Hugh Acheson’s She Crab Soup

I decided She Crab Soup was my favorite soup of all time when I was in middle school. The creamy sweetness had me hooked the first time I tried it. The only off-putting aspect of it? Overpowering amounts of raw sherry, which some restaurants aggressively shove in the delicate soup. This recipe (Hugh Acheson’s from his cookbook, A New Turn in the South) showcases the pure sweetness of the crab, adding copious amounts of it, making each bite so decadent, you feel like royalty eating so much seafood. Quite honestly, you could double the amount of liquid in this soup and it would still be just as delicious (but not as crab-y). I made it with its full crab glory and enjoyed every last bite of it.

Hugh Acheson’s She Crab Soup
Serves 6 as an appetizer
Total Time: 45 minutes

• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 cup minced yellow onion
• 1/3 cup minced celery
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
• 2 cups whole milk
• 1 3/4 cup chicken stock
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 1 tablespoon hot sauce
• 1/2 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
• 2 cups fresh crab, picked through twice
• Chopped parsley and paprika, to garnish

Melt butter in a medium-size soup pot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook 5 minutes, stirring often until the color goes from white to blonde. Stir in the onion and celery and cook 5 minutes. Add garlic, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and cook for 1 minute.

Add the milk, stock, cream, hot sauce, and worcestershire. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the crab and simmer for 20 minutes more. Pour the soup into 6 appetizer bowls and garnish with paprika and chopped parsley.

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