Actual Maryland Crab Soup (From a Native)


A tomato- and broth-based soup stuffed with greens and the fragile taste and texture of Chesapeake blue crab, Maryland crab soup is an area staple that deserves to be shared far and huge. It is a generously seasoned household favourite, and welcomes many substitutions primarily based on what you may have readily available.

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 crew threw out solutions—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 photograph, after which we loved it for dinner that night time. As I savored every flavorful chunk, it dawned on me that this family-beloved recipe ought to undoubtedly dwell on my web site. As a Maryland resident, I’ve proudly revealed 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 hard and fast staple on menus throughout this state. There are a lot of recipes on the market, both revealed 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 components additional 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 exploit 1.5 Tablespoons, and truthfully, typically I’m going even heavier. In case 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 exploit “fire-roasted” tomatoes for a deeper taste.
  • Numerous Veggies: Lima beans and corn are commonest on this soup. Inexperienced beans and peas are ordinary additions, too. I often persist with lima beans, corn, and inexperienced beans. You don’t *have* to make use of frozen, nevertheless it’s most handy. Within the summertime, I exploit contemporary candy corn for extra taste.
  • Potatoes: Many recipes use potatoes, too. I at all times add them as a result of they assist settle the spicy kick from the Previous Bay Seasoning.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: Some recipes embody this, some don’t. With out query, this goes into my pot as a result of it delivers massive taste that’s altogether candy, savory, and salty. I exploit it in my crab dip recipe, too.

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

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. Nonetheless, you should use a frozen vegetable medley resembling a corn, carrots, inexperienced beans, and peas. Attempt to not skip the lima beans, although; they’re creamy and buttery, and assist to stability 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 residence to Maryland’s well-known blue crabs, recognized for his or her delicately candy taste. In case you aren’t steaming your individual crabs for crab meat, let me assist you navigate which crab meat is finest for this soup.

Crab meat bought out of the shell has been cooked. On the market, you will discover canned, frozen, or contemporary (refrigerated) cooked crab meat. Unrefrigerated canned crab meat doesn’t have a great taste for soup, so skip it. If it’s good 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 you buy crab meat labeled “hand-picked” or “fresh-picked,” which signifies that the crab meat has been picked by for shells and cartilage. (Nonetheless, it’s good observe to softly run your fingers by the meat for any arduous cartilage remnants.)

close-up of fresh crab meat.

Making this soup is admittedly 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 really like these leftovers!

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

Good Pairings

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

Do you may have any favourite additions to this soup?