(from koshka’s recipe box)

This ultrarich soup is perhaps Lewis’s most famous dish. It makes an exquisite first course. Keep portions small.

Source: Edna Lewis

Categories: Southern, crab, seafood, soup


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 3 cups milk
  • 4 cups (1 quart) heavy cream
  • 1 pound crabmeat, picked free of
  • all shell and cartilage
  • 2 tablespoons
  • dry or sweet sherry
  • 2 teaspoons salt (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 2 cups crab roe, if available; or 6
  • hard-boiled eggs (optional)
  • Optional garnish: finely chopped
  • parsley


  1. Using heavy saucepan, melt butter over low heat. When butter is melted, slowly stir in milk; mix well. Leave milk on low burner; cook 15 minutes. Stir milk occasionally to keep from burning on bottom; do not bring to near boil. Pour cream into wide frying pan. Cook briskly until cream is thick, about 10 minutes. Pour cream into butter-and-milk mixture; stir well. Add crabmeat; pour soup into top of double boiler; set over simmering water. Cook about 30 minutes, letting flavor develop. Season soup with sherry, salt (if desired) and generous (if desired) sprinkle of cayenne. Add crab roe; check seasoning. If crab roe is not available, use hard-boiled eggs, crumbling half of egg in each bowl before ladling in soup. Garnish with parsley; serve hot. Makes 12 servings.

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