A rich and warming winter soup, with wild pheasant and roasted chestnuts.
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Here's how you do it
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4.
Season the pheasant with salt, then brown the skin in a hot frying pan with 1 tbsp of oil.
Put the pheasant in a roasting tin and roast for 8 minutes.
Remove the pheasant from the pan, take the breasts off the bone by using a sharp knife to go along either side of the breast bone, as close to the bone as possible until they carefully come away, set aside.
Add the pheasant to a large pot with the carrot, celery, onion, bay, thyme and garlic. Cover with water and bring to the boil, then simmer for 1.5 hours.
Score the chestnuts with a cross on one side, put in a roasting tin and roast in the oven for 10 minutes.
When the chestnuts are ready, their skin will be peeling away. Leave to cool then peel off the outer shell.
When the pheasant is ready, remove from the pot. Pick the meat off the bone, discarding the skin and bones.
Strain the cooking liquid into a clean pan, then boil for 10 minutes to reduce slightly.
Blend the chestnuts with half of the picked pheasant meat and the cooking liquor, until smooth.
Reheat the soup, adding the rest of the picked meat and season with the vinegar, salt and pepper.
Fry the sage leaves in butter, add the pheasant breasts to warm them through, then slice.
Serve the soup with a dollop of creme fraiche, a crumbled chestnut, crispy sage leaves and sliced pheasant breast.