How to Make Turtle Soup

Опубликовал Admin
29-09-2016, 12:10
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Turtle soup is a favorite dish in the southeastern states of the US, where fresh turtles aren't hard to come by. The strong meat is best accompanied by a rich tomato base with plenty of flavorful herbs and spices. If you've never tried making it before, you're in for a treat - it's as easy to put together as chicken soup, and the deep, hearty taste is unforgettable. See Step 1 to get started.

Prepping Your Ingredients

  1. Buy high quality turtle meat. The quality of your meat is really going to make or break the soup, so make sure you start with high quality turtle meat from a source you trust. You may be able to find it fresh in a local market, but if you're in an area where turtles aren't commonly eaten, you can buy turtle meat frozen and have it shipped to you. Be sure to do some research to make sure you get it from a reputable company.
    • Turtle meat that isn't sourced properly can have toxic metals and other materials that aren't good for your health.
  2. Bring it to room temperature before you begin cooking. If your meat is frozen, thaw it slowly in the refrigerator. Bring the meat to room temperature by placing it on the counter 1/2 hour before you're ready to cook it. This will ensure the meat cooks evenly and gets properly heated all the way through.
  3. Chop the vegetables. Turtle soup is made with a variety of different vegetables that flavor the base of the soup. Prep your vegetables while the meat is thawing and coming to room temperature.
    • Peel and chop the onion. You'll need about 1 1/2 cups total.
    • Peel and chop the shallots. You should end up with about 1/3 cup.
    • Chop the bell pepper and measure out 1/2 cup.
    • Chop the celery and measure out 1/2 cup.
    • Peel and chop the garlic and measure out 2 tablespoons.
    • Chop the parsley and green onions - you'll need these later to serve as a garnish.
  4. Boil the eggs. Hard-boiled eggs are a traditional garnish for turtle soup. Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, then cover the pan with a lid and remove it from heat. Let the eggs cook in the hot water for 10 minutes, then run them under cold water and peel them. Chop the eggs and set them aside.
  5. Squeeze the lemon juice. Slice a fresh lemon into quarters and squeeze out the juice. Measure out 1/4 cup of juice, and set it aside to add to the soup.

Cooking the Meat

  1. Put the meat and seasonings in a saucepan with water. Place the meat, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and 6 cups of water in a large saucepan. Put a lid on the saucepan and place it on the stove over high heat.
    • It's necessary to thoroughly cook the turtle meat before using it in the soup. Adding undercooked meat to the soup might allow potentially dangerous bacteria to survive.
  2. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer. Keep simmering and stirring for 20 minutes while the meat cooks. Use a spoon to skim off the foam that will rise to the top.
  3. Remove the meat to a platter. Drain the water into a bowl (don't discard it) and place the meat on a platter. Allow it to cool for a few minutes before handling. Save the liquid for later - you'll need it to help flavor the soup.
  4. Cut the meat into cubes. Use a sharp knife to cut the meat into small, bite-sized cubes. Since turtle meat tends to be on the tougher side, make sure the pieces are small enough to chew comfortably. Set the platter of meat aside.

Making the Soup

  1. Make a roux. Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium high heat. Add the flour and use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture constantly until it thickens and turns golden brown, about five minutes. This is your roux, the base of the soup that will give it a velvety texture.
  2. Add the chopped vegetables. Put the chopped onions, shallot, red pepper, and celery in with the roux. Stir the mixture every few minutes and keep cooking until the vegetables soften and the onion turns translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the herbs. Toss in the bay leaves, garlic and thyme. Keep stirring and cooking the mixture for 2 minutes more.
  4. Add the tomatoes and turtle meat. Mix everything together and stir as the tomatoes cook down a bit for about 3 more minutes.
  5. Add the spices, liquids and stock. Pour in the turtle stock reserved from cooking the meat. Add the remaining salt and cayenne. Add the lemon juice, sherry and Worcestershire sauce. Adjust the heat so that the soup comes to a low simmer, and cook for another 10 minutes.
  6. Garnish the soup to serve. Ladle the turtle soup into bowls and serve with chopped eggs, parsley and green onions on the side. It's delicious with a bowl of steamed rice.


  • 1 1/2 pounds turtle meat
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 pound butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 large shallot
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 3 green onions
  • 4 eggs


  • This dish goes well with fresh, crusty bread.


  • Since many turtle species are endangered, it's important to get your meat from a source that catches them in a sustainable manner.
  • Make sure the turtle meat is clean and make sure it is fully cooked to avoid salmonella.
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