She-Crab Soup Sure Makes Me Happy When it’s Chilly!

I love Southern-style cooking! I will say this though-thank God I have never lived down there. I think my heart might stop because saying, “NO” to food is definitely not one of my strong suits. The South is one region where I have not yet called home. However, I (think) I have a lot of time left on earth, so you never know what the future will bring...y’all. 

Back in June I raved about the Cajun Jambalaya in New Orleans. This month, now that fall is settling in, I’m all about the best out of Charleston, South Carolina: She-Crab Soup! It’s similar to a bisque, but there’s far more to it. Plus, I love it’s rich backstory.

The story goes that in the 1920s the butler for the Charleston mayor made the crab soup, but wanted to give it more tang and a rich color, so he added in roe (fish eggs) from the crab (hence the SHE in “she-crab”). The mayor adored it! Later it was added to a Charleston cookbook, and the city was hooked. Ever since, it has been a staple in local restaurants. Sounds like the perfect meal for a group of girlfriends eh?

Is Charleston on your list for your next autumn girls weekend? If so, make sure to stop by either Anson Restaurant (@ansonrestaurant) or Hominy Grill  (@hominygrill)— they are known for their She-crab soup! Then again, you don’t even have to stop by the South to catch this delicious meal. You can make it when you are with your girls, and I have the perfect recipe for you to do so. Let me know how yours turns out.

Ingredients for 6-8 servings| Multiply by degree of thirst/hunger, divide by number of girlfriends!

She-Crab Soup 


  • 3 tablespoons butter 
  • 1 medium onion, chopped 
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour 
  • 1 quart whole milk 
  • 1 pound fresh, lump crabmeat 
  • 1/4 pound crab roe or hard-cooked egg yolk 
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper 
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mace 
  • 2 cups half-and-half 
  • 1/2 cup sherry wine 
  • 1 tablespoon table salt 
  • Garnishes: paprika, fresh parsley


Step 1 

Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter in a saucepan over low heat.

Step 2

Add the onion, and sauté 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened.

Step 3

Over medium heat, pour water to a depth of the 1 inch line in a double boiler. Bring to a boil. 

Step 4

Reduce heat and simmer. Place remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter on top of the double boiler over simmering water. Cook until melted. 

Step 5

Whisk in the flour.

Step 6

In a Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat and whisk in flour.

Step 7

Stir in the onion and milk, stirring constantly until blended. Stir in the crabmeat and roe (or yolk); add pepper and mace, and cook for 20 minutes. 

Step 8

Stir in the half-and-half. Remove from heat, and stir in the wine and salt.

Step 9 

Sprinkle in as much paprika and fresh parsley on top as desired, and enjoy!

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