Rabbit Soup

Serves: 4 

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 large leek, sliced
  • 2 carrots, thickly sliced
  • 400 g (14 oz) lean boneless rabbit, diced
  • 1.2 litres (2 pints) chicken stock, preferably home-made
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon or 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • 115 g (4 oz) mixed long-grain and wild rice
  • 115 g (4 oz) green beans, cut into short lengths, or frozen cut green beans
  • salt and pepper
  • Tarragon oatcakes
  • 225 g (8 oz) medium oatmeal
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon or 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 30 g (1 oz) butter, melted


  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion, celery, leek and carrots, and cook gently for 5 minutes or until the onion and leek begin to soften. Stir in the rabbit and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 2–3 minutes.
  2. Pour in the stock and vinegar, then stir in the redcurrant jelly and tarragon with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the oatcakes. Preheat the oven to 160ºC (325ºF, gas mark 3). Place the oatmeal in a bowl and stir in the tarragon, salt and baking powder. Add 4 tbsp boiling water to the melted butter, then stir into the oatmeal to make a fairly stiff paste.
  4. Sprinkle a baking tray with flour. Gently roll the oatmeal dough into a ball and place it on the baking tray. Press or roll it out into a round measuring about 23 cm (9 in) in diameter. The dough is very crumbly at this stage, so press any cracks together with your fingertips. (The oatcakes firm up during baking.) Press the edge of the dough round to neaten it and cut into 8 wedges with a sharp knife. Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Carefully transfer the cooked oatcakes to a wire rack to cool.
  5. Stir the rice into the soup and continue simmering, covered, for a further 15 minutes or until the rice is tender. Add the green beans and bring back to simmering point, then cook, uncovered, for a final 5 minutes or until the beans are tender.
  6. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Ladle into warm bowls and serve at once, with the warm oatcakes.