by Roger Warner & Jonathan Taggart
This recipe is adapted from traditional she-crab soup, a staple of Charleston, South Carolina and a coastal favorite from the Chesapeake Bay to Louisiana. Traditional she-crab soup is made from the roe (or eggs) and the meat of blue crabs. Here in New England we have green crabs, which are smaller and sweeter in flavor, so the list of ingredients and the process for making it is a little different.
Fall is the peak season for New England She-Crab Soup, because that is when the female green crabs are carrying fresh roe. There are two main ingredients in this delicious bisque dish: a roe-crabmeat blend that is known both as mazanetta and a simple green crab stock or broth.
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour.
1 small onion, grated
A few cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 or 3 quarts of whole milk
1 ½ Cups of green crab stock
1/2 cup sherry wine
Old Bay seasoning to taste
Worcestershire sauce to taste
Hot sauce to taste
~1 cup of mazanetta
Note: Use one large stockpot for less mess
Melt the butter and stir in the flour to make a smooth paste or roux. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
Mix in the onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook and stir for about 4 minutes.
Gradually whisk in the milk so that no lumps form. Stir in the green crab stock. Bring to a simmer, and pour in half of the sherry.
Season with dill, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes, until soup has reduced by 1/3.
Add desired amount of mazanetta (meat and caviar), and simmer for a few minutes.
Ladle the soup into bowls, and top off with a splash of the remaining sherry and a sprinkle of fresh chives.