She-crab soup is a type of soup that originated in the coastal regions of the southern United States, particularly in South Carolina and Georgia. It is traditionally made with female blue crabs, which are prized for their rich, flavorful meat.
The soup typically consists of a creamy base made from milk or heavy cream, butter, and flour, which is then seasoned with a blend of spices such as mace, nutmeg, and bay leaves. The soup is then enriched with the meat from the female blue crabs, which are often finely chopped and added to the soup along with their roe.
The use of the roe in she-crab soup is a distinctive feature of the dish and gives it a unique flavor and texture. The soup is often garnished with a sprinkling of sherry or a dash of hot sauce, and served with crackers or crusty bread.
She-crab soup is considered a delicacy in many parts of the southern United States and is often served at formal occasions and special events. It has become a regional favorite and is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.
PREPARATION TIME: 40 minutes
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over
- 2 tablespoons sherry
- In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the butter over medium heat.
- Add the onion, garlic, celery, and carrot, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle in the flour and stir to coat the vegetables. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Gradually pour in the chicken broth, whisking constantly to avoid lumps.
- Add the heavy cream, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, Old Bay seasoning, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the crabmeat and sherry, and cook for 5 minutes, or until the crab is heated through.
- Serve hot with crackers or crusty bread.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS OR ADDITIONAL TIPS:
- For a richer flavor, substitute the chicken broth with seafood or fish broth.
- If you don’t have sherry, you can use white wine or a splash of lemon juice.