It was early August, and we found ourselves slouching about New Orleans.
While I will admit that the time of year was not optimal for a couple of Northeastern Illinois guys to visit; my husband was presenting at a conference and, since neither of us had ever been, we figured “why not?”
And since we hadn’t been before, friends who had, had suggestions.
“Go to Muriel’s and get the turtle soup!” was one of the first suggestions we took, and…
Muriel makes one fine turtle soup.
Oh, and when they ask, go ahead and have them add that extra shot of sherry.
This soup is an homage to Muriel’s most excellent creation and, as I didn’t have any actual turtle to make it with, I mixed things up with some home made chicken and duck stock, added a bit of Better Than Bouillon Lobster (available in the soup aisle of most markets, and pretty reasonably priced) stock, and a few other things to try to approach the rich, luxurious flavor.
•1-1/2 lb ground chuck
•3 or 4 cups chopped cabbage
•2 cups diced celery
•2 cups diced onion
•8 oz sliced ‘shrooms
•4 cloves garlic, minced
•1/2 cup butter
•28 oz tomato puree
•1 qt chicken/duck stock
•2 cups lobster stock
•2 cups beef stock
•1 cup ketchup
•1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
•2 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•2 tsp Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce (or your fave hot sauce, to taste)
•2 bay leaves
•2 tsp thyme
•1 cup heavy cream
•8 oz cream cheese
•Fresh minced parsley
•1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
•4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
•1 cup sherry
*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No problem! Simply add a tablespoon or two of good sherry, and a dab more hot sauce.
Cook the meat, breaking up into small pieces, on the stove top over medium high heat until cooked through. Transfer to a slow cooker.
Note: when I made this soup, I used six cups of chopped cabbage, and the resulting soup filled my 6-1/2 quart slow cooker. For this version, I have cut back on the cabbage.
Melt butter in the pan, then add the veggies and cook until tender. Transfer the veggies to the slow cooker.
Stir in the tomato puree, assorted stocks, ketchup, Worcestershire and Sherry Peppers sauces, hot sauce, bay leaves, thyme, and the black pepper.
Cover and cook on high for four hours.
Stir in the cream, the cream cheese, parsley, and lemon juice, then cover cook for another hour or so.
Stir in the chopped eggs and the sherry and cook until nicely warmed through.
This is a very nice, and filling soup.
Is it authentic?
Is it as good as Muriel’s?
Oh, heck no!
But, seeings as how we are here in Northeastern Illinois and Muriel’s is in Jackson Square; it’ll do.
Especially when I serve it with Sweet Potato Brioche and Irish butter.