Peel and chop the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots into 2 cm pieces
Melt the butter and add the oil in a large saucepan and cook the vegetables over a medium heat for around 10 minutes until they start to brown. Then put the whole pheasant on top of the vegetables and cover with the stock, thyme and bay leaf.
Season with salt and pepper, cover with a lid and bring to a boil then reduce the heat until the soup is simmering. After 15 minutes pour in the pearl barley and continue cooking for a further 45 minutes until the pheasant is cooked through.
Remove the bird from the soup and leave to cool slightly before removing the meat from the bone.
Add the sherry to the soup and return the cooked pheasant to the pot and bring to the boil.
Taste for seasoning and serve the soup in warm bowls sprinkled with fresh parsley and crusty bread.