Crab Soup Rich
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This rich, creamy, and delectable female crab soup is made with plenty of lump crab, cream, dry sherry, and even roe if desired!

This soup, which is a mainstay of Lowcountry South Carolina and Charleston cuisine, is an excellent appetizer or main course when served with crusty bread.

What Gives Crab Soup Its Flavour?

Crab Soup Creamy
Food: Crab Soup (Source: 40 Aprons)
  • Not planning on visiting Charleston anytime soon? It’s your lucky day! This traditional Lowcountry soup is simple to cook at home. Don’t let the materials or the directions intimidate you!
  • It’s vibrant and opulent. It’s also a complete star in its own right. All you really need is a good crusty French bread and a simple salad to go with it. Maybe. If you’re desperate for food.
  • The flavors are perfectly balanced. Nothing overwhelms or contradicts the other.
  • We’ve ensured that every dish is packed with succulent crab meat.

Important Ingredients

Roe – “She crab” soup derives its name from the fact that it’s made with the roe of female crabs.

I don’t live in South Carolina or near the ocean, so getting crab roe is difficult (if not impossible) for me, but if you can, do it. I try to use regular fish roe when I can, but it’s not a big issue if you don’t!

The extra taste it brings is WORTH IT, but even if you can’t locate it, make this soup! Don’t listen to the purists in the Lowcountry who say you can’t use fish roe!

Sherry — Similar to our lobster bisque, the sherry elevates this female crab soup. If sherry is unavailable, white wine or brandy might be substituted.

Chef’s Advice

  • In a blender, hot liquids expand quickly, which can cause the lid to pop off and make a tremendous mess (not to mention burn you!). Important recommendations for mixing the hot she-crab soup can be found in the recipe notes below; be sure to read them before proceeding!
  • This soup can be made with either fresh or tinned crabmeat. You’re technically making crab bisque instead of she-crab soup if you skip the roe, but I won’t tell if you don’t!
  • The Old Bay seasoning adds a kick to the soup. But don’t worry, it’s not too much! You can add more or reduce the amount to achieve your desired flavor.

Crab Soup

Preparation time: 10 minutes
35 minutes to cook
45 minutes total

This rich, creamy, and delectable female crab soup is made with plenty of lump crab, cream, dry sherry, and even roe if desired!

This soup, which is a mainstay of Lowcountry South Carolina and Charleston cuisine, is an excellent appetizer or main course when served with crusty bread.


  • 4 cups half and half see Notes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons garlic minced
  • 1 large onion finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¾ cup dry sherry divided
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups fish stock or clam juice
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • ¼ cup roe preferably crab, optional, for garnish
  • French bread optional, for serving


  • Small saucepan (or microwave-safe cup)
  • Large heavy-bottomed saucepan with lid
  • Blender (or immersion blender)


Crab Soup
Food: Crab Soup (Source: 40 Aprons)
  1. Melt butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the bay leaf, garlic, and onion. Cook, covered, for 4–5 minutes, or until onion is transparent.
  3. 14 cup sherry, drained Boil until most of the liquid has evaporated, leaving only 1 tablespoon. Add the flour and whisk well.
  4. Whisk in the fish stock until no lumps remain.
  5. Warm half & half, Old Bay, paprika, 14 cups dry sherry, Worcestershire, cayenne, and lemon juice are gradually added. Constantly stir.
  6. Take out the bay leaf. Pour the liquid into a blender. It’s possible that you’ll have to work in many batches.
  7. Blend till smooth after allowing the liquid to cool slightly. Important recommendations on blending hot liquids can be found in the Notes section below. Blend liquid in a saucepan with an immersion blender until smooth.
    If necessary, return the liquid to the pot. 12 pounds of lump crabmeat Salt & pepper to taste.
  8. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the liquid, has thickened and the soup is thoroughly heated. To avoid burning, continually stir.
  9. 1 tablespoon sherry (14 cups total) in each serving bowl 2 ounces crabmeat in each bowl on top of the sherry.
  10. The soup should be ladled into bowls. 1 tablespoon roe per bowl, garnished with minced chives With crusty French bread, serve hot.


  • In a small saucepan, heat half and a half while performing steps 1 through 4. Alternatively, reheat the half-and-half in the microwave (in a microwave-safe cup!) until warm but not boiling.
  • Gluten-Free Option: Serve with gluten-free French bread and gluten-free flour.

Blending Hot Soup Suggestions

  • No more than half fill the blender. It’s possible that you’ll have to combine your components in several batches.
  • Allow the liquid to cool for a few minutes after pouring it into the blender before blending.
  • Remove the center cap from the blender lid before mixing and cover the hole with a dishcloth instead. This will prevent the pressure within the blender from rising. While blending, keep your hand on the lid to keep it in place.

This recipe serves around 4 people. The nutritional data provided are for one serving, which includes roe. The macros may differ slightly based on the ingredient brands utilized.

Prepare the recipe as directed, then weigh the completed product to calculate the size of one serving. Divide the total weight (excluding the weight of the food container) by four. The weight of one serving will be the result.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 595kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 35g, Fat: 38g, Saturated Fat: 22g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 239mg, Sodium: 1727mg, Potassium: 827mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1796IU, Vitamin C: 16mg, Calcium: 417mg, Iron: 4mg, Net Carbs: 20g