She-Crab Soup

Langdon Clay

A cross between a chowder and a bisque, this rich soup includes the crab roe, or eggs, found in female or "sook" crabs in the late spring and early summer.

She-Crab Soup
This traditional Lowcountry soup is considered Charleston's signature dish.
Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

  • 10 boiled she-crabs
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • 3 ribs of celery, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • Pinch mace
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 cups hot milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Sherry

Instructions

  1. Pick the meat and roe from she-crabs. Set aside in separate bowls.
  2. Cook scallions and celery in butter for 10 minutes. Add flour, mace, and salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add crabmeat, milk, cream, and a splash of worcestershire sauce; cook over very low heat for 45 minutes. Taste and correct seasonings.
  4. Crumble the roe in the bottom of each bowl, then ladle in the hot soup. Garnish with a spoonful of sherry.