Traditional Maryland Crab Soup with Old Bay is a tomato based soup packed with vegetables, Maryland Blue Crab meat and spicy Old Bay!
If you want more Old Bay, try these Crispy Old Bay Wings. They require only 3 ingredients, are baked in the oven and are perfect for Game Day!
I am a Maryland girl who now lives in Delaware. I grew up with a family who loved to crab and loved eating the crabs even more. Growing up, my parents made Maryland Crab Soup all the time. Any time that we had leftover crab meat, it went straight into Crab Soup. The recipe that I am sharing below has been tested and tried in my house for years.
Crab Soup Details
Level of Difficulty: Simple! While the ingredient list may look intimidating, most ingredients are pantry staples and can be substituted. This soup requires some sautéing, simmering and stirring. It is that simple!
Flavor: Traditional Maryland Crab Soup has a salty and spicy Old Bay flavor.
Time: From start to finish, this soup requires 20 minutes of hands on time (chopping, sautéing) and 30 minutes of cook time. This Traditional Maryland Crab Soup can be made in less than an hour!
What is in Traditional Maryland Crab Soup?
- Butter- used to sauté the vegetables. Substitute with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
- White Onion
- Garlic Cloves
- Chicken Broth- replace with Vegetable Broth if needed.
- Chicken Bouillon Cube- substitute additional chicken or vegetable broth if needed.
- Frozen Soup Vegetables- substitute with whatever fresh vegetables you have on hand.
- Chopped Tomatoes- use canned or fresh tomatoes.
- Corn- use canned corn or slice corn kernels off of the cob.
- Tomato Paste
- Old Bay Seasoning
- Chopped Potatoes
- Pizza Sauce- my family always uses Don Pepino Pizza Sauce. The spices and flavors really compliment the soup. If you don't have pizza sauce, replace with tomato sauce. My secret ingredient is revealed!
- Lump Crab Meat- freshly picked or store bought.
- Large Soup Pot- use the largest pot that you have! This soup makes enough to feed a crowd.
- Sharp Knife- to cut the vegetables.
- Cutting Board
- Soup Ladle
What is Old Bay?
Old Bay is a traditional Maryland seasoning made by McCormick. Their website lists the ingredients as celery salt, paprika and spices including black pepper red pepper. The other spices are a secret. Old Bay is traditionally used on seafood including crabs and steamed shrimp but is delicious on many other things including Bloody Mary's, chicken wings and dips.
Secret Soup Ingredient
The secret ingredient in this Traditional Maryland Crab Soup is Don Pepino Pizza Sauce! I find that the pizza sauce thickens the Maryland Crab Soup and adds a little extra seasoning. I like Don Pepino because they use New Jersey tomatoes and they do not use any preservatives in their sauce.
Let's Make Some Soup!
- Start by using a large soup pot. I suggest using the largest soup pot you have because this recipe makes a large batch of soup.
- Turn the heat to medium and add the butter to the soup pot. Melt the butter and sauté the onion and celery until soft. Add the garlic and continuously stir until the garlic is fragrant (about 30 seconds).
- Add in the chicken broth and the chicken bouillon cube (dissolved in water).
- Stir in the mixed vegetables, tomatoes, corn, potatoes, tomato paste, pizza sauce and Old Bay. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, turn heat down to a simmer and cover pot. Let simmer for a minimum of 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, test your potatoes to make sure that they are soft. If they are not cooked, let the soup continue to simmer until the potatoes are soft.
- Remove soup from heat and stir in the crab meat. Now, the soup is ready to be served!
What goes with Crab Soup?
While this soup is a meal on its own, here are some ideas to make the soup a complete meal:
- Grilled Cheese- great for dipping into the soup!
- Beer Bread- try this delicious 5 Ingredient Honey Beer Bread from Half Baked Harvest.
- Simple Side Salad- make a light meal by serving your crab soup with a simple side salad using seasonal produce.
Can you freeze Maryland Crab Soup?
Yes, you can freeze Maryland Crab Soup! This recipe is a large batch so I always freeze my leftovers. This soup freezes well with the exception of the potatoes. The potatoes sometimes lose their texture during the freezing process. I recommend removing the potatoes before freezing. Freeze soup in an airtight plastic bag flat for up to 3 months. Dethaw soup in the fridge. Reheat soup on the stove and enjoy!
- How can I get more crab flavor in my soup? To get more crab flavor in my soup, I like to add a few crab legs that have not been picked directly into the soup. The Old Bay that the crabs were seasoned in and the natural saltiness from the crabs blends in the soup resulting in a natural Old Bay flavor.
- What kind of crab is used in Maryland Crab Soup? Maryland Crab Soup uses Maryland Blue Crab meat. These crabs can be caught on the Delmarva peninsula.
If you make this recipe, please leave a comment below or tag @delmarvaliciousdishes on Instagram!
Maryland Crab Soup
- 2 tablespoon Unsalted Butter
- 1 White Onion- Chopped
- 2 Garlic Cloves- Minced
- 2 Celery Stalks- Chopped
- 64 oz Chicken Broth
- 1 Chicken Bouillon Cube dissolved in 8 Oz water
- 28 oz Frozen Soup Vegetables (peas, green beans, corn, lima beans, carrots, etc.)
- 1 cup Tomatoes- Chopped
- 2 tablespoon Tomato Paste
- 2 tablespoon Old Bay
- 2 Potatoes- Chopped
- 15 oz Don Pepino Pizza Sauce
- 1 lb Lump Crab Meat (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup Corn (fresh off the cob or frozen)
- In a large soup pot, melt butter over medium heat.
- Add onions and celery and sauté until soft.
- Add garlic. Stir continuously for 30 seconds until garlic is fragrant.
- Add chicken broth and chicken bouillon cube dissolved in water.
- Mix in frozen mixed vegetables, tomatoes, corn, potatoes, tomato paste, pizza sauce and old bay seasoning. Turn heat to high to bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cover with lid. Let soup simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in crab meat.
- Serve hot!