June 30, 2011

Maryland Cream of Crab Soup

I have spent a lot of time in Maryland over my lifetime (lots of my family lives there). Therefore, I have a profound respect for the majesty of the Maryland Blue Crab and the devout culinary following it has inspired.

It's been hot as Hades out here lately, so soup of any stripe has pretty much been out of the question. But, I'm going to share it anyway because crab season is in full swing, and I just had to make it (or die thinking about it).

What You Need:
    1/4 cup flour
    1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter (if you use unsalted, just add a little salt into the pot)
    3 cups milk (I use skim because of all the cream)
    1 quart heavy cream
    3 Tbs. Old Bay seasoning (more or less to taste. I prefer more.)
    1 Tbs. lemon juice
    1/2 cup chopped shallots (I use dried which is instead 2 Tbs.)
    1 pound lump backfin crab meat (don't use the imitation stuff)
    Parsley and pepper to taste

The Process:

Melt the butter in your pot and add the flour to make a roux.* Cook for a few minutes, then add the shallots and simmer. Add the milk, crab meat, lemon juice, and Old Bay and simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes. Whisk in the cream and simmer until thick, stirring occasionally, for another 15-20 minutes. Serve hot with oyster crackers.

*The trick I use to make a good roux is to add the flour slowly so it can't clump. I like putting the measured flour into a shaker and sprinkling it in that way, and slowly whisking it in. It hasn't failed me yet.

Now please excuse me so I can die of heat exhaustion while enjoying this heavenly soup.

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