I love crab soup. My recipe is a little bit of this & that from many Maryland She Crab recipes :)
This takes a bit longer to cook then most crab soups out there....as it is a long simmering soup which really blends in the flavors. Feel free to add more veggies and tweak as you please! The cook time is a rough estimate....simmer to done :)
In a skillet sauté onions, garlic, celery in Olive oil for 5 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
Place ham bone in a large soup pot, adding 5 cups of chic. broth. Bring to a boil, add tomatoes , turn down to simmer.
Stir in potatoes and carrots continue to low simmer.
Add 1 cup of Chic. broth, corn, green beans & lima beans, while the soups continues to simmer.
While the soup simmers, clean the crabs by opening each one and discarding the lungs & mouth. Remove the yellowish-brown tomally ( some people call it the mustard), set it aside in a bowl. Break the cleaned crabs in half and add to soup. I use left over crabs ( a rare thing at our house) which I had steamed in Old Bay seasoning the day before. You can buy cooked crabs at your market & that's just fine.
Right after adding the crabs, toss in the bay leaf, add lemon pepper, worcestershire sauce, 1 Tbs. Old Bay seasoning and the sauted mixture that you set aside earlier. Continue to simmer .
Add more Chic. broth, if needed. I like my soup with lots of broth........I add another cup. Continue to simmer.
Place the bacon in a large deep skillet and cook over med/high heat until bacon is nicely browned & crispy, about 10 minutes or so.
Remove the bacon onto paper towels to drain. Save for another recipe or have a good munch while waiting for soup to finish cooking. Stir in the tomally to the remaining bacon grease . Cook over LOW heat until mixture becomes gravy-like. Turn off pan.
Stir the cooked tomally into the soup. Add more broth if needed (remember, I like broth). Continue to simmer for 45 minutes, while adding 1 TBS. Old Bay seasoning & the lump crab meat. Stir occasionally.
Reduce heat to low, until ready to serve. Remove bay leaf before serving. If soup is too thick add water or chicken broth 1 cup at a time.