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  • Writer's pictureTommy Centola

Turtle Soup suggested by Mike Centola

Updated: Mar 21, 2021

I had a wonderful dinner with my brother and his family while on vacation. I am amazed at the foods that my two nephews, Andrew and Evan, eat. My brother called to ask me if I had a recipe for Turtle Soup. He had been listening to Tom Fitzmorris on the radio. Tom’s radio program is all about food. Only in New Orleans will you find a 3 hour radio show, from 4-7pm, talking about food. On this particular show, he was talking about people using alligator meat in place of turtle meat in turtle soup. My brother called me asking if I had a turtle soup recipe (I had been listening to the show). He said that he had alligator meat in the freezer and the boys would eat the soup with alligator but not with turtle. I will copy the entire page from my upcoming cookbook to show that I made the same comment.

Turtle Soup

This wonderful soup is not offered in restaurants as much as it used to be. Turtle meat is not always available. Some people use alligator meat in place of the turtle. Turtle does not taste like chicken, which is not a good substitute. I think the most important part of this soup is the sherry. In New Orleans restaurants, a bottle of sherry is often brought to the table to enhance the dish.

1½ pound Turtle Meat

2 ¾ teaspoons Salt

¾ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

6 cups Water

1 stick Butter

½ cup Flour

11/2 cups Onions chopped

¼ cup Green bell Pepper chopped

¼ cup Celery chopped

2 Bay leaves

½ teaspoon Thyme dry

1½ tablespoons Garlic

1 cup Tomatoes chopped

½ cup Worcestershire Sauce

3 tablespoons Lemon Juice

½ cup Dry Sherry

¼ cup fresh Parsley chopped

½ cup Green onions chopped

Place the turtle meat in a large saucepan with 1 teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon cayenne and the water. Bring to a boil. Skim off any foam that rises to the top. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a platter. Cut the meat into ½ inch dice and reserve the liquid. In another large saucepan, combine the butter and flour over medium heat, stirring constantly for 6-8 minutes to make a dark roux. Add the onions, bell peppers and celery. Stir occasionally and cook 2-3 minutes until the vegetables are slightly tender. Add the bay leave, thyme and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the turtle meat. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the Worcestershire sauce, the remaining salt and cayenne, the turtle stock, lemon juice, and sherry. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the parsley and the green onions and simmer for 45 minutes.


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