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Maryland Crab Soup

October 13, 2018 by Nicole Collins

I told you guys we were going to live soup season to the fullest this fall!

It's funny, because we've definitely been having some leftover summer weather for the past couple of weeks. And, you guys know I've been loving every single minute of it.

But, yesterday marked the day that fall finally decided to show up. :-/ The 10 day forecast looks like nothing but doom and gloom with weather in the low 60's or high 50's. I knew this day would come eventually, but I am soooooo not ready for it.

At least there's soup.

So remember about two weeks ago I told you about these pretty soup mugs that I got at Renn fest, but I wasn't sure what to fill them with? Well, it certainly didn't take me long to figure it out!

I know I've filled you in before on one of the big Maryland debates: Maryland Crab Soup or Cream of Crab Soup. I gave you my tried and true recipe, and told you I'd forever be on team Cream of Crab.

But, today is the day I give you all of the facts and finally let you make the decision for yourself which team you want to be on.

Today we're making Maryland Crab Soup!

The best way I can think to describe Maryland Crab Soup would be to say it's like vegetable soup with crab meat and Old Bay to spice it up. It's a tomato based soup unlike it's creamy competitor, and there's pretty much one of every vegetable in it! I even put carrots in here, and anyone who knows me is probably blaming me for the drop in temperatures outside. It's obviously trying to snow right now.

But before we dig in to the fillings, let's talk about the base of this soup. The local secret to a really good crab soup is dropping crab shells and claws in water while it simmers to essentially make a crabby stock. The problem with this method is that you have to have crab shells to infuse the stock. This is all fine and good when we're in the middle of summer and just coming from a crab feast. But, that's not realistic all year long. So, I've come up with a year round solution.

Seafood stock!

Seafood stock is the perfect shortcut for us, because not only does it eliminate the need to have leftover crab carcass, we also get to shave off hours that we otherwise would've spent giving the shells the opportunity to flavor the water. I'm not even exaggerating. It's an all day process when the bestie's dad makes a batch of his famous crab soup. But, the seafood stock allows us to have that rich seafood undertone that we absolutely need to take our crab soup to the next level.

To our stock, we add a little water to stretch our stock, some canned diced tomatoes with their juices, and then all of the veggies like potatoes, corn, green beans, onions, carrots, and celery. And, don't forget the Old Bay, of course. The Old Bay adds a nice spicy note to the soup that kind of hits you in the background. Marylanders are used to the kick of heat the Old Bay can leave behind, but if you like things a little less spicy, you can reduce the Old Bay in the soup.

After the veggies bathe in this super flavorful bath for about a half hour, we add the crab to the party. I probably sound like a broken record by now, but you've got to use the good stuff when it comes to crab meat if it's available to you where you live. There's a noticeable taste difference between canned crab, imitation krab, and fresh lump crab meat. So, since this soup is all about that crab, spend the extra few dollars for the good stuff.

After we add the crab and let that simmer for a few more minutes, we're done! We get tons of flavor for not a lot of effort at all! All the veggies make this soup really hearty, while the Old Bay adds the perfect amount of spice and heat, and the crab and seafood stock make you feel like you're in the middle of the ocean.

Now, this soup makes a huge pot, but it freezes really well. Just throw what you want to save for later in a freezer safe container, then thaw it out overnight in the fridge when you're ready to have it again.

Alright guys, you officially have all of the information you need to decide which side you fall on: Team Maryland Crab or Team Cream of Crab. Though Cream of Crab is and will always be my number one, I think it's very likely you'll find me right in the middle of this debate from now on. Gotta act in true Libra fashion, you know?

Either way, I know you'll love this Maryland classic, so I can't wait to hear what you think!

But for now, enjoy! And, let's eat!


Maryland Crab Soup

Serves: 6-8 Print


  • 4 cups seafood stock

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes

  • 2 stalks celery, sliced

  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced

  • 1 cup potatoes, diced

  • ½ onion, diced

  • 1 cup cut green beans (fresh or frozen)

  • 1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)

  • 1 ½ tbsp Old Bay seasoning

  • 1 lb lump crab meat

  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a large stock pot, add seafood stock, water, diced tomatoes, vegetables, and Old Bay. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 mins.

  2. Increase heat to medium, add crab meat and salt and pepper, to taste. Stir to combine, and simmer for an additional 10 mins. Remove from heat, and taste for seasoning. Serve!

Recipe notes:

*You can use fresh or frozen green beans and corn for this recipe. I use frozen, because it's so easy. You don't even have to thaw it first!

*Make sure you use fresh lump crab meat if it's available in your area. It tastes way different than crab or krab in a can. Since it's the star of our soup, spend the extra few dollars on the good stuff. Trust me.

*Marylanders have Old Bay running through their veins, so we're used to the heat of the spice. If you want your soup to be a little less spicy, you can reduce the Old Bay by ½ tbsp.

*This soup freezes really well. Since it make such a large pot, you can absolutely store this in a freezer safe container. Just thaw in the fridge overnight when you're ready for it again.

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