A thick, rich, and deliciously creamy bisque overloaded with succulent crab flavor, this easy she-crab soup recipe is a South Carolina classic you must try at home.
Have you ever had she-crab soup? It’s native to South Carolina but you’ll find it on menus across the South. It’s like a rich and flavorful creamy bisque, but with juicy crab pieces.
If you’re here to give it a go, rest assured this is an easy she-crab soup recipe. The ingredients list might look intimidatingly long, but don’t be scared! It’s so simple and easy to make in one pot (my kind of meal). So, what ingredients do you need to make she-crab soup? The list looks like this: butter, flour, onion, celery, garlic, salt and pepper, half-and-half and heavy cream, chicken broth, sherry wine, dill, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, and crab meat. Yep, she’s packed full of flavor, alright!
Now, the instructions include melting the butter and combining it with the flour to make the soup roux, which thickens the soup. Then we slowly add most of the remaining ingredients except for the crab meat and then let it simmer for about 30 minutes. The final step is to add the crab pieces and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Then you’re she-crab soup is ready to serve.
You can easily serve this soup as an appetizer or side dish, but it’s so rich, hearty, and filling that in my household we enjoy it as the main meal often. The combination of the succulent crab and creamy and flavorful soup broth is so tasty. This is the perfect cozy comfort food dish to enjoy as the weather gets cooler.
I hope you enjoy this she-crab soup recipe as much as I do!
- All-purpose flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Half-and-half cream
- Heavy cream
- Chicken broth
- Sherry wine
- Fresh dill
- Worcestershire sauce
- Hot pepper sauce
- Lump crabmeat
- Chopped fresh chives
How to Make A Classic She-Crab Soup Recipe
Melt butter in a large stockpot over medium heat.
Cook and stir in flour to make a smooth paste or the soup roux (about 3 minutes).
Mix in onion, celery, and garlic, and season with salt and pepper.
Continue to cook and stir for about 4 minutes.
Now it’s time to slowly add the half-and-half cream.
Gradually whisk it in so that no lumps form.
Next, stir in heavy cream…
And chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
Then pour in 1/2 of the sherry.
Season with dill, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce.
Cover and simmer until soup has reduced by about a third (about 30 minutes).
It should look like this.
Give that a stir before…
Finally adding the crab meat.
Simmer the soup for a further 10 minutes.
Now it’s time! Grab a ladle…
And ladle the soup into bowls.
I recommend topping each serving with a splash of remaining sherry and a sprinkle of chives.
- Store leftover crab soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat leftovers on the stovetop.
- You can also freeze soup for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating on the stovetop.
- Make sure you use real lump crab meat or fresh crab meat, not imitation crab.
- If you don’t want to use the sherry wine, you can substitute it for equal amounts of chicken broth.
- For a really smooth soup, you can use an immersion blender before adding the crab meat.
- It’s important to keep the veggies small, which is why I recommend grating them.
- If you can get your hands on crab stock, fish stock, or seafood stock, feel free to use it instead of chicken stock.
- For the hot pepper sauce, you can use any type of hot sauce, such as Tabasco or Sriracha.
- Instead of chives, top your soup with chopped fresh parsley.
What is the difference between crab soup and she-crab soup?
The main difference between crab soup and she-crab soup is that as the name suggests, she-crab soup is traditionally made with crab roe (crab eggs found inside a female crab, hence the “she”). but it’s incredibly difficult to get your hand on these days.
What is the “she” in she-crab soup?
The “she” comes from the fact the soup is traditionally made from crab roe or eggs carried by a female crab.
What does she-crab soup taste like?
She-crab soup tastes like a creamy bisque or chowder with pieces of vegetable and crab throughout. This particular she-crab soup recipe is extra flavorful with garlic, sherry wine, chicken broth, dill, Worcestershire sauce, and hot pepper sauce.
Which crab has the best flavor?
Blue crab is said to be the sweetest and thus tastiest crab. Fortunately, she-crab soup is traditionally made with Atlantic blue crab meat, although you can use any flavor of crab meat in this recipe (I won’t tell).
How do you serve she-crab soup?
As I mentioned in the intro, this soup is a great main meal, which I serve with toasted bread, garlic bread, biscuits, or cornbread, depending on how I’m feeling!
Can I make this she crab soup recipe in advance?
You can make she crab soup up to two days ahead of time. I’d follow the recipe until adding the crab meat and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Then I’d warm it on the stovetop, add the crab meat, and simmer for a few minutes before serving.
You may also like these sensational soup recipes:
Creamy Vegetable Soup (Low-Carb Version)
Senate Bean Soup (With a Shortcut)
- 5 tbsp butter
- 5 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 small white onion, grated
- 1 stalk celery, grated
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 cups half-and-half cream
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup sherry wine
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp hot pepper sauce
- 1 lb lump crabmeat
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives for serving
- Melt butter in a large stockpot over medium heat, then cook and stir in flour to make a smooth paste (about 3 minutes).5 tbsp butter, 5 tbsp all-purpose flour
- Mix in onion, celery, and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook and stir for about 4 minutes.1 small white onion, grated, 1 stalk celery, grated, 2 minced garlic cloves, salt and pepper to taste
- Gradually whisk in half-and-half so that no lumps form.8 cups half-and-half cream
- Stir in heavy cream and chicken broth and bring to a simmer, then pour in 1/2 of the sherry.2 cups heavy cream, 1 cup chicken broth, 1/2 cup sherry wine
- Season with dill, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce.2 tbsp chopped fresh dill, 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp hot pepper sauce
- Cover and simmer until soup has reduced by about a third (about 30 minutes).
- Add crabmeat and simmer the soup for a further 10 minutes.1 lb lump crabmeat
- Ladle soup into bowls. I recommend topping each serving with a splash of remaining sherry and a sprinkle of chives.2 tbsp chopped fresh chives for serving, 1/2 cup sherry wine