Recipes > Soup > Turtle Soup > Green Turtle Soup

Green Turtle Soup


  • 1 turtle
  • 2 onions
  • 1 bunch of sweet herbs
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 5 quarts of water
  • 1 glass of Madeira


After removing the entrails, cut up the coarser parts of the turtle meat and bones. Add four quarts of water, and stew four hours with the herbs, onions, pepper and salt. Stew very slowly, do not let it cease boiling during this time. At the end of four hours strain the soup, and add the finer parts of the turtle and the green fat, which has been simmered one hour in two quarts of water. Thicken with brown flour; return to the soup-pot, and simmer gently for an hour longer. If there are eggs in the turtle, boil them in a separate vessel for four hours, and throw into the soup before taking up. If not, put in force meat balls; then the juice of the lemon, and the wine; beat up at once and pour out.

Some cooks add the finer meat before straining, boiling all together five hours; then strain, thicken and put in the green fat, cut into lumps an inch long. This makes a handsomer soup than if the meat is left in.

Green turtle can now be purchased preserved in air-tight cans.

Force Meat Balls for the Above

  • 6 tablespoonfuls of turtle meat, chopped very fine
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 tablespoonful of butter
  • cayenne
  • mace
  • 1/2 teaspoonful of white sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 well-beaten egg


Rub meat to a paste, with the yolk of the hard-boiled eggs, butter, and, if convenient, a little oyster liquor. Season with cayenne, mace, white sugar and salt. Bind all with a well-beaten egg; shape into small balls; dip in egg, then powdered cracker; fry in butter, and drop into the soup when it is served.


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The White House Cookbook (1887).

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