Partridge broth with ceps

Serves 4

When I roast game birds I always keep the carcasses for a broth or a game gravy. You can save them up in the freezer until you have a good quantity to make a batch – or 4 carcasses will yield enough good broth for 4-8 servings. I've used ceps here as they have been stunning so far this year, but you could use any wild mushroom, really.

The carcasses from a few partridges, plus a whole one
2 sticks of celery, washed and roughly chopped
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
A few sprigs of thyme
10 black peppercorns
2 litres of chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
100-150g ceps or other wild mushrooms
A few leaves of green cabbage, cut into 1-2cm pieces or a handful of pea shoots

Put the partridge carcasses and whole bird in a large saucepan with the roughly chopped celery, onion, thyme, peppercorns and chicken stock, season lightly, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Remove the whole partridge and put to one side on a plate and continue simmering the broth for another 45 minutes.

Strain the broth through a fine-meshed sieve into a clean saucepan, check the strength and continue simmering if it needs to be stronger. Add the ceps and greens and simmer for a couple of minutes or so, until tender.

To serve, cut each of the partridge breasts into about 6 slices, remove any leg meat and divide up into warmed soup bowls. Finally, pour the hot soup into the bowls and serve immediately.

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