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Charles Brongers Louisville Turtle Soup

Yield about 1 1/8 gallons


  • 2 pounds turtle meat
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large onions, quartered
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 3 stalks celery, cleaned and cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 2 carrots, scraped and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh green beans
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1/2 cup whole kernel corn
  • 1/2 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 lemon, seeds removed
  • 1 hard-cooked egg
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can whole tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup catsup
  • 2 ounces tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup claret or other dry red wine
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons whole allspice
  • 1/4 pod hot red pepper
  • Hard-cooked egg slices
  • Lemon slices

How to Make It

  1. Combine turtle meat, salt, pepper, and water in a large stock pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 2 1/2 hours. Remove meat, and strain broth through several layers of damp cheesecloth; return broth to stock pot, and set meat aside.

  2. Place flour in a small heavy skillet; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until flour browns. Gradually add browned flour to broth, stirring to blend well. Set aside.

  3. Grind together reserved turtle meat, onions, potatoes, celery, carrots, green beans, peas, corn, cabbage, 1/2 lemon, and 1 hard-cooked egg into a large mixing bowl, using coarse blade of meat grinder. Add ground mixture with vegetable liquid to thickened broth in stock pot.

  4. Press tomatoes through a fine-meshed sieve, using the back of a wooden spoon; add tomato pulp and liquid to stock pot. Stir in catsup, tomato paste, wine, and sugar.

  5. Place whole allspice and red pepper in a small cheesecloth bag. Tie bag securely, and place in soup in stock pot.

  6. Bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove spice bag.

  7. Ladle soup into individual serving bowls; garnish with egg and lemon slices. Serve warm.

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