Place flour in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet; cook over medium heat 15 minutes or until brown, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat.
Melt the butter in a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add carrot and the next 5 ingredients (carrot through garlic), and sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add Old Bay seasoning, salt, black pepper, dried thyme, and bay leaf; cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle the browned flour over vegetable mixture, and cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in clam juice, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until mixture is slightly thick, stirring frequently.
Stir in the milk and half-and-half; cook 4 minutes. Stir in crabmeat and sherry; cook 5 minutes or until the soup is thoroughly heated. Discard bay leaf before serving.
Reminded me of Savannah's "Pine Bark Stew" (doesn't contain pine bark) but this version is lighter and healthier. This recipe became the main dish for our casual New Year's Day meal. I prepared the stew in the morning, adding the stock (1/2 clam juice, 1/2 seafood broth) and thickening. About half hour before the meal, I re-heated the soup, then added the milks and crabmeat as directed. I added only a splash of the sherry to the pot, and in the Savannah tradition, I placed a cruet of additional dry sherry on the table for guests to add to their own soup to taste. I enjoyed sharing the tradition, and folks seemed to enjoy the novelty. As a main meal (with a side of spinach/pear/cranberry salad and warm sourdough bread), 4 of us came back for seconds, and one bowl remained. As a starter, this would have been 9 servings. Will definitely make this again for special occasions. The crabmeat and broth cost $24 -- about the cost of steak for 4.
Very good soup! I also used canned lump crab meat and only one cup clam juice (the other 3 cups were water) to save a little money. Used my usual 2% milk instead of whole and completely forgot the sherry, still tasted great!
Next time I'm adding bacon...
SO yummy! I misread the ingredients, thinking it said 4 oz clam juice instead of 4 cups, so I didn't get enough at the store. Only had 1 cup clam juice, but then I did 2 cups water, and it still turned out fantastic(saved a little $ too). Next time I am going to omit the extra 1/4tsp salt and use shredded carrots, some of the carrots didn't get soft even though I sauteed them for at least 15 min. Also used part whole milk part skim to cut down on fat and calories, and fat free half and half. It was still delicious.
This is a tasty soup, but let me warn you, quite expensive! Also, the sodium is off the chart. My grocery had the inexpensive lump crab for $16 per lb and double that for the good stuff. Four $2-bottles of clam juice add another $8. That is at least $24 before you begin with the first carrot. So, I opted to sub 2 cups of unsalted chicken broth (to save both money and sodium.) The big money saved comes from using flaked-style imitation crab meat. (Made from pollock fish and a whole list of chemicals-yuck, but hardly any fat or cholesterol) Use low sodium Old Bay, and lastly, skip the 1/4 tsp salt! Really, CL! One more thing, I got 8 cups max from this recipe. Enjoy.
I chose this recipe over another recipe because it's healthier since whipping cream isn't listed among the ingredients. Everyone loved the change of fresh vegetables in crab soup. I used shredded carrots and chipped them really good. I added a bit more Old Bay, and an additional half cup of half and half and milk for a creamer texture. I omitted the sherry simply because I forgot to add it. Although, I bought the sherry especially for this recipe. The next time I'll pick the shells out of the crab meat. This soup is absolutely delicious and rates high on the confort food list. I will definitely make it again. Yum!!!!
I made this today with two changes. I used my homemade crab stock instead of the clam juice and doubled the amount of sherry. It was easy to make and everyone in the family loved it. Next time I may try canned crab to keep the cost down.