Danny Trace is Executive Chef at Brennan’s (same good folks as New Orleans legend Commander’s Palace) and says it’s turtle soup season! A few words of encouragement…

Turtle soup has been served here at Brennan’s since it opened 43 years ago. It’s by far the most popular dish. You always get praise for certain dishes but turtle soup is something very memorable to our guests — it’s actually what a lot of them come here for. I’ve seen people just get soup and a baguette, sit at the bar and enjoy. The soup itself has a richness and a flavor that’s unlike anything else. It’s more of an elegant stew with eggs and spinach and a refined flavor that you won’t find in a lot of other soups. We’ve put it out for parties of 150 or more. 

Alligator and turtle kind of have the same texture — you have to cook it. We grind it coarsely, then it has to be stewed for a couple of hours. Turtle soup is a process. We’ve done different things — turtle pies, turtle empanadas, turtle chili — but nothing’s as popular as turtle soup, and that’s not going to change.  

Chef’s note: I imagine it’ll be harder to find the further north you get, but we use freshwater farm-raised turtle from Louisiana Foods.