Mock Turtle Soup
Makes 6 to 8 servings
This is my grandma Rita's recipe. When Paw Paw or one of the boys would bring home turtles, they'd either end up in a sauce piquante or in this turtle soup. When they had an envie for turtle soup in the winter, Maw Maw would use ox tails instead of turtle meat. It has a similar texture and is equally delicious.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cooking oil
3 onions, chopped
1 whole bunch celery, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
5 to 7 pounds oxtails, cut up
1 large (or 2 small) lemon, thinly sliced (1/8- to 1/4-inch)
3 bay leaves
1 can (10 ounces) Ro-tel Diced Original Tomatoes and Green Chiles
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped parsley
6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled
Generous salt and black pepper to taste
With the flour and oil, make a medium roux in a large Dutch oven. Add the Cajun holy trinity (onion, celery, bell pepper) to the roux to stop the browning. Stir well. Stir in garlic. Cook down over medium-low temperature for 45 minutes.
Add oxtails, half the sliced lemons, bay leaves and Ro-Tel. Cover with water, about 1-1/2 quarts. Cover with lid and cook over low boil for 2-1/2 hours.
Add remaining lemon slices, and continue to cook at a low boil until the meat is falling off the bone. (If desired, turn off the heat and use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove bones from the soup. Then turn heat back on.)
Add more water if needed, to desired thickness. Add salt and pepper to taste, green onions and parsley and cook at a low boil for 7 minutes. Cut eggs in half lengthwise and add to the pot; stir them in gently. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes, then serve.
NOTE: Soup can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen, but add the hard-cooked eggs after re-heating and just before serving