The Bullfish Bar + Kitchen's New Orleans Turtle Soup

Makes 6 to 8 servings (about 2 quarts)

1.5 pounds of turtle meat, cleaned and finely chopped

1 tablespoon salt

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

3 cups chopped yellow onions

2 cups chopped celery

1 cup chopped green bell peppers

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (about 1 cup)

5 ounces fresh spinach, blanched and chopped

2 quarts light chicken stock

1/2 cup dark brown roux

2 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and finely chopped

1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Lemon Zest

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 tablespoons dry sherry to taste

Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the turtle with 1 teaspoon of the salt and black pepper. Add the meat and brown, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes. Remove the turtle from the heat and transfer to a plate. Cover lightly and set aside.

Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers to the same pan and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are caramelized, about 15 minutes.

Reduce to medium heat and add the bay leaves and the garlic. Cook, stirring, until aromatic, for 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes and spinach, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the stock and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Lightly whisk in the roux and return to a boil over medium-high heat.

Add the lemon zest and reserved turtle meat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add the eggs and the parsley and simmer for 45 minutes longer, or until the turtle meat is tender.

Add the remaining 2 teaspoons salt, cayenne and dry sherry. Stir to blend. Serve hot.