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Turtle Soup

(Soups.) - (A Poetical Cook-book)

Sons of Apicius! say, can Europe's seas,

Can aught the edible creation yield

Compare with _turtle_, boast of land and wave?


And, zounds! who would grudge

_Turtle soup_, though it came to five guineas the bowl?


The day before you dress a turtle, chop the herbs, and make the

forcemeat; then, on the preceding evening, suspend the turtle by the two

hind fins with a cord, and put one round the neck with a heavy weight

attached to it to draw out the neck, that the head may be cut off with

more ease; let the turtle hang all night, in which time the blood will

be well drained from the body. Then, early in the morning, having your

stoves and plenty of hot water in readiness, take the turtle, lay it on

the table on its back, and with a strong pointed knife cut round the

under shell (which is the callipee),--there are joints at each end,

which must be carefully found,--gently separating it from the callipash

(which is the upper shell); be careful that in cutting out the gut you

do not break the gall. When the callipee and the callipash are perfectly

separated, take out that part of the gut that leads from the throat;

that with the hearts put into a basin of water by themselves, the other

interior part put away. Take the callipee, and cut off the meat which

adheres to it in four quarters, laying it on a clean dish. Take twenty

pounds of veal, chop it up, and set it in a large pot, as directed for

espagnoles, putting in the flesh of the turtle at the same time, with

all kinds of turtle herbs, carrots, onions, one pound and a half of lean

ham, peppercorns, salt, and a little spice, and two bay leaves, leaving

it to stew till it take the color of espagnole; put the fins--the skin

scalded off--and hearts in, half an hour before you fill it, with half

water, and half beef stock, then carefully skim it; put in a bunch of

parsley, and let it boil gently like consomme. While the turtle is

stewing, carefully scald the head, the callipee, and all that is soft of

the callipash, attentively observing to take off the smallest skin that

may remain; put them with the gut into a large pot of water to boil till

tender; when so, take them out and cut them in squares, putting them in

a basin by themselves till wanted for the soup. The next thing is the

thickening of the soup, which must be prepared in the same manner as

sauce tournee. The turtle being well done, take out the fins and hearts,

and lay them on a dish; the whole of the liquor must pass through a

sieve into a large pan; then with a ladle take off all the fat, put it

into a basin, then mix in the turtle liquor (a small quantity at a

time), with the thickening made the same as tournee; but it does not

require to, neither must it, be one-twentieth part as thick. Set it over

a brisk fire, and continue stirring till it boils. When it has boiled

gently for one hour put in the callipee and callipash with the guts,

hearts, and some of the best of the meat and head, all cut in squares,

with the forcemeat balls and herbs, which you should have ready chopped

and stewed in espagnole; the herbs and parsley, lemon, thyme, marjoram,

basil, savory, and a few chopped mushrooms.

It must be carefully attended to and skimmed, and one hour and a half

before dinner put in a bottle of Madeira wine, and nearly half a bottle

of brandy, keeping it continually boiling gently, and skimming it, then

take a basin, put a little cayenne into it, with the juice of six lemons

squeezed through a sieve. When the dinner is wanted, skim the turtle,

stir it well up, and put a little salt, if necessary; then stir the

cayenne and lemon juice in, and ladle it into the tureen. This receipt

will answer for a turtle between fifty and sixty pounds.

Other Recipes


Take one calf's head, wash well; put on to boil with four and one-half
quarts of water; add two red peppers, onions, celery, carrots, cloves,
salt to taste, and a little cabbage; boil six hours; also, have ready
some meat stock; the next day put fat in a skillet with two large
tablespoons of flour; let it brown; then, take the calf's head and cut
all the meat from it in pieces; add the calf's tongue, cut in dice.
Slice hard-boiled eggs, one glass of sherry; and one lemon sliced; put
all in the stock; allow it to come just to a boil.

Other Recipes

Green Turtle Soup

Many housewives imagine that green turtle is too

expensive, and too difficult to prepare for household use, and for these

reasons it is seldom met with in private families, except in tin cans.

Even this is not always made from turtle.

This soup is not any more expensive than many other kinds. A small

turtle may be purchased at Fulton market for from ten to twenty cents

per pound, and weighing from fifteen to forty pounds, the price varying

according to the law of supply and demand. The only objection to small

turtles is that they do not contain a very large percentage of the green

fat, so highly prized by epicures.

Procure a live turtle, cut off the head, and allow it to drain and cool

over night; next morning place it on the working table, lay it on its

back, and make an incision round the inner edge of the shell; then

remove it. Now remove the intestines carefully, and be very careful that

you do not break the gall; throw these away; cut off the fins and all

fleshy particles, and set them aside; trim out the fat, which has a

blueish tint when raw; wash it well in several waters. Chop up the upper

and under shells with a cleaver; put them with the fins into a large

saucepan; cover them with boiling water; let stand ten minutes; drain

and rub off the horny, scaly particles, with a kitchen towel.

Scald a large saucepan, and put all the meat and shell into it (except

the fat); cover with hot water; add a little salt, and boil four hours.

Skim carefully, and drain; put the meat into a large crock; remove the

bones, and boil the fat in the stock. This does not take very long if

first scalded. When done, add it also to the crock; pour the stock into

another crock; let it cool, and remove all scum and oily particles; this

is quite work enough for one day. Clean the saucepans used, and dry them


Next day fry out half a pound of fat ham; then add one chopped onion,

one bay leaf, six cloves, one blade of mace, two tablespoonfuls of

chopped celery tops, a tablespoonful of salt, a teaspoonful of white

pepper, and one quart of ordinary soup stock. Simmer for half an hour.

Now put the turtle stock on the fire; when hot strain the seasoning into

it; remove the turtle from the other crock, cut it up, and add to the

stock; now add a pint of dry sherry.

Do not let the soup come to a boil; taste for seasoning, and if herbs

are needed tie a string to a bunch of mixed herbs, throw them into the

soup, and tie the other end to the saucepan handle; taste often, and

when palatable, remove the herbs. If the soup is not dark enough, brown

a very little flour and add to it. Keep the soup quite hot until served;

add quartered slices of lemon and the yolk of a hard boiled egg,

quartered just before serving; send to table with a decanter of sherry.

The yolks of the eggs may be worked to a paste, and made into round

balls to imitate turtle eggs if this is desired.

I have placed before my readers this complicated receipt in as simple a

form as it is possible to do, having carefully avoided all the technical

formulas used in the profession.

Other Recipes

Mock Turtle Soup

Take half a calf's head, with the skin on; remove the

brains. Wash the head in several waters, and let it soak in cold water

for an hour. Put it in a saucepan with five quarts of beef stock; let it

simmer gently for an hour; remove the scum carefully. Take up the head

and let it get cold; cut the meat from the bones into pieces an inch

square, and set them in the ice-box.

Dissolve two ounces of butter in a frying pan; mince a large onion, and

fry it in the butter until nicely browned, and add to the stock in which

the head was cooked. Return the bones to the stock; simmer the soup,

removing the scum until no more rises. Put in a carrot, a turnip, a

bunch of parsley, a bouquet of herbs, a dozen outer stalks of celery,

two blades of mace and the rind of one lemon, grated; salt and pepper to

taste. Boil gently for two hours, and strain the soup through a cloth.

Mix three ounces of browned flour with a pint of the soup; let simmer

until it thickens, then add it to the soup. Take the pieces of head out

of the ice-box, and add to the soup; let them simmer until quite tender.

"Before serving add a little Worcestershire sauce, a tablespoonful of

anchovy paste, a gobletful of port or sherry, and two lemons sliced,

each slice quartered, with the rind trimmed off." Warm the wine a very

little before adding it to the soup. Keep in ice-box three or four days

before using. Serve the brains as a side dish.

Other Recipes

Mock Turtle Soup No 1

Take a calf's head, very white and very fresh, bone the nose part of it;

put the head into some warm water to discharge the blood; squeeze the

flesh with your hand to ascertain that it is all thoroughly out; blanch

the head in boiling water. When firm, put it into cold water, which

water must be prepared as follows: cut half a pound of fat bacon, a

pound of beef suet, an onion stuck with two cloves, two thick slices of

lemon; put these into a vessel, with water enough to contain the head;

boil the head in this, and take it off when boiled, leaving it to cool.

Then make your sauce in the following manner: put into a stewpan a pound

of ham cut into slices; put over the ham two knuckles of veal, two

large onions, and two carrots; moisten with some of the broth in which

you have boiled the head to half the depth of the meat only; cover the

stewpan, and set it on a slow fire to sweat through; let the broth

reduce to a good rich colour; turn up the meat for fear of burning. When

you have a very good colour, moisten with the whole remaining broth from

the head; season with a very large bundle of sweet herbs, sweet basil,

sweet marjoram, lemon-thyme, common thyme, two cloves, and a bay leaf, a

few allspice, parsley, and green onions and mushrooms. Let the whole

boil together for one hour; then drain it. Put into a stewpan a quarter

of a pound of very fresh butter, let it melt over a very slow fire; put

to this butter as much flour as it can receive till the flour has

acquired a very good brown colour; moisten this gradually with the broth

till you have employed it all; add half a bottle of good white wine; let

the sauce boil that the flour may be well done; take off all the scum

and fat; pass it through a sieve. Cut the meat off the calf's head in

pieces of about an inch square; put them to boil in the sauce; season

with salt, a little cayenne pepper, and lemon juice. Throw in some

forcemeat balls, made according to direction, and a few hard yolks of

eggs, and serve up hot.

Other Recipes

Turtle Soup

This soup is so often required for invalids, as well as for the table,

that an easy and comparatively inexpensive method of preparing it cannot

fail to be acceptable. Nelson's Beef Tea or Extract of Meat will be used

instead of fresh beef, and Bellis's Sun-dried Turtle instead of live

turtle. If convenient it is desirable to soak the dried turtle all

night, but it can be used without doing so. Put it on to boil in the

water in which it was soaked, in the proportion of one quart with a

teaspoonful of salt to a quarter of a pound of the turtle. Add two or

three onions peeled and quartered, a small bit of mace and sliced

lemon-peel, and simmer gently for four or five hours, or until the

turtle is tender enough to divide easily with a spoon. Stock of any kind

may be used instead of water, and as the liquid boils away more should

be added, to keep the original quantity. Herbs for the proper flavouring

of the Turtle Soup are supplied by Bellis; these should be put in about

an hour before the turtle is finished, and be tied in muslin. When done

take out the turtle and divide it into neat little pieces; strain the

liquor in which it was cooked, and having boiled it up, stir in the

contents of two tins of Nelson's Extract of Meat, previously soaked for

a few minutes. Mix smooth in a gill of cold water a teaspoonful of

French potato-flour and of Vienna flour, stir into the soup, and when it

has thickened put in the turtle meat; let it get hot through, add a

wine-glassful of sherry, a dessertspoonful of lemon-juice, and salt and

pepper to taste, and serve at once. It is necessary to have "Bellis's

Sun-dried Turtle," imported by T. K. Bellis, Jeffrey's Square, St. Mary

Axe, London (sold in boxes), for this soup, because it is warranted

properly prepared. An inferior article, got up by negroes from turtle

found dead, is frequently sold at a low price; but it is unnecessary to

say it is not good or wholesome.

Other Recipes

Mock Turtle Soup

This, like real turtle soup, can be made of Nelson's Extract of Meat and

Bellis's Mock Turtle Meat. Boil the contents of a tin of this meat in

water or stock, salted and flavoured with vegetables and turtle herbs,

until tender. Finish with Nelson's Extract of Meat, and as directed for

turtle soup.

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