Monday, February 27, 2006

John Philpott's Cajun Conch, Turtle, or Abalone Soup

In Louisiana, there was always good turtle meat to be had, at least before Katrina wrecked havoc upon so many turtle farms. Most was used for turtle soup. The best turtle soup I ever had resulted from substituting it for conch in Dr.Philpott’s recipe for Cajun Conch Soup from Meals That Will Melt In Your Mouth. The flavor profile provided by the Cajun 12 spice powder from yesterday’s post, along with thirteen other ingredients should render the staunchest Cajun palate craving for more. As for my own palate, no other Cajun dish ever did a better job of pleasing it.


1 pound conch, whelk, or turtle (fresh or frozen)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 oz. fresh spinach, chopped
1 oz. fresh parsley, stems removed
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 14 oz. can of beef broth.
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons sherry
3 2 tablespoons flour (to be mixed into beef broth)
½ teaspoon anchovy paste
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon Cajun 12 spice powder (see yesterday’s post)

Parboil the conch, whelk, or turtle in water with the baking soda for 5 minutes. Remove, drain, and cut into small 1/8 inch strips or run through a grinder for as coarse a grind as possible. Saute in butter , then add the onion, celery, garlic spinach, and parsley. Saute for 10 minutes. Add tomato sauce and stir for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, stir, then cover and let simmer for several hours, the longer the better. Make up for lost volume by adding water.

from Meals That Will Melt in Your Mouth by Dr. John Philpott, RP Publishing, Inc., Salem, VA, 1999