Chef Folse's Blue Crab, Shrimp and Sausage Soup

Prep Time: 1 Hour
Yields: 6-8 Servings

I think it is safe to say that of the seafood varieties available to the Louisiana cook, crab holds first place by a mile. During the summer season when crabs are plentiful, recipes will vary from the outdoor crab boil to the much sought after fricassee to even a she-crab soup. However, my personal favorite is a soup rich in crab flavor enhanced with the smoke of a local sausage and a few dozen shrimp and, just prior to serving the soup, the addition of lump crabmeat as the crowning touch. Now that's crab soup!


1 dozen cleaned crabs
1 pound (50-count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pound jumbo lump crab meat
1 pound heavy smoked sausage, sliced
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup flour
1 and 1/2 cups diced onions
1 cup diced celery
3/4 cup diced bell peppers
1/4 cup minced garlic
1 gallon reserved crab stock
2 bay leaves
2 tbsps chopped basil
1 tsp chopped thyme leaves
salt and black pepper to taste
granulated garlic to taste
1 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup chopped parsley

When cleaning crab, remove outer shell, lungs, mouth, eyes and bottom flap. Clean any visible debris other than the rich yellow fat or eggs that will only enhance the soup. Using scissors cut the legs off approximately 1/2 inch from the body. Remove large claws and break in half at joint. Cut crab body in half and then into four. In a 1 and 1/2-gallon stockpot, place crabs and outer shells with 1 gallon water. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook 45 minutes to create a rich crab stock. Additional water may be needed to retain volume. While crabs are simmering, place oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add flour and, stirring constantly, cook until a dark brown roux is achieved (see roux recipes). Add onions, celery, bell peppers and minced garlic and cook 5-7 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Place a strainer into the pot of stock and ladle hot stock into the roux until a soup-like consistency is achieved. Discard large crab shell and place quartered crab bodies and claws into the soup mixture. Strain remaining stock from pot and add to soup. You should use all of this stock in the soup. Add shrimp, sausage, bay leaves, basil and thyme and season lightly using salt, pepper and granulated garlic. As soup reduces over heat, additional water may be needed to retain consistency. Simmer for 45 minutes then add green onions and parsley. Adjust seasonings to taste using salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Immediately prior to serving add jumbo lump crab to soup and immediately remove from heat. Stir crabmeat gently into the broth and serve hot over steamed white rice.