A Deliciously Tasty Porcupine Soup Recipe

One of the most interesting soups I’ve had the pleasure of making in my kitchen was none other than a tasty porcupine soup. I used to avoid wild game or meats that I wasn’t familiar with, but then I was introduced to the unique flavor of porcupine and the impact it can have in a dutch oven or slow cooker. Below is one of my favorite recipes with porcupine meat when I want something healthy but also hearty.

What Does Porcupine Taste Like?

One of the best ways to describe the taste of porcupine is like a super lean pork. In some cases, it may have a bit of a nuttier flavor depending on where they live and what type of food they have been dining on for the last few months.

Porcupines tend to eat a lot of different things in their diet, including nuts, roots, leaves and other debris that you find in the forest. Their preferred source of food are apple trees, and just like pork, they go tend to go very well with porcupine.

History of Porcupine Soup

Since this meat is one of the preferred survival meats, it has a long history of being mixed in soups. Because it is lean, it is often paired with a fattier protein like pork, beef, or ground chicken.

Porcupine is also a meat that tends to be tender and tear easily, so it is best to go ahead and ground the meat. It will not make things like strips or steaks because of the meat texture. The preferred way to enjoy porcupine is by grounding it and binding it with other meats and breadcrumbs.

In areas where there are lots of porcupines, those living in the area would hunt them, having to often harvest a handful of these at a time for a meal, and pair it with the smoked meats already in the home. They would roll out meatballs and cook them down in a tomato-based soup.

Gather Your Ingredients

If you are ready to make porcupine soup, then you need the following to first make the meatballs, then the soup mixture that comes after. Outside of the meatballs, I usually have a good bit of these ingredients on hand to enjoy.

  • Breadcrumbs
  • One pound of lean porcupine meat
  • One pound of either ground beef or ground pork
  • Two eggs
  • One tablespoon of minced garlic
  • One teaspoon of dried parsley
  • Three large cans of whole tomatoes
  • One tablespoon of Worcester sauce
  • One diced onion
  • One can of tomato sauce
  • One teaspoon of tomato paste
  • Two cups of chicken broth
  • Two cups of heavy whipping cream

If you need to sub out any of these ingredients, you can choose a different ground meat, or even used pre-seasoned canned tomatoes.

Make Your Meatballs

You will need to make this soup in two parts, with the first part being the making of the meatballs. In a bowl, you need to combine the following ingredients before rolling them into balls and placing on a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Ground porcupine
  • Ground beef
  • One cup of breadcrumbs
  • Two cracked eggs
  • Minced garlic
  • Dried parsley
  • Salt and Pepper

In the bowl, mix everything together and then start rolling out the meatballs. You can make them as large or small as you would like, but I prefer mine smaller, in bite size peices.

Separate them on the baking sheet, putting about an inch between each one until they are all rolled out.

Put them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 35-40 minutes.

Build Your Soup

While your meatballs are cooking, you can simply build your soup below and then add them in at the end so you have a delicious meal at the end of an hour.

1. Chop Up Your Veggies and Herbs

Before you start cooking, you need to dice up your onion and your fresh basil that you will garnish the soup with later. Put your basil back in the fridge until the end.

2. Make It Fragrant

In your large soup pot, turn your burner onto medium heat and add in just a little bit of olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Once it is warmed, add in your diced onion and garlic, letting them cook down for about two minutes.

3. Add Tomatoes

Once they have started cooking down, begin adding in your canned tomatoes to the pot, and turn up the heat to the soup so that it will start boiling. I add the tomatoes first, then the sauce, and finally the paste at the end.

4. Bring it All In

Once the tomatoes start boiling, keep that heat high, and add in the remaining liquids; heavy whipping cream and chicken broth. Season your soup with salt and pepper, and let it start boiling. I like to keep this mixing up so that the tomatoes do not try to stick to the pan.

5. Simmer Away

Once the soup starts boiling, turn it down to a simmer and let it cook for about twenty minutes. Cover it with the lid.

About this time is when your meatballs should be finishing up and you can pull them out. Make sure they are cooked all the way through before you decide to add them to the soup.

6. Add Meatballs and Finish

After your soup has simmered, take your hand immersion and smooth out the soup, blending all the chunks together. Just like a traditional creamy tomato soup, you want it to have that velvety texture before adding in the meatballs.

Speaking of meatballs, now is the time to add them to the soup and mix them up in the freshly blended soup. Top off your soup with that freshly cut basil that you started with earlier in the process.

Serve and Store

Once the soup is ready, begin ladling it into bowls and serve. This soup pairs well with garlic toast or grilled cheese sandwiches to make a complete meal.

Make sure to turn your burner off and let the leftovers cool completely. This soup will store well in the fridge for up to four days.

If you would rather freeze the leftovers to have later on in the season, make sure to put it in a freezer safe bag and store up to three months. I, personally, wouldn’t let this one sit much longer because of the super tenderness of the porcupine.

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