She-Crab Soup

Top off a creamy bowl of <a target="_blank" href="">She-Crab Soup</a> with a spoonful of sherry at the table.
Top off a creamy bowl of She-Crab Soup with a spoonful of sherry at the table.

This delectable recipe will have you clamoring for more.

A culinary icon of Charleston, South Carolina, she-crab soup was traditionally a rich combination of cream, crabmeat, roe (eggs), and a splash of sherry. The meat from a female crab is said to be sweeter, but it was the addition of her red-orange roe that created the dish's depth of flavor and beautiful pale color and resulted in the name "she-crab" soup.

These days, roe is not harvested in an ecological effort to preserve the supply of crabs. Is it still she-crab soup if there's no roe? Yes--and no. The heart of the recipe remains the same. But when you can, try it made with roe, and savor every precious spoonful.

More from Southern Living

You'll find some variations, but purists know the basic recipe is the true Southern tradition. Fresh crabmeat is essential. For all of you lucky enough to catch your own crabs, you'll need about a dozen. If you remove the shell of the female crab and discover what looks like a mass of tiny red-orange beads inside, you've struck gold--I mean roe. Remove it carefully; stir it into the soup with the crabmeat. (Note: Female crabs with roe on the outside must be returned to the water.)

Whether your crabmeat is from crabs you caught yourself or from the supermarket, enjoy a taste of the region.


Blue Crabs 101
Blue crabs are the star of this soup. If you're lucky enough to get the meat from fresh crabs, keep these tips in mind.


More from Southern Living