She Crab Soup

The original recipe for She Crab Soup used crab roe (eggs from a female crab) to give it an orange hue; however the hot sauce in this soup gives it the hint of orange color.

If you are looking for a rich hearty soup to make during these cold winter months, try this homemade She Crab Soup recipe. This soup is a cross between a bisque and a chowder. It starts with a basic roux mixture of equal parts flour and butter.

She Crab Soup can trace its roots back to the early 1900s in Charleston, South Carolina. According to legend, President Taft was visiting Mayor Rhett of Charleston. Mayor Rhett asked his butler to prepare a “fancier” version of a crab-and-rice soup. The butler added the orange-hued crab eggs, making the soup creamier and creating the delicacy we know today as She Crab Soup.

This soup is considered a signature dish in the coastal cities of Charleston and Savannah, Georgia. The original recipe used crab roe (eggs from a female crab) to give it an orange hue, however the hot sauce in this soup gives it the hint of orange color. Don’t let all of the ingredients intimidate you into not trying this recipe. If I can make it, you can too! You will be glad you did.

Homemade She Crab Soup

5 tablespoons butter

5 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 small white onion, grated

2 cloves garlic, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

2 quarts half-and-half

1 pint heavy cream

1 cup chicken broth

Dash of hot sauce

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 pound lump crabmeat, drained

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for about 4 minutes. Gradually whisk in the half-and-half, making sure no lumps form. Stir in the heavy cream and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer, then add the hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add crabmeat and simmer for another 10 minutes. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with fresh chives.

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