Fall and Winter, Intermediate, Soups and Stews

Mock Turtle Soup

Turtle soup is a popular dish still served in Louisiana. Since turtle meat can be hard to find for the average home cook, this mock turtle soup replaces turtle meat with ground beef.

overhead shot of mock turtle soup garnished with chopped hardboiled eggs on a wooden background, red tureen to the side

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.

How to Make Mock Turtle Soup

First, cook two pounds of ground beef in a large stock pot over medium heat, breaking the beef up into smaller chunks, until the meat is no longer pink. With a slotted spoon, remove the ground beef from the pot and set aside. Drain the grease and return the pot to the burner.

browning the ground beef in a large stock pot

Melt ½ cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter in the pot along with two tablespoons of vegetable oil. Gradually whisk ½ cup of all-purpose 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.

peanut butter colored roux in a large stainless steel stock pot

Add two chopped celery ribs and one large diced green bell pepper to the pot.  Cook for five minutes until the vegetables are soft. Add two cloves of mince garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

browning the vegetables in a large stock pot

Add one 8-ounce can of tomato sauce, one 14.5-ounce can of crushed tomatoes, eight cups of beef broth, two bay leaves, ½ teaspoon of dried thyme and ¼ cup of Worcestershire sauce. Bring the soup to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Before serving, remove and discard the bay leaves. Stir in three chopped hardboiled eggs, two tablespoons fresh lemon juice, ½ cup dry sherry, and ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley.  Add the cooked hamburger meat back to the pot and heat through. Serve hot the soup hot with additional chopped hardboiled eggs sprinkled over the top, if desired.

Storage, Freezing and Reheating

Storage: Mock turtle soup should be transferred to an airtight container with a lid within two hours. Store in the refrigerator and consume within four days.

Freezer: Transfer the soup to an airtight container with a lid. Be sure to leave an inch or two of headspace to give the soup room to expand as it freezes. Consume the soup within three months.

Reheating: If frozen, allow the soup to thaw completely before reheating. Pour the soup into a medium saucepan, cover heat over medium heat until heated through.

overhead shot of mock turtle soup garnished with chopped hardboiled eggs on a wooden background

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overhead shot of mock turtle soup garnished with chopped hardboiled eggs on a wooden background, red tureen to the side
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Mock Turtle Soup

Turtle soup is a popular dish still served in Louisiana. Since turtle meat can be hard to find for the average home cook, this mock turtle soup replaces turtle meat with ground beef.
Course Entrees, Main Courses
Cuisine American, Cajun, Creole
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people
Calories 150kcal
Author Lisa B.

Ingredients

  • 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 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 14.5 ounce 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

Instructions

  • Cook ground beef in a large stock pot 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 aside. Drain the grease and return the pot to the burner.
  • 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.
  • Add the onion, celery and bell pepper. Cook for five minutes until the vegetables are soft.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  • 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.
  • Remove and discard the bay leaves.
  • Add the hardboiled eggs, lemon juice, sherry, parsley and cooked hamburger. Stir to heat through. Serve hot.

Notes

Storage: Mock turtle soup should be transferred to an airtight container with a lid within two hours. Store in the refrigerator and consume within four days.
Freezer: Transfer the soup to an airtight container with a lid. Be sure to leave an inch or two of headspace to give the soup room to expand as it freezes. Consume the soup within three months.
Reheating: If frozen, allow the soup to thaw completely before reheating. Pour the soup into a medium saucepan, cover heat over medium heat until heated through.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 150kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 610mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 54IU | Vitamin C: 1.2mg | Calcium: 20mg

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