The White House 1887 Mock Turtle Soup




Introduction: The White House 1887 Mock Turtle Soup

About: I am married with two children. Spring, summer, and fall are my very favorite times of the year. I enjoy working in the yard, sewing, cooking, quilting, gardening, and creating. I do this to keep my sanity.

I have been looking through my 1887 Edition of "The Original White House Cook Book" and found a few turtle soup recipes. I thought I would make the mock version. After thinking about it,  I came up with an idea to create a turtle from a squash and fill it with the soup. I would never eat the real deal but I will eat a mock version with black beans and chicken! The Campbell's Soup Company made Mock turtle soup in the late twenties. Here is an article about it:
Let's get started!

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Step 1: Ingredients

I cut the recipe down for my family because we would have been eating turtle soup for a month! The recipe ingredients are as she wrote them though. I did not want to change that because it might have changed the flavor. She mentioned it was hard to distinguish the difference between it and the turtle soup made from turtle meat. I don't think making a smaller amount made a difference because it was a soup that was very different. It will be interesting if anyone makes this version and post a reply. 

The way the directions were written, it sounded like the beans would be way over cooked using her directions. This recipe would be best if you did the quick soak method and cooking the beans only until they are almost done because you will add the meatballs and the herbs to the beans 20 minutes before serving. You could make everything the day before and refrigerate it and add the herb bag and meat balls to the chilled beans the following day to finish cooking the beans. This recipe makes about 16 one cup servings.

1 Qt organic black beans (soak overnight)
Pinch thyme
1 t summer savory
1 t Parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1 T butter
4 Hard boiled eggs  (only the yokes are used)
1 Cup boiled chicken minced ( unseasoned)
1/2 Cup Fine bread crumbs (not seasoned)
2 beaten eggs
1 Tablespoon milk  I used cream because that is what I had on hand
1/2 t flour
Sliced lemon and fresh parsley for garnish optional

Turtle bowl:
1 Gold nugget squash
1 Pickle
2 Pepper corns
Scant Olive oil for the bowl's rim and lid to keep the edges from curling up.
Toothpick and skewer not shown
Mixing bowls, large sauce pan, knife,measuring cup, measuring spoons, spoons, cutting board, stock pot, whisk or fork,
mixer or food processor, small cloth and string for herbs, colander, and sauce pan.

Step 2: Cook Beans

Cook the beans following the instructions on the bag except allow 20 minutes less cooking time.
While the beans are cooking place herbs into the cloth and tie the bag to seal and make the meat balls in the next step, then . . . 

When the beans are almost done:

Place colander over a large bowl and pour cooked beans into the colander.
Drain liquid and place beans into a food processor and mix to a course texture. 
Return liquid back into the sauce pan.
Return the course bean mixture to the sauce pan.
Add the herb bag.
Add meatballs, butter, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil.

Step 3: Make Meatballs

Add ingredients to mixing bowl:
Minced chicken
Bread crumbs
Egg yolks
Crumble together and mix well.
Add milk
Season with salt and pepper
Add flour and bind together with 2 beaten eggs.
Roll mixture into little balls as shown.
Place balls in the fridge until they are added to the soup.

Step 4: Make Turtle Bowl

Wash the squash.
Cut a lid using a serrated knife.
Scoop out the seeds and strings from the lid and bowl.
coat the lid edge of the lid and the bowl rim with olive oil to prevent the edges from curling up.
Using a skewer poke eye holes in the pickle.
Place pepper corn in the holes.
Using the toothpick stick the pickle to the squash for the turtles head and neck.

Step 5: Serve

Garnish with lemon slice and parsley . . .  then serve.

Step 6: Sunshiine's Final Thoughts

I have no way of knowing if this recipe taste like the real turtle soup or not, but Mrs. F L. Gillette wrote a comment in the cookbook: "This approaches so near in flavor to the real turtle soup that few are able to distinguish the difference." I think she is probably correct because I would think the foods grown were more like our organic today. President Taft was very fond of turtle soup and I read President Lincoln requested the mock turtle soup often, but I don't know if it is true or not, an interesting read none the less.

We thought it had a slight fishy flavor with a distinct taste.

I wish to thank Instructables and our sponsors for the fabulous contest.

Thanks for stopping by and have a blessed holiday season!  


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    12 Discussions


    4 years ago

    food art! and its so damn cute.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks, he is cute isn't he? Keep your shine on!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    lol... I was thinking: What the heck is that? A gherkin? What's it doing with that squash???

    hahaha... now I see the turtle head!!! ;-D



    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Dinner is at 6 come on over! Bring your gang!