Before living in Virginia and close to the Atlantic, I'd never heard of She Crab Soup. It's on the menu at practically every restaurant around here and whenever my hubby and I go out to dinner one of us usually orders it. This creamy, decadent soup features fresh crab, celery and onion, LOTS of cream, and sherry. You must have sherry or it just doesn't taste right. I learned recently that it's called "She" Crab because the traditional versions use the meat from a female crab, as that meat is sweeter.
I served it with Harry & David's Parmesan Flatbread, a gift from my friend Elizabeth, because you have to have some type of cracker to go with it. This soup is a total diet buster, but it was on my list of 30 Things to Make Before I Turn 30 and since I am a temporary Virginian, I had to try making my own version of it.
She Crab Soup
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons four
2 small onions, diced very fine
6 ribs of celery, grated
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Salt and Pepper
1 quart whole milk
1 cup cream
1 tablespoon hot sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 pounds fresh crab meat, picked over for cartilage
1 hard boiled egg, finely chopped
1/2 cup sherry
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
In the top of a double boiler, melt the butter and flour together. Cook for 3-4 minutes for a blonde roux.
Stir in the onions, celery, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook the vegetables for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk, cream, hot sauce, and Worcestershire. *At this point I had to pour everything into my Dutch Oven because my double boiler wasn't big enough. Bring the liquid up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer the soup for 15 minutes.
Stir in the crab meat and continue summering for 10-15 minutes. Reseason if necessary.
Sprinkle the chopped eggs in the bottom of each soup bowl.
Ladle the soup into the bowl and drizzle with sherry. Garnish with chopped parsley.