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Overhead view of a white bowl of she crab soup with a glass of water at the top of the photo
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She Crab Soup

This she crab soup is rich, creamy, and delicious, made with plenty of lump crab, cream, dry sherry, and even roe if you like! A staple of Lowcountry South Carolina and Charleston cuisine, this soup makes for an impressive starter or main course served with a side of crusty bread.
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Seafood
Keyword lent, Lowcountry, pescatarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 595kcal

Equipment

  • Small saucepan (or microwave-safe cup)
  • Large heavy-bottomed saucepan with lid
  • Blender (or immersion blender)

Ingredients

  • 4 cups half and half see Notes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons garlic minced
  • 1 large onion finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¾ cup dry sherry divided
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups fish stock or clam juice
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat divided
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • ¼ cup roe preferably crab, optional, for garnish
  • French bread optional, for serving

Instructions

  • In large heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
  • Add garlic, onion, and bay leaf. Cover and cook 4 to 5 minutes, until onion is translucent.
  • Pour in ¼ cup dry sherry. Boil until liquid is mostly evaporated, reduced to just 1 tablespoon. Sprinkle in flour and stir.
  • Pour in fish stock and whisk until no lumps remain.
    Fish stock with garlic, onion, and bay leaf in a large saucepan
  • Gradually add in warmed half and half, Old Bay, paprika, ¼ cup dry sherry, Worcestershire, cayenne, and lemon juice. Stir constantly.
  • Remove bay leaf. Transfer liquid to blender. You may need to work in multiple batches. Allow liquid to cool slightly before blending, then blend until smooth. See Notes section below for important tips on blending hot liquids.
    If using an immersion blender, blend liquid in saucepan until smooth.
    She crab soup liquid in blender.
  • Return liquid to saucepan, if applicable. Add ½ pound lump crabmeat. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Simmer soup 10 to 15 minutes, until liquid is thick and heated through. Stir constantly to prevent burning.
    Soup in saucepan
  • Pour 1 tablespoon (¼ cup total) sherry into each serving bowl. Top sherry with remaining crabmeat, 2 ounces per bowl.
  • Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with chopped chives and 1 tablespoon roe per bowl. Serve hot with crusty French bread.

Notes

  • Heat half and half in a small saucepan simultaneously with steps 1 through 4. Alternatively, gently heat the half and half in the microwave (use a microwave safe cup!) until it's warmed but not boiling.
  • Make it Gluten Free: Use gluten free flour and serve with gluten free French bread.
 
Tips for Blending Hot Soup
  • Fill the blender no more than halfway. You may have to blend your ingredients in a few batches.
  • After pouring the liquid into the blender, let it sit a few minutes to cool slightly before blending.
  • Before blending, remove the center cap from the blender lid and cover the hole with a dish towel instead. This will keep pressure from building up inside the blender. Keep your hand on the lid to hold it down while blending.
 
Recipe yields approximately 4 servings. Nutritional values shown reflect information for 1 serving, including roe. Macros may vary slightly depending on the specific brands of ingredients used.
To determine the size of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed, then weigh the entire recipe when finished. Divide the total weight (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by 4. Result will be the weight of one serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 595kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 239mg | Sodium: 1727mg | Potassium: 827mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1796IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 417mg | Iron: 4mg | Net Carbs: 20g