Mock Turtle Soup

By Lisa LaFontaine Bynum


Turtle soup, in its original form, is made with the meat and eggs of snapping turtles. You can still find it served in restaurants and kitchens in and around the bayous of Louisiana. Since turtle meat might be hard to come by for the average home cook, ground beef and chicken eggs are used as a substitution in this “mock” version.


Serves 4

  • 2 pounds ground beef

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 2 celery ribs, chopped

  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 (8 ounces) can tomato sauce

  • 1 (14.5 ounces) can crushed tomatoes

  • 8 cups beef broth

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

  • 3 hardboiled eggs, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1/2 cup dry sherry

  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

  1. Cook ground beef in a large stockpot over medium heat, breaking it up into smaller chunks, until the meat is no longer pink. With a slotted spoon, remove the ground beef from the pot and set it aside. Drain the grease and return the pot to the burner.

  2. Melt the butter with the oil. Gradually whisk in the flour, forming a roux. Stirring constantly, cook the roux for approximately six minutes until it turns light brown, similar to the color of peanut butter.

  3. Add the onion, celery and bell pepper.  Cook for five minutes until the vegetables are soft.

  4. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

  5. Add the tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, beef broth, bay leaves. thyme and Worcestershire sauce. Bring the soup to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

  6. Remove and discard the bay leaves.

  7. Add the hardboiled eggs, lemon juice, sherry, parsley and cooked hamburger. Stir to heat through. Serve hot.


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