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Turtle Soup

1 1/4 c Unsalted butter
3/4 c All-purpose flour
1 lb Turtle meat - cut into 1/2" cubes
1 c Minced celery (4 stalks) 1 1/4 c Minced onions - (2 medium)
1 1/2 t Minced garlic
3 ea Bay leaves
1 t Oregano
1/2 t Thyme
1/2 t Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 c Tomato puree
1 qt Beef stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed
1/2 c Lemon juice
5 ea Eggs - hard cooked, chopped fine
1 T Parsley - minced
6 t Dry sherry

Melt 1 cup (2 sticks) butter in a heavy saucepan. Add flour and cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until the roux is a light brown. Set aside. In a 5-quart saucepan, melt remaining butter and add turtle meat. Cook over high heat until meat is brown. Add celery, onions, garlic and seasonings, and cook until vegetables are transparent. Add tomato puree, lower heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add stock and simmer for 30 minutes. Add roux and cook over low heat, stirring, until soup is smooth and thickened. Correct seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Add lemon juice, eggs, and parsley. Remove from heat and serve. At table add 1 teaspoon sherry to each soup plate.

NOTE: If turtle bones are available, add them to the beef bones in making stock.

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