maryland crab soup


If you’re getting tired of my Maryland-themed, Old Bay-laden recipes, you can blame it on the Ravens..I still can’t believe they’re going to the Super Bowl!! Sorry to all you Patriots fans, but..ok, I lied, I am so not sorry! But even if you aren’t happy about the Super Bowl match-up this year, I hope you’ll still give some of my Maryland recipes a try.


Maryland crab soup reminds me of my mom and summers at the beach. She loved crabs and she loved vegetable soup, so Maryland crab soup was just made for her. Now, I have to confess..cream-based soups are more up my alley, but most of them are as unhealthy as they are delicious, so they’re a very rare treat any more. A soup like this one is not only loaded with flavor, it’s also super-healthy with all those veggies, the lean protein of the crab, and a just a little fat from olive oil.


Just like with most of my recipes, this is very simple and just waiting for you to personalize it to suit your taste. In our house we like things spicy, so I didn’t skimp on the Old Bay. If you’re not such a fan of spicy foods,  start out with a little Old Bay and add more at the end. Old Bay has a lot of salt in it so I didn’t add any additional salt, so if you go light on the Old Bay you might need to add a little salt. Now if you want it super-spicy, add a little hot sauce in addition to the Old Bay.


For this soup, using backfin crab is the way to go. Sure, you can spend a little more and use lump crab meat, but it’s really not worth the extra money in a recipe like this. That being said, if you do use backfin, make sure it’s good-quality backfin. With all these crabby recipes I’ve been making lately, I tried 2 different brands of crab, and the best backfin was Phillips. The 2 pounds I used had virtually no shells or other nasty stuff, and was tasty, white, almost-lump crab. The other brand I used was Graham and was a little cheaper than Phillips, but much lower in quality..lots of shell and extra water, and the meat was in shreds..never again. The Graham and Rollins is what I used in this soup because it’s what I had, and I wasn’t about to throw away $20 worth of crab meat. It was OK in the soup, but the Phillips would have been better.  I’m just glad I didn’t use it in my crab cakes. Lesson learned!


maryland crab soup
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Serves: 6-8

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2-3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ cup dry sherry
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken or seafood stock
  • 2-4 cups water
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup frozen lima beans
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 1-2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pound good-quality backfin or lump crab meat
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Add oil, onions, and carrots to a large stock pot and saute over medium heat until carrots start to soften, about 10 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring so that it doesn’t burn.
  3. Add the sherry, increase the heat to medium-high, and scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pot.
  4. Add the tomatoes, stock, 2 cups of water, the vegetables, 1 tablespoon of Old Bay, and the bay leaf to the pot. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low.
  5. Simmer, partially covered, about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are done but not mushy. Stir occasionally and add additional water or stock if needed.
  6. Add crab meat to the soup and simmer another 10-15 minutes.
  7. Taste for seasoning and add additional Old Bay or salt and pepper as needed.
  8. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅛th of recipe Calories: 195 Fat: 2g Carbohydrates: 22g Sugar: 7g Sodium: 808mg Fiber: 5g Protein: 16g Cholesterol: 45mg


Comments: 9

  1. Carl February 11, 2013 at 4:12 pm Reply

    Made this a day ago and had it today. It is outstanding. I bought a few crab claws and tossed them in, only because I’m a little use to seeing them in crab soup. This is certainly a keeper and a true Maryland Crab Soup. Thank you so much…

    • Lisa February 11, 2013 at 10:39 pm Reply

      Thanks for letting me know how much you liked the crab soup! I’ll have to give the crab claws a try the next time I make it..sounds good!

  2. Ted May 7, 2013 at 10:38 am Reply

    WOW!!! this soup was AMAZING. submit this to, so it can be enjoyed by everyone. I used half claw meat and half backfin (and of course I used more than a pound because I love crabs so much). most recipes I will put my own spin on it, but I would not change a thing here.

    thanks so much for the recipe, it is going into the regular rotation.

    • Lisa May 7, 2013 at 11:36 pm Reply

      So glad you enjoyed the soup, and more crab is always a good thing! Thanks for the suggestion to submit it to allrecipes..on my to-do list.

  3. steve May 10, 2013 at 12:22 pm Reply

    I made this last night. I added 2 russett potatoe’s cut small, 1/2 cup dry sherry,
    1 cup beef broth and 2 slices of bacon, with grease. Not only was this the best crab soup I ever made, it was best I ever ate. I had it for lunch today !!!

    • Lisa May 12, 2013 at 8:49 pm Reply

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe and put your own spin on it. Bacon sounds like a great addition!

  4. Ashley August 29, 2013 at 9:21 pm Reply

    Made this on Sunday, great recipe and liked your pics. I added a small amount of celery and did not do the Lima beans. I went heavy on the old bay and stopped once I thought the salt from the old bay was enough. I never thought about how much salt is in old bay until your recipe. Thanks for sharing; my Md family all agrees that this is the best Md crab soup ever!

  5. Sylvia November 25, 2013 at 10:42 pm Reply

    I love the recipe, it is just what I was looking for. I added more Old Bay, and red pepper.

  6. Nikki Fisher December 1, 2013 at 4:44 pm Reply

    The soup just for done simmering and it is fantastic!! Thank you Lisa for this wonderful recipe! It is my husband’s first time having Maryland style and he is in love! :-)

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