Turtles, Hotel Monteleone, Turtle Soup And Helen Hayes

William, our four- legged Westie son, let his mama know something out of his ordinary furry routine was up today.  I realized his “I’m ready for my morning treat” bark was different.  When I walked out on the patio with treats in hand, William immediately showed me we had company.

Sir William B- Our Wild & Woolly Westie


Shelly~ The Visiting Turtle

This turtle is huge! The markings on her shell are quite beautiful. “Shelly” is currently residing in a cardboard condo awaiting transport to a more turtle friendly home.  My mother and I commented to each other that we know plenty of people who would view Shelly as dinner, and not simply an afternoon visitor.   Turtle soup with sherry is another Louisiana favorite.  I pulled out one of my favorite vintage cookbooks,  the 1967 edition of  Talk About Good to confirm.

Seventy one pages in and the Hotel Monteleone Turtle Soup II recipe via Mrs. Helen M. Hayes struck a culinary chord.


Hotel Monteleone is as rich in history as their turtle soup .   A New Orleans landmark  in the heart of the French Quarter, the list of Pulitzer Prize winners who have been guests of  Hotel Monteleone include Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner, and Richard Ford.  It is reported Truman Capote claimed to have been born there.


Antonio Monteleone opened his historic hotel in 1886.  It still remains family owned and a New Orleans must see, must stay, must order the turtle soup kind of place.  Thank you, Mrs. Helen M. Hayes, for the recipe and the reminder.

Turtle Soup II (Monteleone)


3/4  gallon chicken stock (bouillon cubes may be used)

4  Tbsp. butter

1 c.  green onions, chopped fine

1/3 c.  celery, chopped fine

¼  c.  lemon, chopped fine

3  hard-boiled eggs, sieved

1 c.  flour

1 c.  tomato sauce

1 lb.  boneless turtle meat cut into very small cubes



Prepare chicken stock.  Saute onion and celery in 4 tablespoons butter. Brown the flour in a heavy iron skillet over medium heat stirring constantly.  Add flour to onions and celery.  Mix into stock. Add tomato sauce, sieved, hard boiled eggs, lemon and salt, red pepper and black pepper to taste.

Brown turtle meat and add to stock.  Cook over low heat, simmering 1 ½ hours to 2 hours.  Pour sherry into serving plate (not more than 1 tablespoon per large bowl) and ladle hot soup over it. Serves 10-12.

Mrs.  Helen M. Hayes









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