111 CREOLE TURTLE SOUP | Hooks, Lies & Alibis with Chef John Folse | LPB
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Monday, December 10, 2018
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Prep Time: 4 Hours
Yields: 10–12 Servings

The Creoles were connoisseurs of sea turtle soup. When the saltwater turtle was placed on the endangered species list in 1971, New Orleanians were aghast: did this mean the extinction of turtle soup as well? Today, freshwater terrapins, diamondback terrapins, alligator and common snapping turtles, red ears and soft shells have replaced sea turtle in the soup. There are literally hundreds of Creole turtle soup recipes. The following one comes from the Clarence Bouchereau family of Donaldsonville, La.

Ingredients for Turtle Stock:

2 pounds Louisiana snapping turtle meat, bone-in
1 gallon water
2 quarts beef stock (see recipe)
2 onions, quartered
2 ribs celery, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
2 heads garlic, split in half, exposing pods
2 bay leaves
2 tbsps black peppercorns

Method for Turtle Stock:
In a large pot, combine all stock ingredients and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce to simmer then cook 2½ hours or until turtle is tender. Add more water as necessary to retain volume. When tender, remove turtle, cool and remove bones. Reserve turtle meat and stock and discard bones and vegetables.

Ingredients for Soup:

meat of boned turtle (see above)
1 gallon reserved turtle stock (see above),
¾ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup flour
2 cups diced onions
2 cups diced celery
1 cup diced bell peppers
¼ cup minced garlic
1 (29-ounce) can tomato purée
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
zest of 1 lemon
⅛ tsp powdered cloves
¼ tsp powdered thyme
⅛ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ cup Chow Chow relish
2 bay leaves
salt and black pepper to taste
granulated garlic to taste
3 tbsps Worcestershire sauce
1 cup sliced green onions
¼ cup chopped parsley
3 boiled eggs, peeled and diced

Method for Soup:
In a large Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add flour, stirring constantly until a dark brown roux is achieved (see roux recipes). Add onions, celery, bell peppers and minced garlic and sauté 3–5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add tomato purée and paste, blending well into vegetable mixture. Add 3 quarts reserved turtle stock and whisk to blend well. Bring to a rolling boil then reduce to simmer. Add turtle meat and cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add lemon zest, cloves, thyme, red pepper flakes, Chow Chow relish and bay leaves and simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Continue to add stock as needed to retain a soup-like consistency. Adjust seasonings to taste using salt, pepper and granulated garlic then add Worcestershire sauce, green onions and parsley. Just prior to serving, add diced eggs, stirring carefully. Ladle into warm soup bowls and serve hot with toasted French bread.

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