Thursday, August 4, 2022

Mock Turtle Soup #CooktheBooks

Mock turtle soup is made not from turtle but from beef.  It was created in the 18th century in England as an imitation of Green Turtle soup.  It is the strangest soup I have ever made, containing cookies and hard boiled eggs, and it was surprisingly tasty.

Mock Turtle Soup

It's time for our August/September edition of Cook the Books.......
Debra of Eliot's Eats is hosting this fun group and invited us to join her in reading the classic, Alice in Wonderland.   You still have 2 full months to revisit this classic tale by Lewis Carroll and should you be inspired to the kitchen, share it on your blog or instagram and join in the fun.  Just make sure to let Debra know so she can include you in the roundup at the end of the month.

Alice in Wonderland

You can learn all about Cook the Books and how to join us at our homepage, in the guidelines, and at Debra's Invitation Post.

Mock Turtle Soup

I, of course, knew the story of Alice in Wonderland but I don't think I had ever read the novel.  So when I was looking for an audio book to listen to while on my walks I decided to download and listen to this as it was our Cook the Books selection for August/September.

There was not a ton of food in the novel but there were lots of references from which to get inspiration from mushrooms that made you grow and shrink, to tea parties where the Queen constantly screamed to behead people. 

But I drew my inspiration from a character in the novel that had escaped my knowledge prior to reading  listening to this classic book, the Mock Turtle.....of Mock Turtle soup claim, of course.

Alice in Wonderland
Photo courtesy of Disney Studios

My knowledge of Alice in Wonderland came through the cartoon version made by Walt Disney Studios in 1951.  This is the version that I watched as a child.  It must have been shown on television because I wasn't born until 1958 and I distinctly remember watching it.  Perhaps on the Wonderful World of Disney which first aired in 1954 and was a Sunday evening tradition at our house.

I don't remember a Mock Turtle character in the cartoon version but it's been many years ago now and I can't remember what I watched on television yesterday LOL.  

I have made Snapping Turtle Soup using a snapper that was living in our pond until the day he decided to take a bite out of our dog's chest.  We caught him and relocated him.  Little did we know that they will make their way back to the place they call home.  Fearing for children's toes we decided to dispose of him.  You can read more about that experience in this post.

Mock Turtle Soup Pin

I almost didn't make this soup after reading through the recipe.  Such a strange conglomeration of ingredients but I figured what the heck and I'm so glad that I did.  This soup is very good, economical and easy to make.  

It comes together much like sloppy joes and has a taste remeniscent of sloppy joes but in soup form.  I'm going to make it again when the Angel Face in on a visit and see if we can stream the movie from Disney to watch while we enjoy it.

I will also be sharing this recipe and review over at Foodies Read.  Stop by and see what the other foodies are reading this month.

Soup, Beef, Easy,
Yield: 4 servings
Author: Wendy Klik
Mock Turtle Soup

Mock Turtle Soup

Mock turtle soup is made not from turtle but from beef. It was created in the 18th century in England as an imitation of Green Turtle soup. It is the strangest soup I have ever made, containing cookies and hard boiled eggs, and it was surprisingly tasty.
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 1 H & 30 MTotal time: 1 H & 40 M


  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 3 oz. gingersnap cookies
  • 1/2 vidalia onion, grated or minced in food processor
  • 1 c. ketchup
  • 1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce
  • 8-10 grinds fresh peppercorns
  • 5 thin slices of lemon, seeds removed
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, grated
  • 1 T. dry vermouth


  1. Place the cookies in 2 cups of very hot water. Set aside.
  2. Brown the ground beef in a soup pot over med high heat, mashing and breaking up so that it is in small crumbles. Drain, if necessary.
  3. Add the onions to the beef, along with the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  4. Pour in the ginger snaps and soaking liquid. Stir together. You will have a mixture the consistency of sloppy joes.
  5. Add water, one cup at a time, to this mixture until you get a soup like consistency. I used 4 cups to reach my desired consistency.
  6. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and lay the lemon slices on top.
  7. Partially cover the pot and simmer for an hour or two, stirring occasionally.
  8. Remove and discard the lemon slices and stir in the vermouth and hard boiled eggs before serving.


Adapted from a recipe found at Soup Addict

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  1. I think the English versions had organ meat in them. This type is actually a Cincinnati type copied off the Worthington brand. That is because mock turtle soup was also popular in Germany. So by proxy it had been made in restaurants in the "Over-the-Rhine" region of Cincinnati, which is just down and south of the Findlay market. Go figure that Cincinnati comes up with another strange food. I suspect the cookies would give a German sauerbraten flavor and the eggs probably emulated texture of turtle soup. I have never actually eaten it although I see it on menus and in cans at grocery stores. I have had turtle soup but that was decades ago.

  2. I love it! Mock Turtle Soup. Too bad you didn't have another snapper handy to make the real thing. You didn't say how that tasted. What area are you in that has wild snappers?

    1. I live in a rural area in the thumb of Michigan. We have a lot of water and marshland near us. The soup was delicious, reminiscent of beef barley.

  3. That's a crazy story about the snapper coming back! I didn't know they would home, my goodness. What an interesting soup yuo made, would never have thought about using gingersnaps in a soup. That was a fun book!

    1. It was an interesting soup and I was surprised how much we liked it.

  4. An interesting recipe indeed! I would have also been a bit concerned about the result, given the list of ingredients. Glad your courage was rewarded :)


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