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Creamy Crab Soup (20 Minute Recipe)

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Rich, creamy crab soup is a well-known specialty on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Seasoned with Old Bay and white wine, it’s a 20-minute meal you’ll turn to again and again.

A white bowl with handles with Chesapeake Bay Crab Soup with a ladle in the background

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I love the ocean-growing up near it was a real gift and one day I hope to live nearby again (when the Army sees fit!) Back in college when I lived in Charleston, South Carolina we would lay crab baskets out in the little waterways that dotted the town and gather up crab dinners for just the cost of some bait.  

Now that I’m land-locked I can appreciate that with the cost of crab meat at the grocery store! One of my very favorite meals to make with crab is this delicious soup.

This recipe is based on my great-grandmother’s recipe-she called it Chesapeake Bay Crab Soup originally.

What is the Difference between Chesapeake Bay Crab Soup and She Crab Soup?

She Crab soup was named so because the roe, or eggs, of the crab were a main ingredient.  If you’re catching live crab to make it you may find some female crab with eggs within but you can’t keep them if the roe is on the outside. 

If you’re purchasing lump crabmeat in stores you won’t be able to add the crab roe so this version is made without it. It’s delicious despite the lack of roe and oh so hearty and comforting! It also doesn’t have the dry sherry wine that is traditionally mixed in and instead uses dry white wine.

Why I love this recipe

​This flavorful crab soup is similar to a crab bisque with its creamy broth. It is deceptively fast and easy to make so while it is fancy enough for a special occasion, it is easy enough for even busy weeknights. It’s also a great way to use leftover crab from other recipes.

Ingredients

  • unsalted butter
  • yellow onion
  • all-purpose flour
  • half and half
  • milk
  • fresh lump crab meat
  • dry white wine
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • salt
A white bowl with handles with Chesapeake Bay Crab Soup next to a soup

Step by Step Instructions

  1. In a large pot melt butter over medium-high heat. Add diced onion and sauté until the onions are translucent. Add flour and stir with a whisk, cooking one minute.  
  2. Slowly add half and half and milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. 
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Add crab meat, wine, Worcestershire and Old Bay. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
A white bowl with handles with Chesapeake Bay Crab Soup next to a soup

Tips for best results

  • You can substitute the half and half for heavy cream for a thicker, even more creamy soup.
  • Use whole milk if possible.
  • If you prefer a thinner broth you can add a little seafood stock or chicken broth to the soup.
  • If you don’t have fresh crab meat, try this imitation crab soup recipe instead

Serving suggestions

There are a ton of great options for what to serve with crab soup. Crusty bread, garlic bread, hush puppies, crab cakes, sweet corn, fried green tomatoes, and salmon patties are some of my favorite options.

Storage

Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stovetop over medium heat or in the microwave.

You might also like these other soup recipes:

If you’ve tried this recipe please comment and rate it below, I love hearing from you! 

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overhead view of crab soup in white bowl

Creamy Crab Soup


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5 from 1 review

Description

Rich, creamy crab soup is a well-known specialty on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Seasoned with Old Bay and white wine, it’s a 20-minute meal you’ll turn to again and again.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 4 tablespoons of butter or margarine
  • 3/4 cup diced onion-about one small
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 lb back fin crab meat, cartilage removed
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large pot melt butter over medium high heat in a large stock pot or Dutch oven.
  2. Add diced onion and sauté until the onions are translucent.
  3. Add flour and stir with a whisk, cooking one minute.
  4. Slowly add half and half and milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add crab meat, wine, Worcestershire and Old Bay.
  7. Season with salt to taste.
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: soup
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 383
  • Sugar: 13.1 g
  • Sodium: 967 mg
  • Fat: 15.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 23.2 g
  • Protein: 35.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 119.2 mg

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