Sip & Savor

Southern Cuisine History: She Crab Soup

She Crab Soup has been a Southern signature dish for decades, bringing warm, rich flavor to kitchen tables throughout Charleston. While local restaurants offer their own versions, this rich and filling soup traditionally consists of heavy cream, blue crab meat and crab roe (eggs) with dry sherry often added as it is plated.

Large numbers of Scottish immigrants began settling in Charleston during the 1700s.  One traditional dish they brought with them was partan-bree, a crab and rice soup. The settlers began to adjust their recipe to incorporate blue crabs because of the abundance in the area.  This Scottish soup served as a starting point, but She Crab Soup as we know it today was not developed until the early 1900s.  As the story goes, R. Goodwyn Rhett, Mayor of Charleston, was entertaining President Taft at his home.  The Rhett’s butler, William Deas, was asked to create a fancier version of their traditional crab soup.  He added the orange-hued crab eggs of mature female crabs, called “she crabs” by fishermen, to give color and improve the flavor, thus inventing the Charleston delicacy known as She Crab Soup.

This delightful and smooth seafood soup is sure to impress your friends and family, try to recreate the Palmetto Cafe’s She Crab Soup with Sherry, or come in and try it for yourself!

 

 

Traditional She Crab Soup with Sherry, from the Palmetto Cafe

Ingredients
Butter
Flour
Yellow Onion (minced)
Celery (minced)
Bay Leaf
Thyme (chopped)
Dry Sherry
Milk (cold)
Heavy Cream (cold)
Lobster Stock
Crab Roe (minced)
Crabmeat
Nutmeg
Salt and Pepper
Quantity
2 oz
2 oz
3 oz
3 oz
1 small leaf
1 tsp
1 oz
3 c
1 oz
2½ c
1 ½ oz
4 oz
To taste
To taste

 

In a heavy gauge pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook the mixture constantly stirring to a golden straw color (appx. 7 minutes). Add the onion, celery, thyme and bay leaf and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Add the milk, cream and half of the lobster stock. Cook 20 minutes. Add the minced crab roe to the remaining lobster stock and combine it with the sherry. Add this mixture along with the nutmeg and seasonings to the rest of the soup. Cook for 10 minutes. Add the crabmeat and cook an additional 5 minutes. Garnish with fresh crabmeat mixed with chopped thyme. This recipe serves 6 to 8 people, bon appétit!

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Sip & Savor

Healthy Eats in the Holy City

Here in Charleston, there is an abundance of delectable foods like shrimp and grits, she crab soup, crab cakes, baked mac n’ cheese, the list goes on. When traveling, it can be hard to choose a more nutritious option with so many yummy choices everywhere you go. Along with those savory, Southern bites, Charleston has plenty of fresh and delectable options to fuel you for a day of sightseeing around the Holy City. So pop into any of the restaurants below to fuel up on good-for-you-food when visiting Charleston and you won’t be disappointed.
 
Caviar and Bananas

51 George Street Charleston, SC 29401

This gourmet shop has everything you need to please your palate and excite your senses. With a wide range of prepared and packaged options, you won’t leave hungry or empty handed. Pick up an assortment of healthy snacks like Sahale Fruit and Nut Snack Mix or a Green & Black Organic 85% Dark Chocolate Bar to enjoy throughout your time in Charleston.

Tip: Order the “Lunch Box Special” from the prepared foods case to try multiple items like the famous Kale Salad, Thai Peanut Salad and Garganelli Pasta Salad with a discount.

Brown Dog Deli

40 Broad Street Charleston, SC 29401

Located in the French Quarter, Brown Dog Deli uses local and fresh ingredients to bring back timeless deli classics. With a hot dog menu plus a vegetarian and vegan menu, you can find something for everyone at this shop.

Tip: It is small and fills up during lunchtime. Get there early and grab a seat on their outside deck to enjoy your meal in the beautiful Charleston weather.
 
Five Loaves Café

42 Cannon Street Charleston, SC

If you’re looking for a place to sit down and enjoy healthy, homemade soups, Five Loaves Café is exactly where you need to go. Their Gluten Free soups are made fresh in store each day and popular options include Mexican chicken chili with lime, avocado and cilantro as well as roasted red pepper, tomato, basil and bleu cheese.

Tip: Come with friends and suggest each person order a half soup and half sandwich to share. This way you can try a wider variety of their homemade soups and sandwiches.
 
Beech

315 King Street Charleston, SC 29401

From acai to poke bowls, this trendy restaurant has a something for both the sweet and savory traveler. Pick the original beech bowl filled with scrumptious fruits and granola or design your own poke bowl with option of ahi tuna and seaweed salad.

Tip: If you are a coffee lover, pick up a cup of a delicious local brew courtesy of Second State Coffee.
 
Marty’s Place

96 Wentworth Street Charleston, SC 29424

Located on the College of Charleston campus, the newly opened Marty’s Place presents made-to-order vegan, vegetarian as well as kosher menu items. Some delectable options include the black bean torta with coconut chipotle mayo and the five spice fried quinoa with onions, sweet potatoes, peas and carrots served with pita.

Tip: If you are looking for a lighter option, try the daily special, which includes a choice of soup or salad and a drink.

Choose to dine at any of these delicious lunch spots the next time you are vacationing in the Holy City and sticking to your New Year’s Resolution will be a breeze.

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