John's new over-under 20 gauge. Photo by John Schneider

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