How to Make Turtle Soup: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Make Turtle Soup: 15 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Make Turtle Soup: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

Turtle soup is a popular dish in the southeastern states of the United States, where turtles are not hard to find. Strong flavored meat goes well with tomato sauce with herbs and spices. If you've never tried this dish, the time is now - preparing this soup is easy and the strong, striking flavor is unforgettable. Follow the steps below.


  • 1, 5 kg of turtle meat
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 6 glasses of water
  • 500 g of butter (1 bar)
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 large shallot
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 celery
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 glass of lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of dry sherry
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 3 green onions
  • 4 eggs


Part 1 of 3: Preparing the Ingredients

Make Turtle Soup Step 1

Step 1. Buy high quality turtle meat

The quality of the meat is what really matters, so make sure you buy it from a reliable supplier. It can be purchased at a local market, but if you are in a place where turtles are not commonly eaten, order the frozen meat and have it delivered to your home. Be sure to research the supplier to ensure it is quality.

Turtle meat that is not properly processed can contain toxic metals and other materials that are harmful to health

Make Turtle Soup Step 2

Step 2. Leave the meat at room temperature before starting to cook it

If the meat is frozen, leave it in the refrigerator to thaw. Half an hour before cooking the meat, place it on the counter. That way the meat will be cooked evenly.

Make Turtle Soup Step 3

Step 3. Cut the vegetables

Turtle soup is made with several different vegetables that give the soup its base flavor. Prepare the vegetables while the meat defrosts and reaches room temperature.

  • Peel and cut the onion. You will need 1 1/2 cups in total.
  • Peel and cut the shallots. In the end you should have about 1/3 cup.
  • Cut the pepper and fill 1/2 cup.
  • Cut the celery and fill 1/2 cup.
  • Peel and cut the garlic, filling 2 tbsp.
  • Cut the parsley and green onions - these will be needed to decorate the dish later.
Make Turtle Soup Step 4

Step 4. Cook the eggs

Hard-boiled eggs are a traditional tortoise soup garnish. Place eggs in pan and fill with cold water; boil the water and cover the pot with the lid, taking it off the stove. Let the eggs cook in hot water for 10 minutes and then peel them at the end. Cut the eggs and set them aside.

Make Turtle Soup Step 5

Step 5. Squeeze out the lemon juice

Cut the lemon into four parts and squeeze the juice. Measure out 1/4 cup of juice and set aside to add to the soup later.

Part 2 of 3: Cooking Meat

Make Turtle Soup Step 6

Step 1. Place the meat and seasoning in a pan of water

Place the meat, 1 tablespoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper and 6 cups of water in a large saucepan. Cover it and place it on the stove over high heat.

It is necessary to cook the turtle meat evenly before using it in the soup. Bacteria may survive in meat if it's undercooked

Make Turtle Soup Step 7

Step 2. Boil water, then reduce heat and cook

Continue cooking and mixing for 20 minutes while the meat cooks. Use a spoon to skim off the foam that will appear on the surface.

Make Turtle Soup Step 8

Step 3. Take out the meat and place it on a plate

Drain the water into a pot (don't throw it away) and place the meat on a plate. Allow it to cool down before using it again. Save the liquid for later - it will be needed to flavor the soup.

Make Turtle Soup Step 9

Step 4. Cut the meat into cubes

Use a sharp knife to cut the meat into small cubes. As turtle meat tends to be rather tough, make sure the pieces are small enough to be chewed comfortably. Reserve the dish with the meat.

Part 3 of 3: Making the Soup

Make Turtle Soup Step 10

Step 1. Prepare a roux

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add the flour and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens and turns a golden-brown color (about five minutes). This is the roux that gives the soup's velvety texture.

Make Turtle Soup Step 11

Step 2. Add the chopped vegetables

Place onions, shallots, peppers and celery in the roux. Mix every 3 minutes and let the mixture cook until the vegetables soften and the onions are transparent for about 5 minutes.

Make Turtle Soup Step 12

Step 3. Add the herbs

Add bay leaves, garlic and thyme. Continue mixing and stirring for another 2 minutes.

Make Turtle Soup Step 13

Step 4. Add tomatoes and turtle meat

Mix everything together until tomatoes cook a little for another 3 minutes.

Make Turtle Soup Step 14

Step 5. Add seasonings, liquids and broths

Add the reserved turtle meat sauce after the meat has been cooked. Add what is left of the salt and cayenne pepper. Add lemon juice, sherry and Worcestershire sauce. Adjust the heat so that the soup is simmering, and cook for another 10 minutes.

Make Turtle Soup Step 15

Step 6. Garnish soup to serve

Ladle the soup, serving it in pots and with sliced ​​eggs, parsley and green onions on the side. The dish is delicious with a bowl of cooked rice.


The dish also goes with fresh, crunchy bread


  • Make sure the turtle meat is clean and well cooked to avoid salmonella.
  • As some species of turtles are endangered, it is important to get meat from a supplier that catches them in a sustainable way.

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