She-Crab Soup

By: Hannah Lee Leidy
She-Crab Soup
Photo by Jonathan Boncek

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Makes 6 servings


  • 2 carrots
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups crab or shellfish stock (recipe follows)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Dash of Tabsaco sauce
  • Dash of worcestershire
  • ¼ cup sherry
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons crab roe (if available*)
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat

  • *Tip: To obtain crab roe, check with your fishmonger or local specialty food market. Crab roe injects a great deal of seafood flavor and a beautiful yellow hue to any recipe, but be prepared to buy in bulk and reserve extra for future soups and sauces.
  1. Place carrots, celery, and onion in bowl of food processor. Chop until fine.
  2. In medium stockpot, combine milk, stock, cream, Tabasco, worcestershire, and sherry and bring to a boil.
  3. In separate small stockpot, heat butter until foaming. Add flour and stir about 2 to 3 minutes, just until roux is formed.
  4. Whisk roux into liquid ingredients until smooth and then add chopped vegetables and crab roe. Cook soup over medium heat until thickened. Add crabmeat and serve in warm bowls.

For crab stock

4–6 cups crab shells
1 gallon water
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons salt

  1. Place crab shells in large stockpot, and add enough water to cover shells. Place over medium heat and cook just below a simmer for 1 hour. Use spoon to skim foam as needed from surface of stock. Do not stir.
  2. Add bay leaf and continue to cook for 30 minutes. Add salt and remove from heat.
  3. Strain through fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth and allow to cool.
  • From Chef Drew Hedlund of Fleet Landing, Charleston

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