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Actual Maryland Crab Soup (From a Native)


A tomato- and broth-based soup filled with greens and the fragile taste and texture of Chesapeake blue crab, Maryland crab soup is a neighborhood staple that deserves to be shared far and extensive. There are a lot of methods to make it, and that is my household’s favourite. It’s generously spiced, additional satisfying, and chock filled with scrumptious crab.

ladle of Maryland crab soup.

Whereas photographing a brand new bread recipe for my cookbook, I needed a bowl of soup to show subsequent to it. As my staff threw out ideas—minestrone soup, sluggish cooker hen chili, hen noodle soup—my Baltimore area-born husband piped up, “Maryland crab soup” and all of us went “Sure!!

It was simply the factor for the picture, after which we loved it for dinner that night time. As I savored every flavorful chew, it dawned on me that this family-beloved recipe ought to positively stay on my web site. As a Maryland resident, I’ve proudly printed a stable recipe for Maryland crab muffins, in addition to crab dip. Maryland crab soup rounds out the trio highlighting this state’s delicacy.


Maryland Crab Soup Is:

  • Like a crab-picking feast, however in soup type
  • Savory, spiced & flavorful
  • Chock-full of greens
  • Sturdy & satisfying, particularly for a veggie-heavy soup
  • Easy to make on the range
  • Welcoming of substitutions

Plus, it freezes superbly and makes distinctive leftovers.

white mug of Maryland crab soup with cornbread muffins in the background.

Crab Soup Non-Negotiables:

Maryland crab soup is a staple on menus throughout this state. There are a lot of recipes on the market, both printed on-line, memorized in heads, and/or handed down generations. The recipe I’m sharing as we speak is the easiest way I understand how to make it. I’ve tinkered with the elements over time, however there are a couple of non-negotiable staples that this East Coast favourite MUST have:

  • Previous Bay Seasoning: The Baltimore unique, and crab’s favourite seasoning. I take advantage of 1.5 Tablespoons, and actually, generally I’m going even heavier. Should you’re delicate to spice, begin with simply 2 teaspoons and add extra after tasting.
  • Tomatoes: To actually bulk up the broth for this soup, use an enormous can of crushed tomatoes. Generally I take advantage of “fire-roasted” tomatoes for a deeper taste.
  • A number of Veggies: Lima beans and corn are commonest on this soup. Inexperienced beans and peas are standard additions, too. I often follow lima beans, corn, and inexperienced beans. You don’t *have* to make use of frozen, but it surely’s most handy. Within the summertime, I take advantage of contemporary candy corn for extra taste.
  • Potatoes: Many recipes use potatoes, too. I all the time add them as a result of they assist settle the spicy kick from the Previous Bay Seasoning.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: Some recipes embrace this, some don’t. With out query, this goes into my pot as a result of it delivers large taste that’s altogether candy, savory, and salty. I take advantage of it in my crab dip recipe, too.

Different additions: Carrots, onions, and celery (the trio often known as mirepoix) construct the soup’s base. Beef broth and water make up the liquid base, and you need to use vegetable and even hen broth as a substitute if desired. I like including shredded contemporary inexperienced cabbage to assist bulk up the soup. Garlic, floor mustard, and bay leaves add much more taste. I would like each spoonful to ship large, and with this recipe, you gained’t be upset.

ingredients on marble counter including frozen vegetables, Old Bay Seasoning, potatoes, onions, and crushed tomatoes.

Can I Use a Bag of Frozen Blended Greens?

Sure, completely. Once I’m utilizing frozen greens, I often buy lima beans, inexperienced beans, and corn individually. Nevertheless, you need to use a frozen vegetable medley similar to corn, carrots, inexperienced beans, and peas. Strive to not skip the lima beans, although; they’re creamy and buttery, and assist to steadiness the acidity within the tomato-based broth. If you wish to use frozen celery, carrots, and onions (the mirepoix medley), that works too!

What Crab Meat Do I Use?

The Chesapeake Bay is house to Maryland’s well-known blue crabs, identified for his or her delicately candy taste. Should you aren’t steaming your personal crabs for crab meat, let me allow you to navigate which crab meat is finest for this soup.

Crab meat bought out of the shell has been cooked. On the market, you’ll find canned, frozen, or contemporary (refrigerated) cooked crab meat. Unrefrigerated canned crab meat doesn’t have a super taste for soup, so skip it. If you want to use canned, search for canned crab meat within the refrigerated part of your market. Ask your grocer the place to search out the freshest crab meat within the retailer. I buy contemporary crab meat bought in a 1-pound tub from the seafood counter in my grocery retailer.

I like to recommend utilizing a mixture of lump crab meat and backfin meat. Be sure to buy crab meat labeled “hand-picked” or “fresh-picked,” which implies that the crab meat has been picked by for shells and cartilage. (Nonetheless, it’s good follow to softly run your palms by the meat for any onerous cartilage remnants.)

close-up of fresh crab meat.

Making this soup is absolutely only a matter of cooking most of it collectively on the range, including the crab meat, and letting it simmer to construct unparalleled taste. Don’t neglect to take away the bay leaves earlier than serving.

The flavour is even higher on day 2. I like these leftovers!

dutch oven with crab soup inside.
big pot of Maryland crab soup with fresh parsley on top.big pot of Maryland crab soup with fresh parsley on top.
blue bowl of Maryland crab soup on white plate.blue bowl of Maryland crab soup on white plate.

Excellent Pairings

Proper earlier than serving, I wish to garnish the soup with a sprinkle of lemon pepper seasoning and contemporary parsley. Each are optionally available. As for aspect dishes, right here’s what I often serve alongside Maryland crab soup:

Do you’ve any favourite additions to this soup?

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