Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins
I am from the South Carolina lowcountry, and I have spent years experimenting and trying to re-create the fabulous creamy crab soup native to Charleston. I have played with numerous recipes, and I am finally satisfied that I have stumbled upon the perfect concoction of she-crab bisque. More than likely, you will end up with a "he-crab" soup, as the crab roe is what makes it "she-crab" and it is almost impossible to get your hands on. If you ever find crab roe, savor every precious spoonful! Still a bowl of heaven without it though!
- 1 lb lump crabmeat, divided
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups crab stock (i've also successfully used fish stock and chicken stock before)
- 2 cups milk
- 1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1⁄4-3⁄4 cup dry sherry
- 1⁄2 cup crab roe, divided (good luck!)
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- splash dry white wine (optional)
- squeeze lemon juice
- 1 dash hot sauce
- Melt 2 TBSP butter in large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion and bay leaf, cover, sweat 2 minutes.
- OPTIONAL STEP: Pour 1/4 C sherry in pan and ignite. Stir until flames subside. I've made this without doing this step (hence the range in the amount of sherry on the ingredient list) and it is still delicious, but I think this just gives it a little extra oomph.
- Sprinkle the flour in and stir to coat.
- Whisk in the crab stock until there are no lumps.
- Gradually add: milk; cream; paprika; another 2 TBSP dry sherry; worcestershire sauce; hot sauce; white wine; and lemon, stirring consistently.
- Blend with a puree wand, or in batches in a blender.
- Add half of the crab meat and roe (if you are lucky!) Season with salt and pepper.
- Simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring often so it doesn't burn, until it is thick and heated.
- Divide 1/4 C sherry and remaining crab meat and roe amongst 4 bowls. (1 TBSP each sherry and roe and 2 oz. each crab meat).
- Ladle soup over sherry and crab meat.
- Garnish with chopped chives. Serve with crusty french bread.
Excellent! I was looking for a soup to mimic a gourmet restaurant here in Panama City Beach, Florida called "Firefly," and this is VERY close. At the end it seemed as if it was missing a little something so I added about 1 tsp of bacon drippings and that almost made it perfect. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed this recipe and it was good enough that I will be making it for Christmas gifts next year!! I guess for now we will be going to Firefly for our special occasions to get their authentic soup, but this is a close second. Well worth the short 30 minutes and sinkful of dishes!!