What!? Can you use “Yankee” and “She Crab” in the same sentence?
Sure, I know that She Crab Soup is a low country staple of the Carolina’s and Georgia, but, in this case, I made it from Maine lobsters which we enjoy way more frequently than blue crabs from the south. Also, I like more of a bisque-like texture than a chowder texture so this is not thickened in any way, has no potatoes or pieces of vegetable in the final soup.
Though, you can see in the picture that we had a whole pot full of lobsters, you really only need two decent sized lobsters to make a delicious pot of soup for two servings. Whenever one attends a lobster boil, one frequently finds that most people only eat the claws, forearms and tail and never even touch the body and small spidery looking legs. Knowing this from watching other people eat, when Kathy Chase invited us to a lobster boil recently, I came prepared. I brought a large Tupperware bowl to take home all of the bodies that were basically untouched.
The body contains a lot of good stuff to eat. Depending on the season and the sex of the lobster, it is full of red “lobster caviar”, greenish grey roe, or both. Being this is August, most of ours contained both. Also, there is a nice little piece of meat in the bicep portion of each leg. Cut it at each end and push it out with a blunt wooden skewer. Also, all of the white cottage cheese looking substance in the body and elsewhere is edible and delicious in soup. The best part, however, is the lump meat which is the shoulder/rotator cuff part of every leg especially the big legs with the claws that is tucked up under the belly of the beast. About the only thing that is not pleasant to chew on is the very fibrous textured gills and the somewhat gritty craw. Everything else is yummy.
I have adapted this recipe for two servings for which you’d need only a couple of lobster bodies.
Ingredients: Every bit of edible matter from the body and legs divided into two bowls. One bowl for meat, one bowl for everything else.
Lobster shells Butter Celery Carrot Parsley Garlic Whole pepper corns Bay leaf Sherry Cream
Pull every bit of meat and other soft tissue from the bodies and set aside. Put the shells on a baking sheet including the craw and the gills and roast until the shells look like they’ve been in a pottery kiln (about 45 minutes) at 350 degrees.
In a large stock pot, melt a couple tablespoons of butter and then add the chopped up celery, carrot, parsley, garlic, whole pepper corns and bay leaf. When everything is just starting to brown a little, add about a quarter cup of sherry to taste. Add a quarter of a vegetable or chicken bouillon cube.
Add the roasted shells and enough water to make a couple large bowls of soup and simmer for an hour.
Take the bowl of “everything else” from the body and put it in a pot with just enough water to make a sloppy slurry when mashed with a potato masher. Add about a half cup of cream and the lobster meat. Strain and add the liquid from the stock pot.
Enjoy in Good Health, Brian Cain, the Michigan Vintner