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Turtle Soup


  • 1 1/2 pounds turtle meat
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 cup chopped, peeled, and seeded fresh tomatoes, or 1 cup chopped canned tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Emeril's Worcestershire Sauce or any commercial brand
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped
  • Lemon slices, for garnish


  • Put the turtle meat in a large saucepan with 1 teaspoon of the salt, 1/4 teaspoon of the cayenne, and the water. Bring to a boil. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a platter. Let cool for a few minutes, then cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Set aside. Reserve the stock. You should have about 6 cups.
  • In a large saucepan, combine the butter and flour over medium-high heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon for 10 to 12 minutes to make a dark brown roux, the color of chocolate. Add the onions, bell peppers, and celery. Stir occasionally for 2 to 3 minutes until the vegetables are slightly limp. Add the bay leaves, thyme, and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the turtle meat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the Worcestershire, the remaining 1 3/4 teaspoons salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, the reserved turtle stock, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sherry. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the parsley, green onions, and eggs and simmer uncovered, for about 45 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.
  • Serve in soup cups or bowls, garnished with lemon slices.