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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Making She Crab Soup

She Crab Soup Ingredients – What is this soup anyway?


One of my favorite travel destinations every spring is the southeastern coast of the United States. We usually pay an annual visit to the Charleston/Savannah area and take in a little golf, beach time, and some really dynamite barbecue. The other culinary specialty in this “low country” is seafood. One of the first local favorites I was exposed to when I first visited Charleston area was She Crab Soup. For those that have not heard of this soup, it is a cream and sherry based soup with a healthy amount of lump white or blue crab with a starter base of onions, celery, Worcestershire sauce and seasonings of which some low country cooks use old bay seasoning. The “She” element of She-Crab soup consists of the crab roe or eggs added to the soup. I have had several bowls of soup throughout the years in coastal South Carolina, and some chefs add the roe while others do not. It wasn’t until recently did I discover that the roe was what made it “She” crab soup. I just thought they were using female crustacean? I am not a caviar person by any stretch of the imagination and am kind of sad they have to sacrifice little crab eggs to the culinary delight of john and Jane doe customers. Personal preference I guess.

Getting a little misty over some tasty southern food last weekend, I decided to comb through the search engines in hot pursuit of a she crab recipe worthy of those that I have sampled down south. I found several recipes, but decided to run with a recipe listed by AllRecipes.com courtesy of Sowen. The recipe can be found at http://allrecipes.com//recipe/south-carolina-she-crab-soup/Detail.aspx.

The soup is technically a “Crab” (No “She) soup as there is not any roe or eggs called for by the recipe author. I am okay with that since I would feel guilty consuming tiny little crab eggs. Also I can’t image crab roe is an easy find in the Midwest. I followed the recipe to a “t” and found it fairly easy to prepare. The author did seem to underestimate the time it takes for the soup to reduce during simmer stage. The recipe calls for covered simmer to reduce in as little as a half hour where my cream soup in the dutch oven took at least an hour to reduce and thicken. I also went a little stronger with the hot sauce and used 3 (4 ounce) cans of bumble bee white crab meat instead of the pound called for in the recipe. I added a tad of paprika for taste and color and the soup turned out fantastic. Anyone that loves crabmeat or seafood bisques should definitely try this recipe. Anyone that has experienced crab soups along the eastern seaboard will also want to try this. Just remember to serve with a fresh warm baguette or some oyster crackers.

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