Mock turtle soup is a rich and elegant dish that requires a lot of time and effort to make. It’s typically made as an entree for dinner parties. The recipe below is not difficult, but it does take some time. In this blog post, I will tell you what mock turtle soup is, how to make the soup from scratch with step-by-step instructions, and provide a link to buy pre-made ingredients. If you don’t have the time or patience to wait on your own stock to simmer for hours on end. If you’re looking for a more detailed explanation about who created this dish or where it originated from, please read my post.
What is mock turtle soup?
Mock turtle soup is a soup made from ingredients normally found in a turtle, but with a different base. The main ingredient used in mock turtle soup is calf’s head meat and gelatin cubes, which provide the ‘turtle’ flavor when mixed with ingredients such as wine or vinegar.
How to make mock turtle soup from scratch
Ingredients mock turtle soup
- 2 calf’s head.
- 1 onion, chopped.
- 2 stalks celery, chopped.
- 6 cups beef stock.
- 1 tbsp butter or olive oil.
- 1 tsp thyme leaves (dried) or 3 sprigs of fresh thyme.
- 2 bay leaves or 3 dried leaves.
- 3 eggs, hard-boiled.
- 1 tbsp flour (optional).
- salt and pepper to taste.
Instructions for mock turtle soup
- Place the calf’s head in a large pot that has 4 quarts of water. Bring the water to a boil, then simmer for 2 hours on low heat or until meat can be pulled away from the bone with ease.
- Remove meat from water, and allow to cool. Discard the bones, any sinewy parts, and fatty pieces; cut larger pieces of meat into smaller chunks.
- In a large pot on medium heat, saute onions with butter or olive oil until translucent (about 5 minutes). Add celery and saute for another five minutes.
- Add the beef stock, thyme, bay leaves, and calf’s head meat; cover the pot and allow to simmer for at least one hour (longer is better) until meat is tender.
- Carefully remove any scum that may form on top of the soup while cooking (this is basically just any oils or fats floating around in the stock, so don’t overdo it).
- Separate the cooked meat from the broth. You could do this by straining it or by using a slotted spoon to pick out pieces, but I prefer to use my large wire mesh strainer because it allows me to see if any fatty pieces have been missed.
- Meanwhile, hard boil the eggs and set them aside for later use.
- Add the flour to a small bowl with a few tablespoons of soup broth until well blended into a paste without lumps. Slowly pour this paste back into the pot of soup while stirring constantly to avoid any clumping, and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Slice the hardboiled eggs into wedges or halves, remove the shells, and add them back to the soup. At this point, you can adjust your seasonings with salt and pepper to taste. I recommend adding about a teaspoon of each at a time until you are happy with the flavor. Even if your soup doesn’t taste quite right, don’t be tempted to add any additional salt until you’ve tried it with the recommended amount first.
- You can serve this soup immediately or allow the flavors to mingle for a few hours before serving. Either way, top each bowl with a spoonful of sour cream and maybe some crispy bacon crumbles.
Cooking notes for mock turtle soup
- If you do not have the time to simmer for this amount of time, you can use a pressure cooker if available.
- This soup tastes better the longer it sits and the flavors mingle, so I recommend making it at least one day in advance if possible.
- You may adjust the flavor by adding a little more or less thyme, even if it’s just a pinch.
- The flour in this recipe is there to thicken the soup and add to its ‘mouthfeel’ (how it feels coming down your throat), not to detract from the flavor; I recommend using at least two tablespoons of flour because that is what I used in the video, but you may opt to use more or less.
- You could also add a little bit of red wine towards the end of cooking (you could also substitute half of the beef broth with red wine).
- If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try adding some oysters or other seafood to the soup.
FAQs about a mock turtle soup recipe
Is mock turtle soup healthy?
This recipe is very low in calories, fat, carbs, and sugar. Additionally, it contains decent amounts of fiber, protein, vitamin C, Vitamin A (from beta-carotene), iron, calcium, potassium, thiamin B1(riboflavin), folate B9(folic acid), magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, pantothenic B5(pantothenate), copper, niacin B3(nicotinamide), vitamin K1(phylloquinone) and selenium.
Is mock turtle soup vegan?
The eggs are not vegan, but the soup itself could be made vegan by using a vegan-friendly beef broth or vegetable stock.
What does mock turtle soup taste like?
Mock turtle soup is a very hearty and flavorful dish that tastes great on a cold day, especially with a little bit of chili pepper for added spice if desired.
The overall flavor is hard to describe, but it has a lot of depth and variety from the beef broth to the thyme to the sour cream adding to its mouthfeel.
How much mock turtle soup per person?
This recipe should serve about 6 people as a main course or 8 people if served with an appetizer.
What goes well with mock turtle soup?
Mock turtle soup tastes great on its own or can be served with crackers, breadsticks, or a side of cooked vegetables depending on the meal.
How to make mock turtle soup tastier?
Experimenting with different combinations of thyme, beef broth, and sour cream will result in slightly different flavors each time. You may also experiment with adding different ingredients to the soup including chopped vegetables, chili powder, cayenne pepper, etc.
What are some tips for making mock turtle soup?
After removing the eggs from the broth, try not to touch them too much so they won’t lose their shape. Also you can adjust your seasonings with salt and pepper to taste. I recommend adding about a teaspoon of each at a time until you are happy with the flavor.
Mock turtle soup substitute?
You can use this mock turtle soup recipe as a guide, but omit the eggs (which will still give it its “turtle” appearance), beef broth, thyme, carrots, celery, and green beans. The rest of the ingredients are up to you.
Conclusion for mock turtle soup
Mock turtle soup can be made into a healthy and delicious meal that is both easy and inexpensive to make. It tastes great when served on its own or when paired with breadsticks, crackers, or cooked vegetables.
When you cook the eggs in this recipe for mock turtle soup, add them at the very end so they maintain their shape. You may also omit the eggs if you prefer not to eat them. You can also adjust your seasonings with salt and pepper, adding each one at a time until you’re satisfied with the flavor.
I recommend adding about a teaspoon of each at a time until you are happy with the flavor. You might even want to experiment with different combinations of thyme, beef broth, and sour cream to get different flavors each time.
In this post, we’ve provided a recipe for mock turtle soup to help you get started. We hope that reading about the history and origins of this dish, as well as giving you guidance on how to make it from scratch, will inspire you to try your hand at making some yourself.
Let us know if there are other foods or dishes that have been puzzling you – maybe one day we can tackle them together in another blog post. If anything here has been unclear or confusing please let us know so we can update accordingly.