Mock Turtle Soup 4.16 The Reigning Lorelai
“I have something for you. Mock turtle soup.” “Mock turtle soup?” “Yeah. Sookie made it.” “Mock turtle soup....mock turtle soup...mock turtle soup...mock turtle soup.” “Oh, hey, soup's gone. No soup here. Who mentioned soup? This is definitely a no-soup zone. Uh, the music's nice.”
For the vegetable soup:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium white onion, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 yellow squash, thinly sliced then halved
1 green bell pepper, de-seeded and diced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp pepper
1 cup white mushrooms, thinly sliced
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
7 cups veggie or chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 cup fresh spinach
For the turtle ravioli:
1 cup all-purpose flour (divided to ¾ and ¼ cup)
3 egg yolks
2 eggs divided
¼ tsp salt
½ tbsp olive oil
Brown food coloring
Green food coloring
For the ravioli filling
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup fresh spinach
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp red pepper chili flakes
Note: You can make the soup ahead of time or make while the pasta for the ravioli rests. It will need 1 hour to rest, so plan accordingly.
For the vegetable soup:
Place a large stock pot over medium heat and drizzle the olive oil over the bottom of the pot. Once heated, add the onion, celery, and carrots. Sauté for about 6-7 minutes or until soft and fragrant.
Add the squash and bell pepper and allow to cook for about 5 minutes or until soft.
Add all the spices: salt, basil, paprika, oregano, and pepper and sauté for an additional minute.
Add the mushrooms and allow to sauté for about 3 minutes or until the mushrooms begin to release their juices.
Add the canned tomatoes and chicken broth and stir to combine. Bring to a low boil and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the bay leaf then cover the stock pot.
Bring the temperature down to low and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes.
Remove the lid and the bay leaf.
For the turtle ravioli:
On a clean, dry surface, pour out ¾ cup flour and mix in your salt. Using your fingers, create a large well in the center of the flour.
In a small bowl, beat the yolks, 1 egg, and oil together. Slowly pour ¾ of the egg mixture into the flour well. Save the remaining ¼ egg mixture.
Add a few drops of brown food coloring to the egg mixture in the center.
Using a fork, carefully begin to combine the inner wall of the flour with the eggs. If your eggs start to escape (aka run across your counter), don’t panic! Carefully mix in more of the flour to slow the eggs.
Continue mixing the flour and eggs until you have a ball of dough.
Begin kneading your dough by rolling then folding the ball of dough across the counter with your hands. It can take some time before the dough is soft enough to fold. Just keep kneading! You’ll need to knead the dough for about 10 minutes.
Press your finger into the dough. If it slowly springs back, it’s ready, and the gluten has formed.
Wrap the dough in cling wrap or beeswax for one hour to rest at room temperature.
Repeat steps 1-8 above with the remaining flour and egg mixture only instead of brown food coloring, you will use green.
While the pasta rests, prepare the ravioli filling by combining the ricotta, spinach, egg, parmesan, salt, pepper, and red pepper chili flakes in a medium bowl and stirring until fully combined.
When the pasta has finished resting, take the brown pasta and roll it thin, maintaining a very long rectangular shape. It should be about 6-8 inches wide. If you are using a pasta maker, use to thin your dough until the dough is translucent. You should be able to see your fingers through the dough when you lift it. If you don’t have a pasta machine, use a rolling pin or a wine bottle to roll out your dough to the same thinness.
Complete step 11 with the green pasta, however it should be about 2-3 inches wide. You may need to cut the rectangle in half to get this width.
Line the brown and green pasta side by side to make a stripe (see photo below). If you have a pasta maker, roll it through once to combine the two colors of pasta to create one sheet. There should still be a distinct brown side and a distinct green side. If you don’t have a pasta maker, dampen the edges of the pasta with a little bit of water then use your rolling pin to meld the edges together.
Use what you have to create a turtle stencil. You could print out a turtle stencil and use this, but I bent a circular cookie cutter into an oval shape and used a bottle lid for the head. Cut out turtle shapes, lining up the body in the brown section and the head in the green section (see photo below)
Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl to create an egg wash.
Fill the body of one turtle with ½ to 1 tbsp of the ravioli filling depending on how big you made your turtles (mine were about 5 inches long so I used 1 tbsp). Make sure to leave about a ¼ inch border around the filling.
Brush the egg wash along the exposed border and on the head.
Place another turtle on top of the filled turtle and press down along the edges to seal.
Fill a large pot about ⅔ of the way with heavily salted water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil.
Place the turtle ravioli in the boiling water and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes depending on how large they are. For my 5 inch ravioli, they cooked for 4 minutes.
Remove the turtles with a slotted spoon and serve on top of your bowl of vegetable soup.
This was one of those episodes in which I knew early on when starting this project that I would make mock turtle soup for this episode. It’s a recognizable food from the series, and definitely the most remembered food from this episode (possibly even from this season). However, as I began to do research for this dish, I quickly found out that both traditional and modern versions of mock turtle soup did not sound appealing to me at all. Traditional mock turtle soup utilizes a variety of meat, but most commonly calf brains, to mimic turtle meat. Modern takes skip the calf brains and use ground beef but they add hard boiled eggs. I’m sorry if you’re a fan, but that sounded so gross to me.
I hit a roadblock. I really wanted to make mock turtle soup, but I couldn’t put forward a dish that I myself didn’t like. I thought about other dishes I could make for this episode instead, but I was coming up short. There was the cheese that Emily suggested tossing into the coffin and stuffing toothpicks into Trix’s mouth and “let the people go to town.” I could make a mojito for Emily, but I just made a cocktail last episode. And while there is no rule saying I couldn’t do back-to-back cocktails, I was desperate to figure out the soup.
And that’s when I remembered Brad from My Harry Potter Kitchen made pasta beetles for a beetle soup. At first, I tried to do the same as he did and just make little pasta turtles to go on top of my soup. But his beetles were all one piece of pasta since they were one color. I, however, needed a color for the head and a color for the body. I tried attaching the heads and bodies together with some beaten egg, but either they fell off while cooking, or just looked like a weird blobby mess. I was about to give up all together on this idea of pasta turtles, when I had an idea while trying to fall asleep (if you’ve been here since last season, you’ll remember this is also how I came up with my idea of Dante’s Inferno hot dogs). The idea was to make turtle-shaped ravioli.
I hit another roadblock when I realized I didn’t have my pasta maker any more. I moved over this summer, and we realized a little too late that there was a box left on the truck that must have included my beloved pasta maker. No matter, I could do it by hand. I’ve always said that I wanted my recipes to be easy to replicate even if you don’t have any fancy tools or appliances. So even if you don’t have a pasta maker, you can still make this turtle ravioli! Which version of mock turtle soup would you want to try, calf brains or turtle ravioli?
Happy cooking from the hollow!
If you missed what I made last episode, catch up here!