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Snapper Soup

Try this unusual specialty of the Delaware Valley for a warming dinner

Found on Philadelphia diner menus, this snapping turtle soup is different from the Creole-style turtle soup. The popular Delaware Valley dish is a thick, brown gravy-like soup.


  • 2 Pounds turtle meat, diced
  • 1 1/2 Cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 Cups celery, diced
  • 3/4 Cups onion, diced
  • 3/4 Cups carrot, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Teaspoon paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon dried oregano
  • 6 Cups beef stock
  • 1/3 Cup flour
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 Teaspoon Worcester sauce
  • 1/3 Cup sherry
  • Fresh parsley, chopped as garnish


In a large pot, melt ½ cup of the butter, and add the turtle meat. Sauté to brown, and season with salt and pepper. Cook the meat for about 15 to 20 minutes.  Add the celery, onion, carrots, and garlic, and season with the paprika and oregano. Sauté the vegetables for another 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the beef stock, and bring to a boil. Cook the for about 30 minutes. While the turtle and vegetables are simmering, in a small pan, melt the remaining butter and whisk in the flour to form a roux. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring. The roux should still be pale in color. Set aside to cool.

Add a ladle of the soup to the roux, vigorously stirring. Then, whisk the lightened roux into the large soup pot. Simmer for 20 minutes to thicken to a gravy consistency. Add the Worcester sauce and sherry. Garnish with parsley before serving.