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    Turtle Soup

    Source of Recipe

    From "Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen" by Paul Prudhomme

    Recipe Introduction

    "This is a dish for a special occasion."

    List of Ingredients

    Seasoning Mix:
    ◦ 5 whole bay leaves
    ◦ 1 tablespoon salt
    ◦ 2 teaspoons white pepper
    ◦ 1 teaspoons garlic powder
    ◦ 1 teaspoons cayenne pepper
    ◦ 1 teaspoons onion powder
    ◦ 1 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
    ◦ 1 teaspoon dried mustard
    ◦ 1 teaspoon black pepper
    ◦ 1 teaspoon dried sweet basil leaves
    ◦ teaspoon ground cumin

    ◦ 3 pounds boneless fresh turtle meat (see Note)
    ◦ 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    ◦ 4 tablespoons margarine
    ◦ pound spinach, very finely chopped
    ◦ 2 cups very finely chopped onions
    ◦ 1 cup very finely chopped celery
    ◦ 3 cups canned tomato sauce
    ◦ ⅛ cup all-purpose flour
    ◦ 1 teaspoon minced garlic
    ◦ 11 cups (2 quarts plus 3 cups, in all) beef stock
    ◦ 1 cup lightly packed fresh parsley
    ◦ lemon, seeded
    ◦ 6 hard-boiled eggs, cut in quarters
    ◦ ⅛ cup sherry wine plus sherry to add at the table


    Combine the seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Finely chop the turtle meat in a food processor or with a knife. In a 5 -quart saucepan or large Dutch oven melt the butter and margarine over high heat. Add the turtle meat and cook until browned, about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the seasoning mix, spinach, onions, and celery; cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the tomato sauce and cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently toward the end of cooking time. Add the flour and garlic, stirring well; cook 5 minutes, stirring almost constantly and scraping the pan bottom well.

    Add 2 cups of the stock, stirring well to dissolve any mixture from the pan bottom. Then stir in 7 cups more stock, scraping pan bottom well. Bring soup to a boil, stirring occasionally and scraping pan bottom as needed. Continue boiling and stirring 5 minutes. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook about 45 minutes, stirring fairly often and scraping pan bottom well. (While stirring and scraping the bottom, if the mixture sticking to the spoon looks scorched, quit stirring and pour the soup into a clean pot, leaving the scorched mixture behind.)

    Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, process the parsley and lemon until both are minced; add the eggs and process a few seconds, just until the eggs are coarsely chopped. When the soup has cooked 45 minutes, add the egg mixture to the soup, stirring well. Stir in the remaining 2 cups stock and the sherry. Cook 20 minutes more, stirring and scraping pan bottom occasionally. Remove from heat and discard bay leaves. Salt to taste and serve immediately.

    To serve, allow about 1 cups in each bowl for a main course, or cup as an appetizer. Pass additional sherry at the table (allow 1 to 3 teaspoons per 1 -cup serving).

    Makes 8 to 10 main-course
    or 16 to 20 appetizer servings

    ❧ Note:
    In Louisiana, fresh turtle meat is available in the better grocery stores and seafood markets. It's scarce, but before you give up looking for it, try Chinatown markets. It is also marketed frozen and the frozen is fine for turtle soup.




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