Turtle Soup for a large Company, No. 1

Preparation info

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La Cuisine Creole

La Cuisine Creole

By Lafcadio Hearn

Published 1885

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Cut the head off the turtle the day before you dress it, and drain the blood thoroughly from the body. Then cut it up in the following manner: Divide the back, belly, head and fins from the intestines and lean parts. Be careful not to cut the gall bag. Scald in boiling water to remove the skin and shell. Cut up in neat pieces and throw into cold water. Boil the back and belly in a little water long enough to extract the bones easily. If for a large company a leg of veal will also be required, and a slice of ham, which must be stewed with the lean parts till well browned; then add boiling water, and the liquor and bones of the boiled turtle. Season with sliced lemon, whole pepper, a bunch of parsley, two leeks sliced, and salt to taste. Let this all boil slowly for four hours then strain. Add the pieces of back, belly, head and fins (take the bones from the fins), pour in half a pint of Madeira wine and a quarter of a pound of good sweet butter, with a tablespoonful of flour worked in it; also, a lemon sliced thin. Let it boil gently for two hours, then serve.

In cutting up the turtle great care should be taken of the fat, which should be separated, cut up neatly, and stewed till tender in a little of the liquor, and put into the tureen when ready to serve. Garnish with the eggs, if any; if not, use hard-boiled eggs of fowls.