Mock Turtle Soup

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Then the Queen left off, quite out of breath, and said to Alice, `Have you seen the Mock Turtle yet?'
`No,' said Alice. `I don't even know what a Mock Turtle is.'
`It's the thing Mock Turtle Soup is made from,' said the Queen.
`I never saw one, or heard of one,' said Alice.
`Come on, then,' said the Queen, `and he shall tell you his history,'

From Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 9

There may not be an animal that is a mock turtle, but there is a wonderful soup known as mock turtle soup.  Turtle soup was a delicacy in the past. But as the turtle population diminished, many sought something to replace the turtle meat in their favorite soup.  Most used various parts of calves since the texture was similar to turtle meat when cooked. Thus the calf head atop the turtle in the above illustration.

That may sound just a tad peculiar.  The version of Mock Turtle Soup you'll find below is in all actuality delicious.  Even my children adore it {of course having mini turtle rolls doesn't hinder their affections}.  This recipe uses beef, pork and chicken.  I have found that I truly prefer the combination of pork and chicken in this soup.  And the dash of lemon juice or a slice of lemon really adds the finishing taste.

If you are interested in making your own turtle rolls, here's what I did.  First I divided the dough into 5 pieces. Each piece was then divided into two equal pieces. The first piece {of the second division of dough} was shaped into a ball for the turtle's body, and the second piece was shaped into five pieces: a head and four legs. Using a sharp knife, I scored the body of the turtle in crisscross shapes and the legs with lines mimicking claws.  I pinched the outer edge of the head piece to form a little beak for the turtle's mouth.

Mock Turtle Soup

Recipe from literature guide for Alice in Wonderland sold by Veritas Press
1/2 c vegetable oil
3/4 lb beef, cubed
1/2 lb pork, cubed
1/2 lb chicken, cubed
2/3 c all-purpose flour
1 c chopped onion
1/2 c finely chopped green onions
1/2 c finely chopped parsley
2 tbsp finely chopped celery
1 tsp dried thyme
10 c beef broth, hot
1/2 c tomato sauce
hot sauce to taste
salt to taste
lemon slices

Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat and brown all the meat. Remove the meat from the pot and set aside. Cook onions, green onions, parsley and celery in pan used to brown meat. Add more oil if needed to make about half cup in pan. Reduce heat to medium. Cook until onions are translucent.

Add flour to pan of onions. Stir. Slowly whisk in two cups of the hot stock and stir to form a thick paste, then stir in the tomato sauce. Stir in the remaining stock, then add the meats, salt and hot sauce. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer another hour.

Cool soup slightly and skim off any floating fat. Reheat before serving. Serve with a slice of lemon.


  1. That little turtle peaking around the bowl of soup is the cutest! I did have one of those special cookies too, Dryden shared! We are up to our eyeballs in faeries, will have to post about that soon. This is a very cute post and such good ideas to make the day fun for the children (and us).

  2. Thanks Robin, can't wait to see the faeries; that is getting me thinking about our LOTR party a few years back. Hmmmm.

  3. Anonymous1:47 PM

    Sre you like the best mother in the world. I think you are. This is a wondeful idea, one your children will remember forever.

  4. you think I should make turtle-shaped communion bread next time? ;-)

  5. I love the turtle bread - how adorable!

  6. Looks like fun. I like the cow creamer. It adds a nice touch.

  7. NP- I try to help my children enjoy life; it's a blessing.
    Valerie- You know, that might make it easier for everyone to get a good size hunk (of bread)!
    Cate- the bread made the meal:)
    Monica- I love the cow creamer, it was a wedding gift that always makes me smile!

  8. You're the best mom ever.

  9. By the was it making the bread recipe without a machine? And did the measurements work as-is or did you need to do any adjusting?

  10. Valerie, the recipe worked fine. I basically used my KitchenAid as a bread machine: dumped all the dry ingredients then the wet and used the dough hook to mix and knead.

    The bread was yummy!

  11. So this is what you did while we were gone, party. I see exactly how it is. Fun!

  12. That is such a great idea and it looks delicious too!

  13. Turtle meat is actually pretty good. Got some in the freezer, hope to make this soup sometime with it.

    1. I'm not quite as adventurous but it must be good enough to imitate!


Catching my breath. Be back ASAP.