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One of my favorite places is Charleston South Carolina.  It’s a town with so much history, character and charm.  There a few things, distinct to the area, that almost define what Charleston is all about.  Boiled peanuts is one.  Sounds weird, huh?  But they are strangely addicting.  They sell them just about everywhere.  From convenience stores to road side stands.

Sweet grass baskets.  Also sold anywhere from convenience stores to road side stands.  Locals hand weave these gorgeous baskets, and believe me, there priced like they have a Longaberger tag on them!

She Crab Soup!  This soup is on almost every menu that has a soup of the day.  It’s as popular in Charleston as Clam Chowder is to the rest of the world.  But you better know your southern etiquette when it comes to serving it.  A bit of Sherry is poured into the bottom of the bowl before ladling the soup in.  Most cooking wines are simmered in the soup to cook out the alcohol.  Not this one!  This recipe is pretty traditional, and worth every spoonful, but don’t be afraid to add your own variations.  It’s crab!  You’ve got to really deviate to turn it into something inedible!  Oh, did I mention that this soup is only about 300 calories per serving and low carb?  Yeah, just one more perk, incase you weren’t convinced enough to go make it!

She Crab Soup

1 tbsp butter

1 tsp flour

4 cups milk

1/2 cup heavy cream, cold

1 tsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp pepper

1 tsp worcestershire

2 cups crab meat

1/2tsp salt

4 tbsp dry sherry

Traditionally, this soup is made in a double boiler.  I decided not to bother with it and went straight for a soup pot.  Over medium heat, melt the butter.  Whisk in the flour till smooth.

Slowly pour in the milk stirring constantly so it thickens slightly and doesn’t get lumpy.  Once all the milk is all incorporated, add the crab and all the seasonings except the sherry and heavy cream.  I used canned crab meat.  It doesn’t need to be extremely fresh meat or even the expensive lump meat, although it would make a difference.  You get what you pay for, folks.  Continue to slowly cook over moderate heat for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  In the meantime, whip the heavy cream till stiff and set aside for serving.

To serve, pour 1 tbsp of warmed sherry into the bottom of each bowl.  Then ladle the soup in and drop a dollop of whipped cream on top.  Sprinkle on paprika, parsley  or chives.

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