Mock Turtle

Beautiful soup so rich so green, waiting in a hot tureen, who for such dainties would not stoop, soup of the evening, beautiful soup

Alice meets the Mock Turtle on her adventure in wonderland. They have a mock discussion about school. He says his teacher was an old sea turtle, called tortoise. Alice asks him why he was called tortoise when he was a turtle. The Mock Turtle answers 'We called him tortoise because he taught us!' He's a melancholy character destined for the soup pot. He recites a little poem.

The Mock Turtle's Lament

Beautiful Soup, so rich and green,
Waiting in a hot tureen!
Who for such dainties would not stoop?
Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!
Beautiful Soup!
Beautiful Soup!
Soup of the evening,
Beautiful, beautiful Soup!

Beautiful Soup! Who cares for fish,
Game, or any other dish?
Who would not give all else for two
Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?
Beautiful Soup!
Beautiful Soup!
Soup of the evening,
Beautiful, beautiful soup!

19th Century Recipe for Mock Turtle soup

Take a large calf's head. Scald off the hair. Boil it until the horn is tender. Then cut it into slices about the size of your finger, with as little lean as possible. Have ready three pints of good mutton or veal broth, put in it half a pint of Madeira wine half a teaspoonful of thyme, pepper, a large onion, and the peel of a lemon chopped very small. Add a quarter of a pint of oysters chopped very small, and their liquor; a little salt, the juice of two large onions, some sweet herbs, and the brains chopped. Simmer all these together for about an hour, and send it up to the table with forcemeat made small and the yolks of hard eggs.

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