There are two soups that you can find in just about any Maryland restaurant. Maryland Crab, a tomato based vegetable soup with crab meat and heavy Old Bay seasoning to make it spicy, and Cream of Crab, a cream/milk based soup with potatoes, celery and crab meat with a much milder flavor and richer texture almost like a chowder or bisque.
For years I would only eat Maryland Crab soup. Something about cream and crab meat together just turned me off completely. I think I was in my early 20’s before I finally decided to try cream of crab soup. Its quite tasty, but I should have known that all along. While I still tend to gravitate towards Maryland Crab when given the choice, I do appreciate the richness and flavors of the cream of crab soup. Which is why when I saw it on Laura’s blog, I added it to the menu for the following week.
Laura has a Local tag on her blog where she features Maryland-style recipes and where she uses local ingredients. The whole section makes my Maryland-native heart smile to see someone else share the recipes I grew up eating as well. You should check it out!
Cream of Crab Soup
- 1 lb. crab meat shells removed
- 2 small white potatoes peeled and cut into 1" cubes
- 2 stalks celery finely chopped
- 1 shallot minced
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Old Bay seasoning
- 1. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 10 minutes or until just softened. Drain and set aside.
- 2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the celery and shallot and cook for 5-7 minutes or until soft. Whisk in the flour until combined and cook for 2-3 minutes more.
- 3. Add the potatoes, milk and cream and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until the soup thickens. Then add the crab meat and reduce the heat to low.
- 4. Cover and let cook for 5 minutes.
- 5. Ladle the soup into bowls and season with Old Bay to taste.
The only change I made from the original recipe was to add potatoes. I’ve only had cream of crab with them and I just felt like it wouldn’t be the same without them. I don’t think I got my soup to thicken up as much as it should have, but I served this along with some lightly toasted Italian bread and it was absolutely delicious.
While I can’t just convert to a cream-of-crabber, I can say that this version of cream of crab is delicious and I will definitely make it again.