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What Is Venison Soup?

By Judith Smith Sullivan
Updated May 17, 2024
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Venison soup is a slow cooked soup or stew made from wild game and vegetables. Usually, some species of deer meat is used in the soup. It is a traditional dish of many different cultures and is prized for its full, rich flavor.

Deer meat is not necessarily obtained by hunting wild game. Many hunters enjoy skinning and preserving the meat from their kills, but others purchase venison at a market. Deer are also farm raised, like other ruminants, for their meat and hide.

Depending on the diet of the deer, venison can be very low in fat and cholesterol. A wild deer, which gets plenty of exercise and only eats grasses and bark, will typically have lower levels of fat and cholesterol than farm raised deer that are fed corn. Both are tasty, but it may be necessary to marinate wild venison before eating it, as the lack of fat can make it quite tough.

Venison is a dark, gamey meat. It is similar to mutton or duck, having a distinctive color and full flavor. Individuals who are unaccustomed to eating game may not like the strong taste.

Eating vension is a tradition that goes back thousands of years. There is an especially rich history tied to hunting and eating deer in the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, and America. Each country has its own traditional methods of cooking venison soup. The meat is often cooked with vegatables, spices, and water or stock broth. Some regional dishes also include indigenous plants For instance, in Scotland, nettles are a popular addition.

A common method, in many countries, for preparing venison soup requires marination combined with slow cooking. Since the meat is naturally lean, it can be tough if it is cooked too quickly. Many recipes call for marinating it in oil or milk for several hours before slow cooking the meat at a low simmer. It is often recommended that the soup never reach an actual boil. This helps to tenderize the meat and release its flavor.

A variation of venison soup is venision stew. It is very similar to venison soup but, typically, does not have a thin broth. It is also marinated and cooked slowly, but its broth is reduced to a thick, gravy like covering. It may also have fewer vegetables and may be served over a bed of rice or potatoes.

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