Hearty Rabbit and Bean Soup

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This hearty rabbit and bean soup is a comforting and filling meal that is perfect for those chilly days like the ones we have here in North Dakota. We can hunt wild rabbits year-round, and I  love turning them into tender and delicious meals by slow cooking as I do here. Rabbits are high in protein and low in fat, making them a healthy choice for those who enjoy eating wild game. We love this thick soup because it tastes creamy and savory like a chowder without using half-and-half or heavy cream. Serve it with a side of crusty bread for a satisfying dish that is sure to become a family favorite.

Serving Size: 6-8

Time to make: 5-6 hours

Equipment: Dutch Oven

Also works with: Squirell, Phesant, or other Game Birds (cooking time may change)

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Hearty Rabbit & Bean Soup

Recipe by Jeff BendaCourse: Dinner, LunchCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Medium
Servings

7

servings
Prep time

6

hours 
Cooking time

1

hour 

This hearty rabbit and bean soup is a comforting and filling meal that is perfect for those chilly days like the ones we have here in North Dakota. We can hunt wild rabbits year-round, and I  love turning them into tender and delicious meals by slow cooking as I do here.

Ingredients

  • Rabbit Prep
  • 1 wild rabbit, cut into shoulders, legs, and saddle pieces 

  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour 

  • 1 Tablespoon butter 

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil 

  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced 

  • 3 cups chicken broth

  • Soup Ingredients 
  • 6 slices of bacon

  • 1 large yellow onion, diced

  • 10 baby carrots, diced

  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

  • 2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence

  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste

  • 3 cans cannellini beans or great northern beans

  • 3 cups chicken broth

  • 1/2 cup couscous

  • 2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation

  • Rabbit Prep
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. 
  • Toss the rabbit meat with the flour, then tap off the excess. 
  • Heat oil and butter in a 6-quart or 7-quart Dutch oven on a stovetop burner over medium-high heat. Add the rabbit pieces and brown for about 5 minutes until golden all over.
  • Add yellow onion and chicken broth to the Dutch oven. Mix well, cover with the lid or tightly with foil, and place in the oven at 325 degrees F, undisturbed, for about 3 to 4  hours. 
  • Remove the Dutch oven and chill for about 2 hours or overnight so you can handle the meat and bones. Using your hands, shred the meat and discard all the bones. Set meat aside until ready to make the soup. Transfer any remaining liquid and onions to a large bowl and reserve them to use in the soup later on. Wipe out the Dutch oven so it’s clean and ready to use to cook the bacon.
  • Soup Instructions
  • When the rabbit is cooked and ready, get your prep done before you start cooking the soup: finely dice the onion. Dice the carrots. Chop the parsley.
  • Add 1 can of beans with liquid to a blender or food processor, pour in 1 cup of the chicken broth, and puree until smooth. Set aside.
  • Bring the bacon to room temperature. Lay the strips in the Dutch oven, raise the heat to medium and cook, turning, until crispy, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove bacon from the pot using a slotted spoon leaving as much grease as possible in the pot. Chop bacon into pieces and set aside for later. 
  • Add onion, carrots, and garlic to the bacon grease. Sauté for 5 minutes over medium-high heat until fragrant and soft. Stir in the salt, pepper, smoked paprika, Herbes de Provence,  and tomato paste.
  • Add the remaining 2 cans of beans together with the pureed beans. Pour in the remaining chicken broth along with the reserved liquid and onion leftover from cooking the rabbit.  Bring to a boil, then turn down to medium heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Add the couscous and cooked & shredded rabbit meat and simmer for another 5 minutes until the couscous is cooked.
  • When ready to serve, turn off the heat, and add the bacon and Parmesan. Stir until well combined. Divide soup into serving bowls and garnish with chopped parsley and fresh ground pepper. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Jeff Benda

Cooking gives me a creative outlet to transform wild game and bring it into traditional recipes from around the world to help expand people's perceptions. My goal is to celebrate local fish and wild game and provide achievable, bright recipes designed to build confidence for new cooks, and inspire everyone to elevate their cooking. I hope that by sharing and celebrating the food I create with the fish and wild game I harvest, I can highlight the great contribution so many hunters and anglers have made to conservation in this country, and reflect the freedom we have to enjoy America's great outdoors.

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