She-Crab Soup

It is easy to distinguish between a male crab and a female crab by looking at their underside.
Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 5:21 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - It is easy to distinguish between a male crab and a female crab by looking at their underside. An easier and safer way to differentiate the two without getting pinched is to look at the color of the claws. Female crabs have red tips on their pinchers, which makes them look like their fingernails are painted.

Prep Time: 1 Hour

Yields: 6 Servings


1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat

½ cup crab roe

¼ cup butter

½ cup minced onions

¼ cup minced celery

¼ cup minced red bell pepper

1 tbsp minced garlic

2 tbsps flour

3 cups milk

2 cups heavy whipping cream

½ tsp ground mace

1 tsp grated lemon zest

Salt and black pepper to taste

Granulated garlic to taste

¼ cup dry sherry

1 tsp paprika

2 tbsps chopped parsley


Gently pick through crabmeat, taking care not to break lumps, and discard any shells or cartilage. Set aside. Chop roe and set aside. In a Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, bell pepper, and minced garlic. Sauté for 3–5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Sprinkle in flour, blending well into vegetable mixture. Add milk and whipping cream then season with mace, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and granulated garlic. Bring to a low boil, reduce to simmer, and add half of the crabmeat. Cook 10–15 minutes, stirring occasionally, then adjust seasonings if necessary. Add roe, remaining crabmeat, and sherry. Return to a low boil and heat crabmeat thoroughly. Ladle into warmed soup bowls, garnish with a pinch of paprika and parsley and serve hot. NOTE: If buying whole crabs, you will need 8 or 9 large females to get enough meat for 6 people.

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