Cooking the soup

Preparation info

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Appears in

Le Guide Culinaire

By Auguste Escoffier

Published 1903

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Place the reserved meat from the inside of the turtle in a suitable size pan (do not confuse this meat with the flesh kept for the garnish) with the bones, and the head and the flippers which should have been blanched to remove the scales. Add the cooking liquid from the gelatinous flesh and sufficient water to give a total of 50 litres (11 gal or 14 U.S. gal) of liquid for a turtle weighing 75 kg (170 lb)—this will yield 38–40 litres (8½–9 gal or 10½–11 U.S. gal) of finished turtle soup. Add 5 g ( oz) salt per 1 litre of liquid, bring to the boil, skim and add kg (14½ lb) leek, 1 kg ( lb) celery, 2 kg ( lb) onions stuck with 10 cloves, 1 kg ( lb) shallots and 125 g ( oz) garlic.

Simmer gently and evenly for approximately 7 hours then add the following: the zest of 4 lemons, a bunch of herbs including 8 g (¼ oz) each of basil and marjoram, 4 g ( oz) each of sage, rosemary, savoury and thyme and a sachet containing 250 g (9 oz) coriander and 125 g ( oz) peppercorns.

Allow to simmer very gently and evenly for a further 1 hour; finally strain the bouillon through a clean cloth, add the garnish of flesh of the carapace and plastron and keep until required in special stoneware containers.