This is a classic Chesapeake Bay soup that is healthy, hardy and so easy to make. It’s basically beef vegetable soup typically using canned or frozen vegetables; perfect for sailors. In fact I’ll bet every restaurant that serves this uses canned vegetables. Then you throw in some lump crab meat and there you have it, Maryland Crab Soup. But taking a look at the price of fresh lump backfin crab meat…$35/lb! …no way was I going to throw that in with a bunch of cheap canned vegetables. So, apart from the frozen peas, everything in this soup was fresh, Maryland farm fresh. And you just know it tastes better with fresh tomatoes, sweet corn, green beans and carrots, the bounty of the Eastern Shore.
We were under way today with guest sailor and USNA midshipman, Shannon, headed for a lunch raft up with Captain Alex, Taylor and her family. It was a beautiful day and a perfect breeze to get us to Mill Creek.
Maryland Crab Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 carrots, diced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, trimmed and chopped
1 cup chopped green beans
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
2 red potatoes, cubed
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 large tomatoes, chopped
6 cups beef broth
1 lb. jumbo lump crabmeat
Salt and pepper to taste
So let the chopping begin! That Ulu comes in handy when you’re making a soup like this under way on the Bay. It holds everything together in its curved basin. Chop the onions….
…the carrots and celery…
…the green beans…
…the potatoes and tomatoes.
With a sharp knife, slice the kernels off the corn cobs and set aside.
In your largest soup pot, heat the olive oil over a medium flame and sauté the carrots, onions and celery for 10 minutes.
Add the green beans, potatoes and beef broth. You can used canned broth, fresh or bouillon. My go-to broth is to use “Better Than Bouillon.” I always have a jar or two of chicken and beef bouillon. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are al denté.
Add the chopped tomatoes, sweet corn, frozen peas and seasonings. Let simmer for another 15 minutes.
Finally, fold in the lump crab meat, being careful not to break apart the large lumps. It just tastes better that way.
Serve in large soup bowls with crusty french bread. Your appreciative guests…especially those having to spend most of their dining hours at Dahlgren Hall…will really appreciate it!