Summer Soups: Savannah-Style She Crab Soup
There are times in the heat of summer that I want soup. Yep, soup. And not one of those fruity cold soups either – real soup. Plenty of people look at me like I’m crazy when I make soup in the summer in Houston, but I say it’s no different than meatloaf or grilled chicken or anything else you serve hot – it’s freshly cooked food that soothes the soul, despite the weather outside.
It’s just now Memorial Day weekend, the symbolic start of summer for most people, but we’ve been into summer temperatures in Houston for a couple of weeks now. Spring was kind enough to hang on a bit longer than usual this year. But even this start of summer can’t stop me from craving soup.
Not only does the rise in temperatures tell me that summer is in full force, but it reminds me that we’re into the perfect time of year on the Gulf Coast to go crabbing! Crabbing is one of those efforts best undertaken simply – a string, some chicken necks, a net, and an enthusiastic child companion will generally do the trick. I have fond memories of trying to catch crabs on Galveston Island as a child and although I haven’t taken the weeone crabbing yet, I think it’s something we’ll tackle this season.
After all, if we catch our own crab, this soup will be even better! The most common crab along the Texas coast is blue crab, but whatever crab is in your seafood market will do when making this Savannah Style She Crab Soup. Like so many southern dishes, this soup starts with a roux – but a roux that includes browned flour makes the cooking time of the roux itself a bit shorter and gets you to your finished soup much quicker.
I’ve replace the traditional heavy cream with a combo of fat free half and half and 2% milk and that substitution makes the soup something even those on the strictest of diets can enjoy while still getting the rich creamy texture Savannah-Style Crab soup is famous for having. This is another one of those meals that gets better as it sits, so if you have it for dinner one night and lunch the next, your lunch will be divine.
All I ask is that you promise me this…if you make this soup, can you invite me over for dinner?
- Serves: 6
- Serving size: 1½ cups
- Calories: 336.8
- Fat: 14.1g
- Saturated fat: 3.0g
- Unsaturated fat: 0.9g
- Carbohydrates: 33.8g
- Sugar: 8.2g
- Sodium: 552.9mg
- Fiber: 3.1g
- Protein: 11.4g
- Cholesterol: 32.7mg
- Cooking Spray
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon light butter
- 2 cups chopped carrot
- ½ cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped onion
- ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
- ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups clam juice
- 1½ cups whole or 2% milk
- ½ cup fat free half-and-half
- 1 pound lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed
- ⅓ cup dry sherry
- In a cast iron skillet, cook the flour, by itself for 10-15 minutes over medium-high heat or until well browned. It will need to be whisked regularly so as not to burn.
- Meanwhile, in a soup pot, over medium hight heat, melt the butter then add the carrot, celery, onion, and bell peppers and sautee for about 5-7 minutes or until the veggies are all tender. Add the garlic and continue to sautee about 1 minute or until the garlic is very aromatic.
- Add the seasonings (Old Bay - thyme) as well as the browned flower and mix well for 1-2 minutes.
- Add to the soup pot the bay leaf and clam juice and bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Slowly pour in the milk and half & half, stirring while you add them. Follow them by adding the crabmeat and sherry.
- Cook the soup for another 5 minutes or until it is all well heated through. Serve hot with Old Bay available for additional seasoning.