Cuisine: Charleston, South Carolina
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 10 min
2 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons all-purpose
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups
half and half cream
4 teaspoons finely-grated
3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and white pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/4 teaspoon red (cayenne) pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated
lemon zest (rind)
1 1/2 pounds flaked blue crab meat*
1/4 cup crab roe**
3 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon finely-chopped fresh parsley leaves
* If you live in parts of
the country where blue crab is not available, other types of crabmeat, such as Dungeness, snow, king, or rock crab, may be substituted.
** Crab roe are the eggs harvested from the female blue crab.
The addition of crab roe tints the soup orange and enriches its crabby flavor. Two crumbled hard-cooked
egg yolks may be substituted for the crab roe.
In a large, heavy pot over low heat, melt
butter; add flour and blend until smooth. Slowly add milk and half and half cream, stirring constantly with a whisk; cook until thickened.
Add onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt, white pepper, mace, cayenne pepper, and lemon
zest. Bring just to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, add crabmeat and crab roe or crumbled hard-cooked egg yolks; simmer, uncovered,
for 5 minutes (if the soup appears about to boil, remove the pan from the heat for a minute or so, then return).
Remove from heat and add sherry, stirring to mix. Let sit for 3 to 4 minutes before serving.
To serve, pour the soup into individual
heated soup bowls, dividing the crabmeat and roe equally into each bowl. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.
Yields: 4 servings.
John Rutledge House Inn She Crab Soup Recipe:
Recipe courtesy of
The John Rutledge House Inn.
5 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup finely-chopped celery
2 cups crab meat*
3 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup chicken stock
5 tablespoons all-purpose
2/3 teaspoon mace
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Salt to taste
1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
3 tablespoons sherry
hard-boiled eggs grated (optional)
* She-Crabs are known to be a real delicacy because they have much more taste than the "He
Crabs." The orange-hued eggs of the she-crabs give the soup extra flavor and color. She-crabs are difficult to find in many
part of the country, so white crab meat can be substituted. Hard boiled egg yolk may be crumbled in the soup to imitate crab eggs.
In a large heavy pot over low heat, melt butter;
add celery, mace, and white pepper. Cook until the celery is almost transparent.
In a small saucepan, while the celery is cooking,
heat the milk and chicken stock until just hot, but not boiling.
When the celery mix is done cooking,
stir in the flour to make a
Roux-type mixture. Do not brown but heat enough to bubble for several minutes.
stir in the hot milk mixture and salt to the roux. Add the crab meat, cream, Worcestershire Sauce, and
sherry. Let simmer for approximately 30 minutes or until thickened to appropriate consistency.
To serve, sprinkle with grated hard-boiled eggs and some paprika.
Yields: 8 servings.