Mock Turtle Soup


Preparation time: 15 min.
Cooking or baking time: 45 min.
Total preparation time: 1 hr.

Loggerhead turtle soup (Mock Turtle Soup: to mock = pretend).

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 400 ml of water
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • about 100 g veal (or chicken breast)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 allspice grains
  • 4 grains of black pepper
  • 1 clove


  1. Slice the onion into half rings, brown in a saucepan, then add oil, stir and remove the onion before turning brown. Fry the finely diced meat in the oil, then "park" oil with meat on a plate.
  2. In the empty saucepan, the sugar is now made liquid and heated until it turns dark brown. (Caution: the last tanning phase is very fast!) Remove casserole from the plate in time and immediately deglaze with the water.
  3. In this base, the spices are added, the broth simmer for about 15 minutes. Then remove the firm spices (pour the broth through a sieve), add the meat with the oil and cook for another 20-30 minutes until the meat is tender.
  4. Season with Sherry or Madeira before serving.


The Lower Saxony variant has a lot more meat (veal, beef, heart, bacon, Kassler), is thickened and has side dishes (potatoes, dumplings, possibly vegetables).

The original (since 1988 no longer feasible, because trade in turtles prohibited) also had several variants:

  • "Lady Curzon ?: the soup is covered with whipped cream, sprinkled with curry and briefly au gratin
  • Sir James ?: flavored with Cognac and Madeira

History of Mock Turtle Soup

The Turtlesoup (turtle soup) was a very popular dish in the English area after exploring the colonies and thus also in Hamburg, Bremen and the surrounding area. When Napoleon imposed the continental blockade at the beginning of the 19th century, the Germans were cut off from the English markets. You did not get any turtle meat anymore. Resourceful chefs invented variants to satisfy their clientele nonetheless.

Again, there were - as originally in the real Turtlesoup - several variants

  1. The noble variant for high society used veal instead of turtle meat; Today you can take fine poultry.
  2. The farmer's variant contained more ingredients with many calories: bacon, pork (also cured), heart, mushrooms, also potatoes, mainly floury, which made the soup creamy when the potatoes fell apart.
  • 1 pinch of cilantro, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt
  • Sherry to taste (medium) or Madeira

Mock Turtle Soup with Heston Blumenthal | September 2021