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What Is Corn Crab Soup?

Dan Harkins
By Dan Harkins
Updated May 17, 2024
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Crab meat is a delicacy across the globe, often starring in dishes as a sweet-yet-savory protein. When a vegetable like corn, which is also both sweet and savory, is married with crab in an herb-laden stock, the effect can be sumptuous. Several corn crab soup recipes are available, from those with a light Asian flavor to others boasting an Americanized Creole bite.

The two main ingredients of corn crab soup should be fresh, particularly due to the central roles they will be playing. The diverse medley of other ingredients play just as crucial a part, though. Chicken stock, onions, potatoes, celery and bell peppers will lend more flavor when chopped and diced into the initial foundation of the soup.

At the bottom of a deep pan coated in vegetable oil, the vegetables are cooked until fully sauteed. Some, like celebrity chef Rachel Ray, season the vegetables with Old Bay® seasoning, salt and pepper. Minced garlic is another possibility. Adding too much, however, could overpower the crab and corn.

After a light sprinkling with flour and another few minutes of saute time, vegetable or chicken stock is stirred in, occasionally along with milk or cream. The final broth then is brought to a simmer for at least five minutes to ensure the potatoes are cooked through. At the end, since they do not require that much cook time, lump crab meat and as much corn as desired can be added to finish the cooking. This is how corn crab soup is made with a New England approach.

Specialized techniques can improve the final result. Instead of sprinkling flour on the vegetables during the saute, some chefs make what is called a roux — a heated mixture of flour and butter — ahead of time, then slowly pour it into the soup after adding the milk. Whisking is another common technique to give the soup a frothiness and further marry the flavors.

In the bayous of Cajun country, a corn crab soup is made with a bay leaf, Cajun crab boil seasoning, and Worcestershire. In China, chefs might add ginger, garlic or soy for the desired balance of sweet and salty, then accent the final product with boiled egg whites. Adding scallions or even hot sauce at the end is another way to give corn crab soup the bite it may be lacking on its own.

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