The older the recipe for turtle soup is, the better the soup will be. There is a good reason for this. Unless you go out trapping your own turtles, there is much less turtle meat than we once did, And it’s of lower quality. The recipe for turtle soup at the Court of Two Sisters has been unchanged in all the years I’ve gone there–except for the necessary changes in the species of turtle being used. Their soup is thick, dark, complex, lemony, eggy, and sherry tinged. Eschew the offer of adding sherry at the table: there’s already sherry in there, and more of it adds alcohol that screws up the flavor.

Court of Two Sisters. French Quarter: 613 Royal. 504-522-7273.

This dish is ranked #123 in NOMenu’s list of the 500 best dishes in New Orleans restaurants. The entire list is here.

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  1. Sue Haydysch on December 30, 2013

    My husband traps snapping turtles as a hobby. This year he was successful and I have turtle meat in the freezer. I would love to make turtle soup but I’m afraid the meat would be tough. Should I pressure cook it first?

  2. oyster on January 2, 2014

    i bought some turtle meat at langensteins last time i was in nola. what is the story on why the old style turtle meat is not available and what substitute are restaurants using.

    • Tom Fitzmorris Author on January 2, 2014

      AT least three different species of turtle formerly used for turtle soup have been declared endangered in the years I have covered this beat. Most of the turtle now used comes from Kansas, Iowa, and Virginia.

      Tastefully yours,
      Tom Fitzmorris