Pheasant Tortilla Soup

The inspiration for this soup came from a trip to the small rustic resort town of Kaillum on the Caribbean. It's about 50 miles south of Cancun and at least that far from phones, electricity or clocks. The Pheasant Tortilla Soup is based on their garlic, lime, cilantro, and chicken soup. Chicken tortilla soup made by following this recipe is also tasty - just not as exotic. Concentrating on your stock and the freshest ingredients available will insure the best soup around.


Poultry Stock

  • Yield: 1 gallon
  • 8 lbs. chicken or any game bird, bones and carcass
  • 6 quarts water
  • 1 lb. mirepoix -- 50% onion, chopped; 25% carrot, chopped; 25% celery, chopped
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch parsley stems

Tortilla Soup

  • Serves 8 generously
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice (Must be fresh!)
  • 1-½ cups cilantro, leaves only
  • 1-½ cups grilled or smoked pheasant or chicken meat, pulled off the bone and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 quart pheasant or poultry stock
  • 5 ribs of celery, diced in ¼" dice
  • 1 cup red onion, minced
  • 1-½ cups fresh sweet kernel corn (frozen corn is OK)
  • ½ cup carrots, julienned (use a mandoline to make this easy)
  • ½ cup garlic, minced in food processor
  • 1 poblano pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced in ¼" dice
  • 1 jalapeño, minced (for spicy, leave in the seeds)
  • 1-½ tablespoons salt
Pheasant Tortilla Soup


Poultry Stock

Combine all ingredients in stock pot.

Bring to a boil, skim the scum.

Reduce to a simmer and cook for 3 hours.

Strain and refrigerate or freeze.

Tortilla Soup

Set the lime juice, cilantro and cooked pheasant to the side to be added in the final 5 minutes before serving.

Add all the other ingredients to a large heavy-bottomed stock pot and bring to a rolling boil.

Reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes.

Add the lime, cilantro, and pheasant and return to a simmer and serve.


Garnish with fried corn tortilla strips, shredded Jack cheese and salsa.


  • Mandoline or Sharp Knife
  • Food Processor
  • Heavy-bottomed Stock Pot


Have the stock ready. Grill the bird a day ahead. Just wait to chop it until after it's cooled so the juices stay in. Soup can be made ahead, but add lime juice and cilantro ten minutes prior to serving to insure brightness of color and taste.