Cream of Crab Soup

The best soups often are those that aren’t too fancy or complicated but just plain good. And they can be especially appealing when the weather gets a little cooler.

It’s no surprise to my family and friends that I enjoy a good bowl of soup. In fact, I’d bet that at least 40 weeks out of the year you can find a pot of soup simmering on my stove.

Today is one of those soup days. The temperature might reach the low 50s, but it won’t go much higher. It’s a typical May weather. One day it can be in the 70s or 80s and the next in the 40s or 50s. And nighttime temps can fall into the low- to mid-30s.

A recipe for cream of crab soup that I came across in a Baltimore Sun column by Julie Rothman caught my eye as one that could fit the fill on a cool day. It’s from the “Hunt To Harbor” cookbook, published by the Junior League of Baltimore.

Rothman recommends using lump crabmeat in the soup. She also bumped up the amount of Old Bay seasoning and substituted dry sherry for the white wine.

She offered a couple words of caution: The soup improves upon standing, as the flavors have a chance to marry a bit. And when reheating it, be sure to do it slowly and do not allow it to boil.

Cream of Crab Soup
1 medium onion, minced
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 pint clam juice
½ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning (or more, to taste)
Freshly ground pepper and salt to taste
½ cup dry white wine
1 pint half-and-half or cream
1 pound crab meat
Saute onion in butter until very soft. Stir in flour and gradually whisk in clam juice. Add seasonings, wine and half-and-half. Simmer until flour is cooked and soup thickens, about 15 minutes. Gently add crab meat and heat. Do not boil.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6.