Steve’s Famous Maryland Crab Soup

Have you ever sampled the “real” Maryland  Style Crab Soup?   You may think you have until you taste Steve’s recipe. This is a thick rich tomato based soup. This Maryland Crab Soup is a wonderful thing to have year round but it’s our staple during the winter until the fresh crabs come into season.  CrabsThere is no doubt that Crabs are the king of the Chesapeake Bay.  If you visit Maryland, you must try the crabs.  There are many other regional specialties but Crab is the most famous and the most popular. Then there is Old bay Seasoning and that goes along with the crabs.   There are many recipes that feature Crab but this time of year we celebrate springtime with a big pot of this soup.IMG_6300Maryland Crab Soup is a tomato-based soup with mixed vegetables, lima beans, potatoes, Old Bay Seasoning, and, of course, Crab Meat. Traditionally this soup is made with half beef broth and half chicken. Out Daughter in law has a beef allergy so we omit the beef broth – just in case she is here when we pull a quart from the freezer.IMG_6356Steve has lived his entire life in the Annapolis area and considers himself a connoisseur of all things crab.  There are very few restaurants he will even consider ordering crab soup from. He makes it himself, preferably outside. There are a few tricks to this soup. It is made in a big pot, so there is a lot of it. I used a 9 qt. pot and it was full.  IMG_6314This soup is a marvel; it’s thick rich and filling. When this soup is made, we have a party in the back yard. If there is any left over it goes into quart jars and we distribute it as a special treat to our friends. Once you taste it you’ll see why it causes so much excitement – It’s special.IMG_6299

Maryland Crab Soup
Servings: 16 - 20 servings
  • 4 tablespoons of Butter
  • I Large Onion, Finely Chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 Cup of Celery. Diced
  • 2 Quarts of Chicken Stock, preferably Homemade
  • 2 Quarts of Beef Stock, preferably Homemade
  • 1 teaspoon of Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons of Old Bay Seasoning + more to taste
  • 4 Tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1½ Cups Cabbage, Finely Chopped
  • 1½ Cups of Lima Beans, Fresh or Frozen
  • 1 Pound of Potatoes, Diced (about 2 cups +/-)
  • 2 Pound bag of frozen Mixed vegetables - Corn, Peas, Carrots & Green Beans*
  • 1- 28 oz Can of Crushed Tomatoes**
  • 1 Pound of Lump or Backfin Crabmeat
  • 1 Pound of Claw Crabmeat
  • Salt
  1. Melt the butter in a large stockpot, then sauté the onions and celery until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add the chicken & beef stocks and season the soup with the red pepper flakes, Old Bay Seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and add the cabbage, potatoes, Lima beans, frozen mixed vegetables and crushed tomatoes. Bring the pot to a low boil for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  3. Meanwhile, place the crabmeat in a bowl and gently pick over it for any shells. Add the crabmeat and simmer for five minutes until the crabmeat is heated. Season the soup with salt, then add adjust the seasonings as needed with additional hot sauce, old bay and/or Worcestershire sauce to taste.
  4. Thin the soup with additional stock or water as needed.
  5. Remove the bay leaves and serve.
*Fresh carrots, peas, corn and green beans can be used instead of the frozen. I like the fresh but the traditionalists use the frozen and tell me this is the way!
** If the canned tomatoes are acidic add up to 2 tablespoons of sugar.
***Feel free to use 4 quarts of chicken stock for the chicken and beef stock. I do this because of a beef allergy in the family.


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