Sherried Turtle Soup
- 1 cup bacon fat
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 pound turtle meat (see your seafood specialty store), silver skin removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1 cup chopped bell pepper
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 1 cup diced canned tomatoes
- 4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and diced
- 3 cups chopped baby spinach
- 2 cups white wine
- 1 cup cream sherry (plus more to finish soup table side)
- 2 cups chicken, pork or beef stock (or broth)
- 4 tablespoons hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
- 4 large bay leaves
- 6 lemons
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons chopped green onions
- 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Sherry and lemon wedges, for garnish
DirectionsFor the roux:
Take 1/2 cup of the bacon fat and in a thick-bottomed pan cook the flour slowly stirring constantly to a brownish-brick red color. Set aside carefully and cool.For the Soup:
In a thick-bottomed pot, heat the remaining bacon fat and brown the turtle meat and ground beef thoroughly. Add the bell pepper, celery, onions and garlic and sweat until translucent. Add the tomatoes, eggs, spinach, wine, sherry, stock, hot sauce, Worcestershire and bay leaves and simmer 1 1/2 hours.
Using a microplane and cut-resistant gloves, remove the yellow zest from the lemons avoiding the white pith; add to the soup. Cut the zested lemons and squeeze juice into the soup.
In a bowl, add the cooled roux, then ladle some of hot soup into the bowl whisking with a wire whip until a smooth paste is formed; add one more ladle to the bowl, then add the contents back to the soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer for 1 hour.
Note: this soup is best the next day; if doing so, cool the soup as quickly as possible and reheat slowly when you wish to serve it.
Before serving, remove bay leaves.
When serving, ladle the soup into bowls and top with additional sherry (3 tablespoons per bowl), green onions, parsley and a squeeze of lemon.
This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.
Recipe courtesy Mike Baskind at The RiverShack Tavern in Jefferson, LA