Mock Turtle Soup

Rick Cooks Home Mock Turtle Soup

Along the banks of the Ohio River, between the Mill Creek and the Miami River tributaries, is the habitat of the mock turtle. Early German settlers to the region found this creature to be an excellent component for their beloved old-world Schildkrötesuppe (turtle soup).

However, the mock turtle is a cagey critter, more so than the Reißenschildkröte of the Rhine, and frequently eluded its Teutonic pursuers. The Germans, embarrassed to admit that they could be outwitted by an amphibian, attributed its elusiveness to speed, and called their prized quarry (on the rare occasions they came home with one) "very fast turtle" or Machschildkröte, from which we get "mock turtle".

Today, the mock turtle is endangered, and thus is not available commercially. However, the uniquely sweet-sour flavor of the mock turtle is closely approximated with the correct combination of hamburger, lemon, brains, ketchup, and vinegar. (A brainless recipe is also provided for Midwesterners who are having trouble finding any.)

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Mock Turtle Soup I

1 lb ground beef

1 small lemon, sliced thin

1 medium onion, chopped fine

15 ginger snaps, broken into small pieces

1 14oz bottle ketchup

½ t chili power

1/3 c Worcestershire sauce

3 hard cooked eggs, chopped fine

2 q water

Mix all ingredients, cook for one hour.

Mock Turtle Soup II

1½ lb hamburger

2 q water

1 T salt

¼ tsp pepper

3 medium size onions, chopped

1 large lemon, chopped

¼ c mixed spices, tied in bag (*bouquet garni* for cooking snobs)

1 lb brains (beef or pork)

½ c vinegar

½ c sugar

½ c wine, sour

1½ bottles catsup

½ T whiskey

2 hard boiled eggs, chopped

1 c flour, toasted (*harina tostada*)

Add hamburger to water and bring to boil. Add salt and pepper and chopped

lemon, onions, and spices.

Skin brains and boil in 2 cups water until tender. Mash and combine

with other ingredients. Boil until lemons and onions are tender. Add toasted

flour and serve.

*Glenn Wernz*