Recipe: Italian Bird and Buck Soup


When the flu bug spreads like wildfire, one of the most requested meals is a bowl of hot soup to warm the bones.

Here’s a wild game twist on comforting classic chicken noodle soup. It uses nutrient-rich homemade wild stock, poached upland bird meat of choice, and some slices of grilled, or fried, smoked venison brats.

The addition of diced tomatoes, fennel, basil, Parmesan and Ditalini pasta, (“small thimbles”), add a nice Italian flavor. It is a bold and satisfying dish of simple, high-quality ingredients.

Think of it fondly like you would a gun-toting Italian grandma! Now, isn’t that a comforting thought? Buon Appetito!


6-8 cups homemade wild game stock (substitute chicken or vegetable stock if needed)

1-14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil

1/2 to 3/4 C cooked upland bird meat

2 smoked venison brats, sliced thin and fried

Half medium onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 teaspoon dried fennel (or 1/2 C chopped fresh)

1 teaspoon dried basil (or 1 T fresh)

1/2 T lemon juice

3 cups cooked ditalini pasta

Parmesan cheese

Greens for garnish


Fill a large pan with stock and bring to a simmer. Add tomatoes, onion, celery, dried fennel seed, and dried basil. Simmer until vegetables are tender.

Add bird meat, brat slices, pasta, and lemon juice. Heat through.

Ladle up into serving dishes. Add sliced, or micro-planed Parmesan, and some baby kale or arugula, and serve.

About the Author: Raised a Minnesota farm-girl in a hunting family, Krissie Mason (below) is an outdoorswoman, food enthusiast, and has been reconnecting with her culinary country roots and family hunting traditions of late. She is the brains and brawn behind Scratch + Holler media, and a regular contributor to several outdoor websites. Krissie fully supports a field-to-fork wild food chain, and especially enjoys expanding pantries and stretching wild game palates with her ambitious and delicious wild game recipes. Be sure to visit Krissie’s website to check out her blog and much more.

Read More