Shropshire Owl Soup


The original Shropshire recipe called for "one plump, young barn owl, boiled for two hours." We recommend chicken as a modern alternative to soothe your loved one's soul - or pigeon if you're a bit more daring!


  • 1 chicken or 2 pigeon carcasses
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • bouquet garni
  • bunch of parsley
  • 1 pint of beef stock
  • Port
  • Lemon juice


Roast the carcasses in a hot oven, 400 Celsius (Gas Mark 6), for 20 minutes. Pour a little of the fat into a heavy saucepan and fry the vegetables to a golden brown. Put in the carcasses; add the boiling meat stock and the bouquet garni.

Simmer gently for 2 hours with the lid on. Then strain into a clean saucepan and remove the meat from the bones. Put this in the blender with the slightly reduced stock. Return to the pan and season with port, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve with freshly-made croutons.

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