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She-Crab Soup from Grand Central Oyster Bar

She-crab Soup From Grand Central Oyster Bar Recipe

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Diego Isio


This very popular recipe—which we serve on Tuesdays and Thursdays—hasn’t changed since I’ve been at the Grand Central Oyster Bar, but the name has. When I came here, the soup was called Maryland She Crab Soup, but I put my foot down: she crab soup is from South Carolina!

We use crab base when we make this soup in the restaurant, but I’ve adapted the recipe to call for fresh crab stock. See the note if you want to use the shortcut version.

And if you prefer a thicker soup, use 8 tablespoons butter and 2/3 cup flour to make the roux.

You can order crab roe from


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10 cups
20 Min
1 Hr
Stove Top


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9 medium
blue crabs, preferably female
8 c
celery ribs, chopped
1 large
carrot, peeled and chopped
1 medium
onion, chopped
dark green top of leek
3 sprig(s)
fresh thyme
parsley stems
bay leaves
1 Tbsp
old bay seasoning
1 tsp
black peppercorns


4 c
2 tsp
powdered fish bouillon
6 Tbsp
salted butter
1/2 c
all-purpose flour


1/2 c
diced celery
2 Tbsp
salted butter
3 Tbsp
cream sherry
3 Tbsp
1/4 c
crab roe, chopped
1 c
light cream
3/4 c
jumbo lump crab meat

How to Make She-Crab Soup from Grand Central Oyster Bar


  • 1To make the stock: Combine the crabs, water, celery, carrot, onion, leek top, thyme, parsley, bay leaves, Old Bay, and peppercorns in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and cook at an active simmer for 45 minutes.

    Strain the stock and reserve (you can refrigerate overnight). When the crabs are cool enough to handle, crack them and pick the meat. Cover and refrigerate until needed. If the crabs have roe, reserve it separately, also covered in the refrigerator. Discard the other solids.
  • 2To make the base: Combine 4 cups of the crab stock with the water and fish bouillon in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer.

    Melt the butter in a separate saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour to make a roux and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Don’t let the roux brown. Gradually whisk in the warmed stock, making sure you don’t leave any lumps, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, whisking once in awhile, for 20 minutes.
  • 3To finish the soup: While the base is simmering, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the celery, bring back to a boil, and blanch for 2 1/2 minutes. Drain, refresh the celery under cold running water, and drain again.

    Add the butter, sherry, brandy and roe to the base. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Pour in the cream and add the reserved crab meat, jumbo lump crab meat, and the celery. Bring back to a simmer and serve hot.
  • 4Note: Crab base is available online. To make a quick crab stock, bring 4 cups of water to a simmer. Add HOW MUCH crab base and whisk to dissolve it. You’ll need 1 1/2 cups of jumbo lump crab meat to finish the soup.

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About She-Crab Soup from Grand Central Oyster Bar

Course/Dish: Fish Soups
Main Ingredient: Seafood
Regional Style: American

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