A classic Creole soup.
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- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 pounds turtle meat, patted dry and cut into ½-inch cubes, divided
- 1½ teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
- 2 red onions, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups dry sherry
- 8 cups water
- 2 cups crushed tomatoes
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 sprigs fresh oregano
- Juice of 2 oranges
- ½ cup clam juice
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- Garnish: chopped green onions
- 1. In a large Dutch oven, melt 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add half of turtle meat, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper; cook until meat is browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove meat from pot, and set aside. Add remaining turtle meat, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes.
- Return first batch of meat to pot along with onion, celery, and bell pepper; cook until vegetables soften, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and tomato paste, and cook 2 minutes.
- Add cayenne, celery salt, bay leaves, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Reduce heat to medium. Add flour and cook 2 minutes. Return heat to medium-high, add sherry, and scrape bottom of pot to loosen any browned bits.
- Stir in 8 cups water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Tie together thyme and oregano sprigs with butcher’s twine; add to pot and simmer 35 minutes. Stir in orange
- juice, clam juice, and Worcestershire sauce; simmer 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat, discard herb bundle and bay leaves. Working in batches, add soup to the work bowl of a blender, and blend on high speed until thick. Pour into a serving dish, and garnish with green onion, if desired.
- This classic Creole soup has been on New Orleans menus for centuries and has only gotten better with age. While turtle meat is often carried at well-stocked markets in Louisiana, it can be scarce elsewhere. Cajun Grocer ships prepared turtle meat nationwide (cajungrocer.com).
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