Best Turtle Soup

Donna Graffagnino


Turtle Soup is almost as synonymous with Nola Cuisine as Gumbo, in fact, it probably outsells the Gumbo in a lot of establishments. Unlike the clear Turtle Soups made in other parts of the world, the Louisiana variety is a dark, robust soup, bordering on a stew. There are also Mock Turtle Soups which are good as well, usually made with Beef and Veal. Turtles are said to contain about 7 different flavors of meat, so it would be very easy to slip a more inexpensive meat in with the Turtle, I’ve even heard of some places slipping in some Alligator. (See Notes Below)


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25 Min
1 Hr 30 Min
Stove Top


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1/2 c
unsalted butter
1/2 c
ap flour


4 Tbsp
unsalted butter
1 lb
turtle meat, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/2 c
onion, finely diced
1 c
celery, finely diced
1/4 c
green onions, sliced thin
2 tsp
garlic, minced
fresh bay leaves
1 can(s)
diced tomatoes with juice
1 can(s)
6 oz tomato sauce* (optional)
1 qt
beef stock
1/2 tsp
cayenne pepper or more to taste
1 dash(es)
ground allspice
1 Tbsp
fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp
fresh marjoram, chopped
salt & black pepper to taste
1/4 c
fresh lemon juice
4 Tbsp
worcestershire sauce
3 Tbsp
hard boiled eggs, whites diced, yolks smashed with a fork
lemon slices
5 tsp
italian parsley, finely chopped

How to Make Best Turtle Soup


  • 1Melt the half cup of butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan, whisk in the flour, cook to make a peanut butter colored roux. Set aside.
  • 2In a large saucepan or dutch oven, melt the 4 Tbsp of unsalted butter over medium-high heat, add the diced turtle meat and saute until nicely browned.
  • 3Lower the heat to medium, add both types of onions, the celery, and garlic. Season with salt and black pepper. Saute until the vegetables are tender.
  • 4Add the tomatoes, season with a little salt so they will break down, cook for 10 minutes.
  • 5Add the tomato sauce, beef stock, worcestershire, cayenne, allspice, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then down to a simmer. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally and skimming off any impurities that may rise to the surface.
  • 6Whisk in the roux, simmer until thickened and smooth. Add the thyme, and marjoram, simmer for 15-20 minutes more.
  • 7Add the lemon juice, 3 tsp of the parsley, and the smashed egg yolk, heat through
  • 8Serve garnished with lemon slices, diced egg whites, and parsley. Add the sherry at the table, about 1-2 tsp per bowl. Enjoy!
  • 9*NOTES: As far as finding Turtle Meat in your area, you may have a bit of a challenge. If you have a great Asian Market in your area, it’s probably your best bet, they may even have them live if you would like to butcher them yourself. It’s a messy business though, with a lot of blood and Post Mortem squirming. I buy frozen.

    If you can purchase bone-in Turtle Meat, do so! You can Roast the bones and infuse the flavor into your Beef Stock. Roast them in a 400 degree F oven until a nice deep brown, then add them to your Beef Stock and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.

    If you like your turtle soup with a rich brown gravy, leave out the tomato sauce. Adding the tomato sauce will add another layer of flavor and will only change the color of the soup slightly.

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About Best Turtle Soup

Course/Dish: Beef Soups, Other Soups
Main Ingredient: Wild Game
Regional Style: Cajun/Creole

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