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Creamy Crab Soup

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If you’re a seafood lover, this comforting soup is a must-try! This Creamy Crab Soup features the delicate and sweet flavors of crabmeat immersed in a rich, creamy broth, enhanced with a blend of aromatic seasonings such as Old Bay seasoning and a touch of nutmeg. Further, this impressive seafood chowder can be on your dinner table in well under 30-minutes!

A green bowl filled with Creamy Crab Soup with Cheddar Bay Biscuits in the background

WHAT TYPE OF CRAB TO USE FOR SOUP

For Creamy Crab Soup, it’s best to use a combination of crab meat types to achieve a well-rounded flavor and texture. Two common types of crab meat to include are:

Special Crab Meat: Special crab meat is a mid-tier option and consists of smaller pieces of white crab meat. It’s often a good choice for soups as it provides a nice balance between flavor and affordability. Special crab meat is typically the most affordable option, and it works well for blending into the creamy base of the soup.

Jumbo Lump Crab Meat: Jumbo lump crab meat is the premium choice, known for its large, whole pieces of crab meat. It has a sweet and delicate flavor and a firm texture. Using jumbo lump crab meat in your creamy crab soup will elevate the dish, giving it a luxurious and indulgent quality.

WHY YOU SHOULD MAKE THIS CREAMY CRAB SOUP

Creamy Crab Soup, despite its luxurious taste and appearance, is surprisingly quick and easy to prepare. Here’s why:

  • Efficient Cooking Process: The cooking process is straightforward and efficient. It involves sautéing the aromatics (garlic, onions, and celery) in butter, adding seasonings and flour to create a roux, and then deglazing with sherry.
  • Short Simmering Time: Once you’ve added the seafood stock or clam juice and heavy cream, the soup only needs to simmer for around 10-15 minutes. During this time, the flavors meld, and the soup slightly thickens.
  • Simple Assembly: Adding the crab meat and a final touch of sherry is the last step, and it takes just a minute or two to warm the crab through and finish the soup.
  • Customizable: While the base recipe is quick, you have the flexibility to customize it according to your preferences. You can adjust the level of seasoning, creaminess, and even the type of crab meat you use.
  • Leftovers: If you have leftovers, this soup reheats beautifully and retains its delicious flavor.
  • Impressive: Despite the simplicity and speed of preparation, Creamy Crab Soup yields impressive results. The flavors are rich and satisfying, making it a fantastic choice for special occasions when you want to impress without spending hours in the kitchen.

INGREDIENTS TO PREPARE CREAMY CRAB SOUP

With just a few exceptions, this delicious, homemade crab bisque recipe requires a relatively short list of ingredients.

  • Crab – Even though I used two pounds of crabmeat, one pound of special or jumbo lump crab meat is plenty. Possible substitutions for crab include; shrimp, lobster, imitation crab or a seafood mixture.
  • Seasonings – If you don’t have Old Bay seasoning, you can use a combination of paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper to mimic its flavor profile.
  • Lobster base – This crab soup was made with this lobster base. If you can’t locate this and still want to maintain a seafood-like flavor, you can experiment with nutritional yeast. Alternatively, leave out as the seafood stock will be sufficient.
  • Dairy – Need a dairy-free version of this creamy seafood soup? Try using vegan-butter and a non-dairy heavy cream.
  • Flour – For a gluten-free creamy crab soup, replace the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free all-purpose or rice flour.
  • Dry Sherry Wine – Sherry lends a very unique flavor to this hearty soup. However, if you prefer not to use sherry, you can substitute with dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay, for a similar depth of flavor. If you don’t consume alcohol, you can use non-alcoholic cooking wine, or simply omit the sherry and add a bit of extra seafood stock or clam juice.

INSTRUCTIONS AND TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE CREAMY CRAB SOUP

Here’s step-by-step Creamy Crab Soup recipe:

  1. Sauté the Aromatics: In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add minced garlic, chopped onions, and celery. Sauté until they become translucent and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  2. Season and Make the Roux: Stir in the Old Bay seasoning, nutmeg, Lobster base, and freshly ground black pepper. Let the spices meld with the vegetables for a minute. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the mixture and stir to create a thick roux. Cook for an additional 2 minutes to ensure the raw flour flavor cooks off.
  3. Deglaze with Sherry: Pour in the 1/2 cup of dry sherry to deglaze the pan. Stir well, allowing the alcohol to cook off, which should take a minute or two.
  4. Add Liquids and Simmer: Gradually pour in the seafood stock or clam juice, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Add the Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves and heavy cream. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the soup to thicken slightly.
  5. Incorporate Crab Meat: Remove the bay leaves and gently fold in the crab meat, including special crab and jumbo lump. Heat for about a minute to warm the crab through.
  6. Finish with Sherry: Just before serving, add the remaining tablespoon of dry sherry to the soup. This step adds a delightful touch to the flavor.
  7. Serve and Garnish: Ladle the creamy crab soup into bowls. Garnish each serving with fresh parsley or chives, a few pieces of lump crab, and a sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning for that signature taste.

SERVING AND LEFTOVERS

This Creamy Crab Soup is hearty and satisfying, making it a versatile dish that can be served both as an appetizer, or a meal. The following are great pairing options:

  • Cheddar Bay Biscuits: Make your own Cheddar Bay Biscuits!
  • Crusty Bread: Serve with warm, crusty bread or oyster crackers to compliment the creamy richness of the crab soup, and add texture to the meal.
  • Salad: A light salad with fresh greens and a tangy vinaigrette can be a perfect starter or side dish.

HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER CRAB SOUP

  • To store leftover creamy crab soup, let it cool to room temperature.
  • Transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat gently on the stovetop over low heat, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.
  • Note that the soup may thicken further upon cooling; you can thin it with a bit of additional seafood stock or cream if needed.
  • Yes, once cooled, this creamy crab soup can be frozen in an airtight container up to 3 months.

MORE RECIPES TO LOVE

If you love this homemade creamy crab recipe, be sure to check out a few of my similar seafood recipes:

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A green bowl filled with Creamy Crab Soup with Cheddar Bay Biscuits in the background

Creamy Crab Soup


Description

This Creamy Crab Soup features the delicate and sweet flavors of crab meat immersed in a rich, creamy broth, enhanced with a blend of aromatic seasonings such as Old Bay seasoning and a touch of nutmeg.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 to 2 pounds crab meat (see note)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 celery stalk, minced
  • 1/4 yellow onion, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon lobster base
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry, plus one tablespoon
  • 2 cups seafood stock or clam juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
  • Old Bay seasoning, for a sprinkle garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add in the minced celery, onions and garlic. Sauté to soften for a few minutes.
  3. Season the softened vegetables with the Old Bay, nutmeg, lobster base and black pepper.
  4. Cook for another minute before dusting with the flour. Cook off the flour taste for a few minutes. A thick roux will form.
  5. Deglaze with the dry sherry. Cook off the alcohol for a minute.
  6. Turn up the heat.
  7. Add in the seafood stock, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves and heavy whipping cream.
  8. Bring to just under a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. 
  9. Remove and discard the bay leaves.
  10. Add in the crabmeat. Gently fold in and allow to warm through, another minute or two. 
  11. Optionally, finish with another tablespoon of dry sherry. Stir.
  12. Ladle into bowls garnished with fresh parsley or chives, a few pieces of reserved lump crab and a sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning.
  13. ENJOY!
@charlottefashionplate

You gotta try this Creamy Crab Soup Recipe! Every single bite is filled with tender, sweet crabmeat! This chowder is so creamy, comforting and full of flavor! Similar to She Crab Soup without the roe! #crab #chowder #seafood #easyrecipe #cookingtiktok #comfortfood #souprecipe #soupseason #crabtok Thanks to @_mrmakeithappen_ for recommending the Lobster Base!

♬ Simplicity – Jon Steinmeier

Notes

  • I used two pounds of crabmeat in this recipe. However, one pound is plenty. If using jumbo lump, reserve a few pieces for garnish.
  • lobster base is optional.
  • substitute the dry sherry with white wine or additional stock (eliminating the sherry will change the flavor of the recipe)
  • use vegan butter and a non-dairy whipping cream to make this dairy-free
  • for a gluten-free version of this crab soup, use rice flour or a gluten-free, all-purpose flour
  • see post for more substitutions, notes and tips
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Soup, Bisque, Lunch or Dinner
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: American

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